The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department recently announced that they will no longer be offering police reports to the general public or even people directly involved in automobile accidents. They made this change due to ongoing litigation involving the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act.
This means that unless the police officer investigating the accident gives the insurance information of drivers involved to each other driver in the incident, then it could take as long as seven days before a copy of the police report is made available or a driver to file an insurance claim.
Here, the Charlotte car accident lawyers at Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. want to discuss why this change was made and how it could affect you.
What really prompted this change?
The change with how accident reports are obtained was made due to a lawsuit by multiple people claiming that body shops and predatory attorneys used the crash information to solicit clients and customers. For example, it is not uncommon for body shops to pull the names and insurance information of those involved in car accidents in order to find potential customers. Using the information that was made available, the company could (illegally) contact a crash victim and tell the victim that their insurance carrier contacted them and that they should bring their vehicle to that particular shop. There have been multiple incidents of this happening.
The upside to this change is that it will cut down on these illegal contacts. However, this also means that there will likely be long delays in crash victims getting their vehicle damage repaired. This could also lead to some cases of people being without vehicles for some time after an accident occurs.
How can a victim get a copy of the accident report now?
To best convey how you can obtain your car accident reports, we want to pull directly from the statement released by the City of Charlotte:
- “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Due to pending litigation against the City concerning the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, the CMPD will no longer be able to provide members of the public with DMV-349 reports. All requests for DMV-349 accident reports should be directed to the NC DMV.”
Links to obtain accident reports on the public website and MyCMPD page have now been replaced with a link to the North Carolina DMV webpage with information pertaining to citizens obtaining a copy of their accident report. Accident victims will now be required to get the copy by mail only as there is no online access for these reports offered by the DMV.
Contact our Charlotte car accident lawyers today
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another driver in Charlotte, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. Regardless of how quickly you are able to obtain an accident report, it is crucial to have someone by your side who can help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to. At Price Petho & Associates, we will use our resources to conduct a complete investigation into your case to secure maximum compensation. When you need a Charlotte car accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 704-850-6322.