How to Report a Car Accident in South Carolina
In South Carolina, there are generally two ways to report a car crash to authorities:
- Call police immediately after the accident – Whether you call 911 or a nonemergency number, reporting the accident to law enforcement is generally the best move. This will result in immediate help at the scene, as well as an official police investigation of (and report for) the crash. These reports tend to include details like the following:
• The names of the parties involved in the crash
• Officers’ observation of the wreckage/scene
• Witness statements
• Officers’ findings regarding fault.
- Report the accident to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) – If police were not called immediately after an auto crash (or if they were unable to respond to the scene), motorists can report car accidents in the hours or days after the crash to the SCDMV. To file these car accident reports, it will be necessary to complete Form-309 (Traffic Collision Report Form) and mail it to the SCDMV within 15 days of the crash. There is not currently an online reporting system for South Carolina auto accidents.1
Here, it is important to point out that South Carolina law requires that any auto accident that caused at least $1,000 in property damage or that resulted in injuries or death to be reported to authorities. Failures to report these accidents can result in a range of possible penalties, such as (but not limited to) license suspensions and criminal charges.
Call Chappell, Smith & Arden at (803) 929-3600 or contact us online to start getting helpful answers about your options – and to discover what you can do as you move forward to protect your rights and claim.
1: Additional information and guidance about filing auto accident reports with the SCDMV