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How Do I File a Police Report After an Accident?

In South Carolina, you are legally required to call the police if there is more than $1,000 in property damage or if anyone suffers an injury or is killed. However, if the police do not show up at the scene, you are still required to file a collision report.

In this article, our Columbia car accident lawyers discuss the steps you should take following an accident in Columbia and how to submit a police report.

Stop at the Accident Scene

According to South Carolina law, if you were in an accident resulting only in property damage, you should stop at the accident scene. Be sure to move your vehicle out of traffic. You are allowed to temporarily leave the scene only to report the accident to the authorities.

Provide Personal Information and Offer Medical Assistance

In South Carolina, if you are involved in an accident that results in injuries or death, it is your duty to provide your name, address, vehicle registration number, and license number (upon request). By law, it is your responsibility to provide reasonable medical assistance or call 911 if necessary.

Reporting the Accident to the Police

Under South Carolina Code §56-5-1260, if you were in an accident resulting in injuries or fatalities, you need to report the accident to the local police department immediately.

Filing a Collision Report

Within 15 days of a car accident that you were involved in, you should forward a written report and verification of insurance coverage to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The DMV provides a blank Traffic Collision Report on its website. This report pertains to accidents that were not investigated by law enforcement and should be filled out by one of the drivers involved in the crash. You will be asked to provide your full name, date of birth, driver’s license number, vehicle information, and the other driver’s information.

The insurance company should fill out the bottom section of the first page. On the second page, you will be asked to list victims, witnesses’ names, and contact information and provide a narrative on how the collision occurred.

At the bottom of the second page, you will provide your signature. The form also specifies which DMV branch to mail it to.

How Can a Columbia SC Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

If you hire a car accident lawyer directly following your accident, they will gather evidence to help complete the collision report. Providing liability is key to recovering fair compensation.

Even if you did not take down statements from witnesses at the scene, your attorney can contact them and take down their testimony. Eyewitness testimony is often powerful, swaying a jury when other evidence may be less than convincing.

Once liability is established, it can still be a fight with the insurance company. We can negotiate with an insurance carrier, even if it involves taking them to court.

Consult with Our Columbia, SC, Car Accident Lawyers Now

A car accident can leave you startled and overwhelmed. You may feel stuck and not sure what steps to take when filing a police report or an insurance claim. If you or a loved one have recently been involved in a car accident, our legal team is ready to help. To get started, contact us today by calling 803-830-6296 or by filling out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation.