South Carolina drivers who use their vehicles for commuting, shopping, entertainment and other pursuits on a frequent basis will likely be involved in a car accident at some time. Even experienced and skilled drivers may be unable to avoid a wreck, particularly if specific factors create conditions ripe for accidents.
Since the likelihood exists, drivers must be aware about how and when to report a car accident and what steps to take.
Types of Car Accidents to Report
Although it is wise to report any car accident to the police, in South Carolina, it is required that car accidents must be reported when specific criteria arise. If the crash resulted in an injury or fatality for any parties involved, it must be reported to law enforcement officials. A car accident also must be reported when property damage exceeds $1,000.
Drivers and/or owners of vehicles that were involved in car accidents, like the aforementioned, but not investigated by the police, must file their own reports to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 15 days of an accident taking place.
The Driver Crash Report is available through the DMV website and must include pertinent information regarding the accident and parties involved.
No matter the case, if any vehicles involved in the crash incurred some sort of damage, contacting the police to create an official report will assist in offering a reliable accident account to the insurance company. Furthermore, it will stand as impartial evidence in case the other parties change their original story, which could affect the outcome.
Car Accident Report Information to Include
Drivers who are involved in serious car accidents may feel shell-shocked, but it is important to stay calm and gather information regarding the wreck. First, the accident report should include a description of the accident, including the number of victims involved. Collect names, addresses, contact information, driver’s licenses, license plates, and insurance information. Include any witnesses’ contact information and their accounts of the crash.
List damage to vehicles and any injuries or fatalities incurred by victims. If possible, draw a diagram of the accident scene. Taking photographs of the damage and video statements from witnesses will effectively document the crash.
After Car Accidents Occur
After the car accident occurs, reflect on what happened during the crash and what is present in the aftermath. Leaving the car accident scene is never a good idea, because drivers who flee an accident scene may lose their driving privileges or driver’s licenses. Call 911 as soon as possible, and the local police if injuries, fatalities, or excessive property damage occurred. South Carolina law mandates that drivers must exchange contact information.
If possible, help other accident victims, but if any victims sustained injuries, avoid moving them any further than away from traffic and other dangers, such as car fires or hazardous debris.
First responders will provide appropriate medical attention and safe transport. If you are injured, stay calm and wait for first responders in a safe area.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Cater to the Needs of Car Accident Victims
It is likely that drivers may experience a car accident during their lifetimes. If you or your loved ones has been injured in a car accident, contact our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.