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How to Read a South Carolina Accident Report

In the weeks after a car accident, the responding officer will write an accident report and submit it to the SCDMV. You can request a copy of the official police report for a car accident here. Once you get this report, here are some of the most important things to check or verify:

Side 1

Located at the top of the first page, this section will list the names, along with the contact information and vehicle information, for each involved driver. This section can also include details related to:
  • Whether a specific driver contributed to the accident
  • Whether a specific driver is suspected to have been impaired (drunk or drugged) at the time of the accident
  • Whether a driver was speeding
  • Any other driver-related factors that may have played a role in causing a crash.
Mid-way down the first page is a small section that will list the estimated property damage incurred for each vehicle involved in the accident.
Also mid-way down the first page (to the left of the property damage estimate section) will be a sketch of what is believed to have occurred when the accident happened. Check this part out carefully to make sure no details are wrong here.
At the very bottom of the first page is where the witness(es)’ name(s) and contact information will be (if there were any witnesses to the wreck).

Side 2

At the top of the second page of the police report will be a section with details regarding the injuries sustained by each involved driver (and passenger, pedestrian, etc.). Additional details, such as the following, can also be included here:
  • Whether a specific party was wearing a seatbelt
  • Whether airbags deployed
  • Whether anyone was thrown from a vehicle.
Underneath the above section (around the middle of the second page) is where there will be details regarding how the accident occurred. This section can include information about what happened immediately before the crash, the type of crash (e.g., rear-end collision, left-hand turn crash, etc.), and the point(s) of impact associated with the wreck. This is also where chemical test results (to see if a driver was drunk or drugged) will be noted (if this testing was done).
At the bottom of the second page is where details about the road and weather conditions will be. This is also where officers will note the contributing factors to the crash (based on the findings of their investigation).


If you would like professional help making sense of your car accident report – or if you have any questions about it, call (803) 929-3600 or contact us online. South Carolina car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will review your report for free and give you clear answers about your rights and options. Our goals are to help you figure out your best plan of legal action and to protect your rights to recovery as you move forward.

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