Accident Reports in South Carolina: What You Need To Know

Accident Reports in South Carolina: What You Need To Know

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s Office of Highway Safety and Justice, a traffic crash occurred in the Palmetto State every 3.6 minutes in 2021, and every 7.9 hours, a fatal collision took place. 

While Rock Hill isn’t the largest city in the state, it certainly isn’t the sleepy little town it was once known as; in fact, it’s now the fifth-largest city in South Carolina. All that growth is good for the local economy, of course, but it also leads to congested roads, which can increase the risk of getting into a traffic crash.

Even a seemingly minor crash can be chaotic. You’ll have to gather information about what happened, navigate insurance claims, and find a transportation solution if your vehicle is left inoperable. You’ll also need to get a copy of the official accident report. 

With all of that said, here’s everything you need to know about the accident reporting process in South Carolina:

Understanding South Carolina Accident Reports

There are two basic types of South Carolina accident reports: a basic report — which you will receive on the day of the accident — and an official report. 

A police officer should print or email a basic report to you before you leave the scene. It includes some preliminary information, such as a case number, the date of the incident, and insurance information for both parties — the details you need to initiate an insurance claim.

However, a basic report won’t include a diagram of the crash or specific details about what happened. That information is only found in the official report of the accident, which you have to order through the state. 

Ordering your official accident report requires that you complete a Request for Copy of Collision Report (SCDMV Form FR-50) and take it to your local DMV. You can also mail in the form or file it online. 

When Do You Need To Request an Official Report?

If you’ve been in a minor fender bender and did not sustain any injuries, the basic, on-scene report will probably suffice. However, if you’ve been in a major car accident, you should request an official report, as it will contain vital details that your insurance company and attorney need to know about.

You should also obtain an official report if your accident involved a motorcycle or commercial truck. These cases can be more complicated to navigate, but official reports will provide your Rock Hill car accident lawyer with the insights they need to handle your case effectively.  

I’ve Got My Car Accident Report — Now What?

Once you have your report in hand, it’s time to take action. Do not speak directly with the other party’s insurance company or any of their attorneys, and do not sign any settlement agreements, especially if you’ve been seriously injured. Insurance companies are trying to cut their losses and pay out less than you deserve.

Instead, schedule a consultation with an experienced Rock Hill car accident attorney and let them evaluate your case. Consultations are free, and you’ll get vital legal advice to help you decide what to do next. 

Act Fast If You’ve Been in a Car Accident in South Carolina

If you’ve been hurt in an accident, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to file a claim and consult an attorney, the greater the chances that valuable evidence like photos, videos, and witness testimony is lost.

By connecting with an accident attorney at Elrod Pope Accident & Injury Attorneys, you can navigate the aftermath of a crash successfully. What you do after an accident could impact the rest of your life, so ensure you make the right decision. Contact us at 803-324-7574.