While you will have access to your car accident report, the public can also request access to crash reports by way of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, the public cannot access certain details related to your crash, such as your driver’s license number (per S.C. Code Sec. 30-4-160). Additionally, no identifying information from your license, such as your height or weight, can be disclosed to the public through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV).
If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident, you should get a copy of your accident report. The details of this report can be useful for your car accident case, as you could show that the other driver was liable for your damages. Per the SCDMV, you can get a copy of this report online or in person.
How to Obtain Your Car Accident Report
While the police will file the car accident report, you do not get it from the reporting officer at the crash scene. Instead, the police will submit the report to the SCDMV, where it is stored in their database.
To get a copy of your car accident report, you can go to your local DMV. You will need to fill out Form FR-50 and pay a processing fee when you arrive. You can also access your report online. Be prepared to provide information related to the crash when you seek your online report.
To file an insurance claim or lawsuit after the crash, you will need a copy of the car accident report. A lawyer can help you with the process if you cannot retrieve this information yourself.
What Information Is in a Car Accident Report?
Together with medical reports, car accident reports provide solid proof of damages suffered in a car accident. This helps prove how much compensation you deserve. A car accident report contains a lot of information about the crash, including:
- The date and approximate time that the accident occurred
- The legal names of every person involved in the accident
- Contact and insurance information of all the drivers involved
- Witness statements, if any
- The names and contact information of witnesses, if any, that were interviewed by police
- A basic diagram depicting what happened in the accident
- The reporting officer’s description of the accident scene
- A summary of damages to the vehicles involved
- Documentation of the drivers’ actions that may have caused the accident like texting, speeding, or intoxication
In some cases, the police officers will also provide their own remarks where applicable. This is based on what they saw and heard and who they think is at fault for the collision.
What Is the Importance of a Car Accident Report?
While car accident reports do not necessarily prove liability, they are proof of the accident’s occurrence and the other driver’s involvement. Car accident reports also give a date and time of the accident, which can help you when you try to prove liability. It can be very difficult to prove that the driver you named was involved in the accident without the report.
This is why lawyers and insurance companies advise that you report your accident to your local police and obtain the official car accident report as soon as possible. Waiting too long can make it harder to build a case for your compensation.
What Should I Do After Getting My Car Accident Report?
Once you get your car accident report in South Carolina, you can choose to file your insurance claim or a lawsuit. You may want to hire a lawyer to help you understand your next best steps forward.
After a crash, consider these recommendations:
Get All the Medical Care You Need
Getting medical attention is one of the most important things you could do for your case. If you were injured and have symptoms, getting care means you can start treating your injuries and healing. Also, you’ll create a link between the crash and your injuries—which can show that you deserve compensation from the liable driver.
Be Careful About What You Say
Avoid talking about your crash on social media. Anything you post there after the crash could be used to harm your case. For example, even posting a photo of you enjoying a walk in the park in the week after the accident could be used to suggest that you aren’t as injured as you say.
Get Help From a Lawyer’s Team
You can have a law firm review the details of your case and explain your options. Often, you can get a free case review to understand your next steps.
Get a Free Case Review With George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers
Our attorneys have over forty years’ experience handling injury cases under their belts. With over 50,000 resolved cases, we continue to put our clients’ needs first. Our lawyers will help you decide what to do next after obtaining your car accident report. We will also help you collect evidence such as witness statements, photos, and videos to build your claim.
We’re ready to help you get started today. Call for your free case review at: (843) 779-1777.