We know that no one wants to be involved in an auto accident; that’s why they’re called ‘accidents’ to begin with! However, statistics have shown that South Carolina is the 4th most prone to auto accident deaths in the nation. In 2020, more than 120,000 traffic accidents were reported across South Carolina. That means an auto accident occurs somewhere in South Carolina approximately every 4 minutes. At Morris Law, we want you to be prepared for any eventuality and how to protect yourself should you become involved in an injury-related auto accident. Key among those is to obtain a traffic accident report.
WHAT IS A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT?
When involved in an auto accident, once someone calls 9-1-1 to report the vehicle collision, a law enforcement officer is dispatched to complete a comprehensive report on the event. After they fill out their report, you will receive a preliminary report for your records and insurance, including information such as the date and time of the incident, the names of those involved, and the initial information on the collision.
Your personal injury attorney will benefit from having the complete report filed by the law enforcement officer and submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Depending on whether the officer was a state, county, or city official, some of the information may differ. Generally, your official report will include:
- Date, time, and location of the collision.
- Name, address, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance details for all drivers involved in the crash.
- Names and contact information of witnesses that the officer interviewed at the crash site.
- Any details regarding injuries.
- The sequence of events, including a diagram of how the officer believes the collision occurred.
- Seat belt use and any potential factors that led to the crash, such as inebriated or distracted driving, disobeying laws of the road, etc.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT REPORT?
You must contact the DMV to obtain this key information for your personal injury attorney. In South Carolina, there are three different approaches you can take to acquire this important information, either in person, via mail, or online.
To request a collision report online, head to the DMV Collision Report Request page; there, you must enter your personal information first. Doing so authenticates who is requesting a copy of the collision report. Once that’s done, you must enter information identifying the collision and pay the research fee with a credit or a debit card.
To request a collision report in person, you must fill out a “Request for Copy Collision Report” form, known as “SCDMV Form FR-50.” You can find that as well on the DMV Collision Report Request page. Complete this form with as much information as possible. This form is a two-page document because the DMV wants two copies of your request. You may then take your request to any SCDMV branch office and pay the research fee with cash, credit/debit card, check, or money order.
To request a copy of the collision report by mail, complete the above-mentioned SCDMV FR-50 form with as much information as possible and mail two copies of it and a check or money order for the research fee (do not mail cash) made out to the SCDMV, to the address below:
Titles Mail-in Unit FR-50
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0050
After obtaining your Collision Report, you should gather as much information as you can, such as witness statements, your medical records, and all images you have of the crash. Bringing this along with a report in hand to a seasoned personal injury lawyer will help your case immensely.
Many people, after an accident, let things slip them by, not realizing their efforts could save them thousands in personal out-of-pocket expenses for damages. When involved in a car accident that results in injuries or worse, take our advice, gather as much information as possible, and come to Morris Law, where our veteran personal injury attorneys will fight for you.
Contact us today at (864) 679-9999 or at https://www.hwmorrislaw.com/ to get your justice served.