Police Accident Report Retrieval
When alerted to a traffic collision in South Carolina, a police officer will respond, secure the scene and generate a police accident report. This report is helpful when filing an insurance claim. Moreover, the accident report is an integral part of a personal injury lawsuit. Let’s examine the nature of a police accident 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?
If someone is injured in a traffic accident where an individual is harmed, dies or the collision includes property damages of $1,000 or more, a driver is obligated to report it under the South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56 Section 56-5-1260 as quickly as possible. 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.
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 crash site, including weather and road conditions
- An accident scene diagram provided by the police officer
- Description of reckless actions and citations
Why Is a Police Accident Report Important?
Generally, negligent individuals loathe admitting that they were at fault for an accident, and insurers want to protect the bottom line. This attitude means that it is vital that the injured party and their auto accident attorney prove liability. A police accident report is useful in corroborating how the collision occurred.
However, at times, mistakes or inaccuracies exist in a police accident report, and it is important to review the document.
How to Obtain a Police Accident Report in South Carolina
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 $6.00 and mail it to:
SC DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES
Titles Mail-in Unit FR-50
PO Box 1498 Blythewood, SC 29016-0050
Requesting a collision 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 $6.00 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 police collision 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 lawyer will ensure that mistakes are corrected or mount a response to any inaccuracy. This is crucial since such reports are widely used in insurance proceedings and negotiations as well as in civil court.
Morris Law Firm in the Myrtle Beach Area
When you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, you need time to rest and recuperate. The Morris Law Firm does the rest. Your legal representative will talk to the insurance company for you, 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 case review where your questions will be answered and legal options will be discussed.