Car accident reports can be an important part of your personal injury claim or lawsuit. You cannot use them as evidence because the police officer did not actually witness the crash, and they are not testifying. However, they could be used to show that the other driver broke a law in your crash. This could include things like:
- Illegal turns
- Reckless driving
- Drunk driving
When You Need to File an Accident Report
You would need a copy of the accident report when you file your insurance claim. This is why you should always call the police to come to the scene of the accident. South Carolina does not require you to report a car accident to the police. The only times when you need to report an accident is if there is injury or death involved. In addition, you must make a written report to the Department of Motor Vehicles if someone has been killed or there has been property damage greater than $1,000 to show proof of liability insurance. However, what you must do and what you should do are two different stories.
Of course, you could use the police accident report to give to your insurance company, but you should also consider drafting your own accident report. This would record key details of the accident and the scene. It would also include a list of witnesses and their contact information.
Police may give you a collision report at the scene, but you will want the one on file with the DMV. This may be more extensive, and it is filed after the officer completes their crash investigation. You can request a copy from the DMV by filing a Form FR-50 and paying a $6.00 fee. You could also go to the individual police department to request the report. Each police department in the state may have their own procedures or rules to obtain the report. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, they will know how to obtain the accident report. This will save you time and hassle.
What the Car Accident Report Contains
Although the officer’s conclusions may not prove liability, the accident report will contain key facts that are helpful in the insurance claims process. Your company may rely on this as their position when they are discussing who is responsible. The accident report would include key facts such as:
- The officer’s narrative of events
- Description of the vehicle damage
- Any injuries
- Whether one or both of the drivers was ticketed
- A diagram of the accident scene and the impact to the vehicles
- Pictures of the scene
- The conditions at the time of the accident
This is all information that will be helpful to your claim.
Experienced Myrtle Beach Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you should get legal help now by calling our Myrtle Beach car accident lawyers. Call a lawyer at The Maguire Firm at (843) 438-5561 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.