How to read your South Carolina car accident report
There are many factors that go into building a strong car accident case. One of them is the official car accident report, which contains critical details on how your crash occurred. Once the police arrive at the crash scene, they conduct an initial investigation. This included interviewing all parties involved, examining physical evidence, issuing citations and making arrests. The information that the police gather from the crash scene can be found on your crash report.
Sometimes, the details on your report are inaccurate. That's why it's important that you get a copy of your official South Carolina car accident report and thoroughly review it. If you find any errors or if the narrative isn't reported correctly, speak to the car accident attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm. We'll help you get the errors fixed. Below, we discuss how to obtain and read your car accident report and how it will benefit your case.
How to obtain your car accident report
To get a copy of your official car accident report, you must fill out a Request for Collision Report (SCDMV Form FR-50). Then, mail it to the SC Department of Motor Vehicles with a check in the amount of $6 payable to SCDMV. See the address below:
SC Department of Motor Vehicles
Titles Mail-in Unit FR-50
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0040
The attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm can also get a copy of your car accident report for you.
What you will find on your South Carolina car accident report
The South Carolina Traffic Collision Report Form consists of two pages and can be found here.
On page one, you'll find:
- The date, time, location and road type where the crash occurred.
- Driver and pedestrian information such as the name, address, date of birth, race, gender and insurance provider.
- Vehicle information such as the year, body, make, VIN, license plate number and the owner's driver's license number.
- An illustrated diagram of how the crash occurred, including the directions vehicles traveled at the time of the crash.
- Estimated damage to each vehicle involved.
- A written narrative of how the officer believed the crash occurred.
Page two lists several number codes pertaining to how the crash occurred. In the top section, police will use the numbers to document information on the parties involved in the crash.
- Date of birth
- Injury status
- Seating location of car occupants
- Whether or not an ejection occurred
- Location after impact
- Any parties transported to a hospital
The sections that follow include:
- Sequence of events
- Type and manner of the collision
- Where vehicle damage occurred
- Vehicle types and uses
- Alcohol and/or drug tests administered by police
- Road, weather and light conditions
- Contributing factors
How your car accident report will benefit your car accident case
Pursuing a car accident case in South Carolina is more complex than you may realize. First, you must acknowledge that South Carolina is an at-fault car insurance state. That means you must prove the negligence of the driver who hit you. This will take an in-depth investigation from an experienced car accident lawyer.
Second, be aware that the at-fault driver's insurance company is likely already looking for ways to downplay or deny your claim. Without solid evidence, insurance companies can easily shift the blame on to you or claim that your injuries are not legitimate. If it appears that you have a strong case, they may try to close it out as quickly as possible. They do this by offering injured motorists quick lowball settlements. Once you accept a settlement, you won't be able to pursue additional damages.
It's critical that you be patient. Conducting an investigation, putting an accurate value on your case and litigating your case takes time. The attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm know exactly what to look for when investigating car accidents. We use the official police report to conduct a much broader investigation. We also know how to deal directly with insurance companies and negotiate fair financial settlements. If you've been injured in a crash, we'd be glad to discuss your legal options during a free case evaluation. Contact us online or call our Beaufort law office to get started.