Hawk Law Group | March 28, 2022 | Car Accidents
Car accident reports can provide valuable information to you and your lawyer after your crash. These reports list everyone involved in the accident and the insurers for each vehicle. You will need this information to pursue injury compensation.
South Carolina law requires accident reports in all accidents that result in injury, death, or property damage over $1,000. In most situations, these reports result from a law enforcement agency investigation into the crash. In rare situations, these reports come from the people involved in the accident.
Here are some facts to know about car accident reports in Edgefield County, SC.
Your Duties After a Car Accident in South Carolina
After a car accident, you must stop your vehicle as close to the accident scene as possible. If you fail to stop at the accident scene, prosecutors can charge you with hit-and-run.
In South Carolina, a conviction for a hit-and-run involving injuries could result in imprisonment for at least 30 days. You could receive a prison sentence of up to 25 years for a fatal hit-and-run accident.
Additionally, when you have a car accident that causes injuries or deaths, you must:
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone injured, including calling for an ambulance or driving the injured person to the hospital
- Give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the others involved
- Display your driver’s license to the others involved
- Report the accident to the police “by the quickest means of communication”
You have similar legal duties when you have a damage-only car accident. But you do not need to report a damage-only accident to the police.
The Accident Investigation
When an accident happens within the city limits, you must contact the local police department to report the accident.
If the accident happens outside the city limits, you will contact either the county sheriff’s department or the South Carolina Highway Patrol. If you call 911, the operator will dispatch the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over your accident.
The responding officers will investigate the accident. In the course of the investigation, the officers may:
- Interview the drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists involved in the accident
- Talk to witnesses of the accident
- Take photographs of the accident scene
- Measure skid marks and document property damage
- Conduct field tests and breathalyzer tests of anyone suspected of being intoxicated
While talking to each driver, the officers may collect identifying information and insurance information. They may verify that the vehicles were properly insured and registered.
If the officers determine that any of the drivers violated South Carolina law during the accident, they may issue a citation or arrest the driver.
The Car Accident Report
The officers will complete a car accident report within 24 hours after the accident. This report gets sent to the South Carolina DMV (SCDMV). You can request a copy of the official report directly from the SCDMV, either in person or via its website.
South Carolina uses a fault-based auto insurance system. After a car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident, you will file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto policy. The insurer should pay your claim if you prove that its customer caused the accident.
You can use the accident report to:
- Identify the at-fault driver’s insurer and policy number
- Document when, where, and how the accident happened
- Verify the injuries you reported to the investigating officers
- Determine which drivers received citations
This information can help you prepare an insurance claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and its surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.