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Do I Need a Police Report if I’m in an Accident in North Carolina?

Whether you are at fault or not, being in a car accident can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if you don’t know what you need to do next. Car accidents are not uncommon, and every driver will likely experience some kind of collision in their lifetime. In fact, nearly 3 million Americans are injured in car crashes every year and 72% of those accidents result in property damages. While your first call may be to your insurance company, do you also need to report the accident to the police? Let’s break it down.

According to the Law

Requirements vary from state to state, but in North Carolina, the law does not require you to file a police report for accidents without bodily injury or property damage. A North Carolina driver is, however, required to file a police report if the accident resulted in significant injury or death, or property damage of over $1000.

So while a police report may not be required in the state of North Carolina, it’s’ better to be safe than sorry. Even if the damage doesn’t appear to be severe, use your judgment. If the other driver decides to turn the story around after the fact and you don’t call the police, you likely won’t have the documentation you’ll need to build a solid case.

A Note About Insurance

Let’s talk about insurance. If you are planning to file an insurance claim, a police report is typically needed in instances where you are seeking compensation for damages.

Our best advice is when in doubt, file a police report, especially if you don’t know the other driver personally, and/or if the damage is severe enough that it would be a financial burden if you had to pay out of pocket.

Have any more questions for us? Contact the Kelly & West team.

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