Do You Have To Report Minor Accidents In North Carolina?
If you or somebody you care about is involved in a vehicle accident in North Carolina, we need to know whether or not you have to report the incident to law enforcement officials. It is generally safe to assume that most vehicle accidents have to be reported, so calling 911 to report an incident, even a minor one, is a good idea. However, we want to look specifically at what North Carolina says about reporting vehicle accidents.
Reporting Accidents in NC
Every state has laws related to reporting vehicle accidents that occur. Specifically, we see the following laws in North Carolina:
- NC Motor Vehicles § 20-166.1 involves reports and investigations required in the event of an accident
- NC Motor Vehicles § 20-166 discusses the duty that drivers have to stop in the event of a crash and furnishing their information to others
Under North Carolina law, individuals are required to call the police after an accident occurs in the following circumstances:
- If the accident occurred in a city that requires reporting
- If any individual was injured or killed as a result of the accident
- If reporting the incident is required by your insurance carrier
- If any one person sustained more than $1,000 in property damage
When we look at these reporting requirements, it becomes very clear that nearly every vehicle accident has to be reported to law enforcement officials in North Carolina. This can include the North Carolina Highway Patrol or the police department of the municipality or county where the accident occurred.
A Seemingly Minor Crash May Not be so Minor
When a vehicle accident occurs, it is not uncommon for individuals involved to think that the incident is relatively minor, at least in the initial aftermath of the crash. As adrenaline courses through our bodies in these situations, this can mask the signs and symptoms of various injuries. It is not uncommon for individuals to realize they have sustained an injury in the hours and days following a collision.
Additionally, $1,000 and property damage is not much at all. Even a relatively minor fender bender can result in property damage above that threshold. Even if individuals do not see any visible damage on a vehicle, there could be underlying frame damage that is not visible that can affect the functionality of the vehicle.
If You Are Involved in a Crash
If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage in an accident caused by another driver in North Carolina, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Yes, you should report the vehicle accident to law enforcement officials, but do not count on the police report to prove the liability of the other party. An attorney can use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the incident in order to gather the evidence needed to show that the other driver caused the crash.
You have to be very cautious when it comes to handling vehicle accident claims in North Carolina. North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, which means that if you are found to have contributed to the crash in any way, you may not be able to recover compensation for your losses. Let a Raleigh car accident attorney get to work on your case to make sure that you recover maximum compensation.