How to Get a Copy of An Accident Report in South Carolina

There is certain crucial information that you will need when you file an insurance claim after a car accident in South Carolina. Hopefully, the officer came to the scene of the accident, as you are obligated to report most car accidents in the state.

You must have a copy of the police report of the accident, written by the officer. You can get the police report after the accident, and you should have it for your consultation with your attorney.

The West Law Firm’s car accident lawyers in Moncks Corner can help you fight for financial compensation after you have been injured in a crash.

South Carolina Car Accident Reports

South Carolina law is very specific and strict about when a car accident report must be made. You are obligated to report the accident to law enforcement if there has been:

  • Injury
  • Death
  • Property damage of more than $1000

What Is Contained in a Car Accident Report?

The police report will contain crucial details about the car accident, such as:

  • Time and date
  • Vehicle information
  • Location of the accident
  • Drivers involved in the accident
  • Description of what happened
  • A graphic drawing of the car accident
  • Witnesses to the accident and their contact information

How to Obtain a South Carolina Car Accident Report

You should obtain a copy of the car accident report as soon as it becomes available. The officer will not finalize it until after the accident. The report must be processed first by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. The report may be available a few days after the accident.

First, you can request the form:

Why the Car Accident Report Is Crucial

The insurance company will always want to see a copy of the accident report. Depending on the policy, it may even be a prerequisite for filing a claim. You should review the accident report to see what the officer has written.

In some cases, a police officer who shows up at the scene of an accident may not get the facts right. You then may need to challenge some of the facts in the accident report. However, you would need to speak to the officer while their memory is still fresh to make your most effective case.

In addition, your lawyer will always ask you for a copy of the accident report. Attorneys want to review the report, either during your initial consultation or immediately afterward.

Your attorney’s job is to advise you of your legal rights and possible steps for compensation.

What the officer has concluded about the crash is vital to your attorney’s thinking. If the accident report is at odds with what you are saying, it could call into question the strength of your case.

It is always helpful to get your documentation in order as early as you can. It may be understandably difficult for you when you are dealing with physical injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you get organized and position you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Can You Use a Car Accident Report as Evidence at Trial?

As influential as the police accident report is, it is not the conclusive last word in your car accident case.

The police report just relays what the officer saw and heard when they arrived at the scene. The police officer did not see the accident themselves, leading to a critical distinction.

The insurance company would likely take what the officer wrote seriously, but they may have their own ideas if they have a motivation. In addition, you cannot use the police report as evidence if your lawsuit went to court.

There are rules of evidence that exclude something called hearsay. If the officer was not a witness to the accident, their written report cannot be used as proof of who caused the accident.

The police officer generally would not get to testify about who caused the accident. First, the police officer did not directly see what happened. The South Carolina Supreme Court has ruled on this issue, stating that the police officer is just giving an opinion when they are testifying about the cause of the crash.

The officer can only testify about what they saw directly. The car accident witnesses would be the ones who would testify about the cause of the accident.

Contact a Moncks Corner Car Accident Attorney Today

If you have been involved in a car accident, your legal rights are on the line from the very first minute after the crash happened. The auto accident attorneys at the West Law Firm represent the injured as they seek full and fair compensation for their damages. We are unafraid to take on the biggest insurance companies on behalf of our clients.

You can schedule a free consultation by messaging us through our website or by calling us today at 843-483-8630. You do not need to pay us anything from your own pocket, and you owe us nothing unless you win your case.

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