Police Accident Report Retrieval
When alerted to a traffic collision in South Carolina, a police officer will respond, secure the scene and generate a car accident report. This report is helpful when filing an insurance claim. Moreover, this traffic collision report is an integral part of a personal injury lawsuit. Let's examine the nature of a South Carolina police report, the information it contains, how it will affect your case, how to retrieve it, and whether it can be inaccurate.
Are You Obligated to Call the Police After a Car Accident?
IfUnder the South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56 Section 56-5-1260, a driver is obligated to report any traffic accident as quickly as possible that results in injuries, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more. Most of the time, a police officer, sheriff, or a member of the highway patrol will come to the accident scene. In the event that this does not happen, then the driver must alert the South Carolina DMV within 15 days. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a South Carolina car accident, our lawyers advise that you contact the police as soon as possible after the crash occurred and get an accident report to establish an official report of the accident.
What Is on a South Carolina Police Accident Report?
The police officer will document the following information:
- The time, date and location of the crash
- Insurance information and registration for each vehicle
- The driver’s license provided by all motor vehicle operators involved in the crash
- Identification of the driver and passengers in all vehicles involved in the collision
- Contact information for all witnesses and any statements they may have made
- Any statements made by the passengers or drivers
- Vehicle damage summary and conclusions
- A description of the scene where the accident occurred, including weather and road conditions
- A basic diagram of the accident scene provided by the police officer
- Description of reckless actions and citations, and in some cases, who the officer believes is the at-fault driver
Why Is a Police Report Important?
Generally, negligent individuals loathe admitting that they were the at-fault party in an accident, and insurers want to protect their bottom line. This attitude means that it is vital that the injured party and their auto accident attorney prove liability. A written report from the police is useful in corroborating how the collision occurred.
However, at times, mistakes or inaccuracies exist in a police report, and it is important to review the document.
How to Obtain a Police Accident Report in South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
After a 911 call, the responding officer generally files a police accident report within 24 hours with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It is possible to order the report online. This is only for in-state drivers.
Ordering by mail is also possible. Just download the FR-50 (Request for Collision Report) and complete and sign it, answering as many questions as possible. Once that is done, attach a check payable to the SCDMV for $6 and mail it to:
SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Titles Mail-in Unit FR-50
PO Box 1498 Blythewood, SC 29016-0050
Requesting an official copy of the car accident report in person requires that you print out FR-50, fill it in and sign it and make two copies. Bring the two signed copies to a branch office of the SCDMV and pay the $6 fee by check or money order or by using a debit or credit card.
How Your Attorney Uses the Collision Report
Your personal injury lawyer will request and review the accident report by checking it against the results of their own investigation of the accident. There are times when the police report is not accurate, and your car accident lawyer will ensure that mistakes are corrected or mount a response to any inaccuracy. This is crucial since these reports are widely used in insurance proceedings and negotiations involving auto accidents as well as in civil court.
Morris Law Firm in the Myrtle Beach Area
When you or a loved one suffers injuries in a South Carolina car accident, you need time to rest and recuperate. The Morris Law Firm takes care of the rest. As your legal representative, we will talk to the insurance company on your behalf, investigate the accident, and provide legal representation for insurance company negotiations and in civil court. Call us at (843) 232-0944, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and case review where your questions will be answered and legal options will be discussed.