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How To File A Car Accident Report In Orangeburg
South Carolina state law doesn’t require you to report every minor accident. However, it does require the operator or owner of a vehicle involved in an accident to immediately report any crash that results in personal injury or death. Law enforcement should be contacted immediately, and drivers should remain at the scene.
You must forward the police accident report to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), along with proof of liability insurance if a person was injured or killed, or if the property damage was over $1,000. You can request a copy of the police report (Form FR-501), which should be available to you within 10 days. If you have problems with the officer’s report, you can request that it be revised.
The DMV also requires you to submit a completed and accurate Traffic Collision Report if the police did not investigate the accident. You can obtain an accident report form FR-309 from the Department of Public Safety online. The form must be filed within 15 days of the accident by mail to the address on the form.
Who Files the Car Accident Report?
Any driver of a vehicle involved in the crash is supposed to report the accident, but if they are physically incapable of making a report, an occupant who was also in the vehicle could make the report. If the owner of the vehicle isn’t the driver, the driver is incapable of reporting, and there were no other passengers, then the owner must report the accident to the police within five days after learning of the crash.
What Are the Penalties for Failure to Report a Car Accident?
South Carolina law specifies that a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury or death must stop or remain at the scene of the accident and report it to the arriving authorities. The law stipulates, though, that the driver may leave the scene to report the accident to proper authorities.
Leaving the scene of the accident and not staying to report it to authorities is considered a crime, and criminal charges could be filed against you. Depending upon the severity of the crash, the injuries suffered from the crash, and whether there were fatalities, charges range from a misdemeanor to a felony. Penalties could include stiff fines or jail time, and you could lose your driver’s license.
Failure to submit the collision report to the DMV may be interpreted to mean that the vehicle was not insured and may subject you to penalties for driving without insurance.
Can I File a Car Accident Report Online?
You can request the forms from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety online, which makes them available to download and print. The DMV requires you to mail the paperwork to the address listed on the forms.
How Can an Accident Report Help with Your Personal Injury Claim?
Immediately reporting the accident to the police and using their drafted report or writing your own police report officially establishes the circumstances of the accident. The report will include evidence, such as witness statements and photos of the scene, that you can use to build a case that could prove who was at fault.
Your personal injury claim will depend upon whether you can prove who was liable for the accident and the extent of your injuries and losses suffered. The accident report provides the foundation for your case upon which you can add all other evidence gathered.
You can include relevant information in the report that will help your case, indicating who is responsible for the crash. Include times and dates, weather reports, insurance and registration information, all witness statements, all photos of the scene and the damage to the vehicle, and photos of your injuries. Be sure to also include medical reports from the emergency room, hospital, doctors, and specialists to support the accident report.
How Our Law Firm Can Help After a Car Accident
The Wilson Law Group has a long-held commitment to our community, fighting for and protecting your rights and winning the toughest cases. We will be aggressive advocates on your behalf. You can count on our Orangeburg car accident lawyers to:
- Investigate – Wilson Law professionals will analyze and gather all crucial evidence, including photos and documents, pertaining to the accident, your injuries, and your trauma. We work with top experts in their fields to reconstruct accidents to determine liability and calculate the damages and losses that you have suffered.
- Advocate – Our team has more than 30 years of experience to apply to your case. Our attorneys will build a strong case for you, with thorough supporting documentation, and fight for the justice you deserve. We will advise you on what you are legally entitled to receive and will work tirelessly to recover maximum compensation in your case.
- Negotiate – The attorneys at Wilson Law Group will handle all communication with insurance company representatives and defense lawyers, protecting you from their tactics while you focus on your recovery. We will negotiate aggressively with them in pursuit of the best possible car accident settlement on your behalf.
- Litigate – If the insurance companies fail to offer you a fair settlement, we will not be afraid to take your personal injury claim to court and present a persuasive case at trial, arguing for the true compensation you deserve.
The Orangeburg car accident attorneys at Wilson Law Group are ready to provide you with a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident claim. Our law firm represents clients on a contingency-fee-basis. This means we will not collect any attorneys’ fees unless we obtain a settlement or a favorable verdict on your behalf.
Contact us online or call us at (803) 219-4859 to schedule your consultation to discuss your case with us today.