The aftermath of a traffic accident is often overwhelming, bringing with it concerns about health, expenses, and legalities. One of the crucial steps to take after an accident is to obtain the official police accident report. This document serves as an authoritative record of the incident, containing vital information for all parties involved. It can be instrumental in determining liability and protecting your rights, especially if you are considering pursuing legal action.
What Information Is in a Police Accident Report?
South Carolina is a fault-based car accident state. This means that a driver who causes an accident would be financially responsible for any damages that occur. Victims of the accident have the right to pursue an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. A Charleston, SC car accident attorney can help you understand your legal options and begin the process of filing a claim, if you decide to do so.
When police are called to the scene of the crash, they will create an official report. This document provides a comprehensive account of the collision, which can be vital in establishing the series of events and the cause of the accident. As a result, this document will be a foundational piece of evidence for your future claim.
The report will include key details, such as:
- The date, time, and precise location of the crash
- The personal details of every driver involved, including name, address, driver’s license numbers, and insurance company details
- A description of the estimated property damage, typically accompanied by a diagram for clarity
- Essential details about the drivers and passengers, capturing information like injury status and seat belt usage
- A detailed sequence of events leading up to and during the collision
- Results of any conducted alcohol or drug tests
- An analysis of potential factors contributing to the accident, such as road conditions or vehicular malfunctions
What Forms Can I Expect to Receive After an Accident?
After a traffic accident, the responding officer should provide you with a green FR-10 Insurance Verification Form. This form serves to verify that you possess the necessary liability insurance as mandated by South Carolina law. This form should be promptly submitted to your insurance provider and the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) within 15 days after the accident.
Additionally, you’ll also receive a preliminary police report that contains basic information, such as the involved parties and the accident’s general details. It’s important to note that neither of these documents is the official police report. For a more comprehensive account of the collision, you will need to contact the SCDMV directly.
How Can I Request a Copy of the Official Police Report?
To obtain the detailed police accident report, you must complete the Form FR-50 (Request for Collision Report) available from the SCDMV. After filling out the form, you can return it to any SCDMV branch office after paying the requisite fee. Alternatively, you can mail the completed form along with a $6 fee to:
SC Department of Motor Vehicles
Titles Mail-in Unit FR-50
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0050
Speak to a Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Today
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be challenging. Acquiring the necessary documents is crucial, but leveraging them for your future case requires professional guidance. In these situations, you need a Charleston personal injury attorney on your side.
A lawyer who specializes in these claims can provide the clarity and assistance that you need during these difficult times. As soon as possible after your collision, contact an attorney to discuss your path to recovery.