Different states have different laws regarding reporting your car accident to the police and the Department of Motor Vehicles. If you’ve been in a collision, you’ll want to know if you must report the incident immediately or if you can file a car wreck report after the fact.
In South Carolina, you must report a collision to the police if one of the parties involved is injured or killed. In the event that the police don’t investigate the incident, you’ll have 15 days to report the crash. Understanding how state law applies to your unique situation can be difficult.
Luckily, the Charleston car accident lawyers at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys can answer any questions you have and help you pursue compensation for your accident-related losses.
Importance of Reporting a Car Wreck Right Away
While the law requires you to report a collision immediately under certain circumstances, filing a report right away can also benefit you. For example, when you contact the police after an accident, they’ll likely investigate the incident and file an official collision report.
Your attorney can use law enforcement’s record of the incident to build a strong case for compensation on your behalf. That said, there are a few things you should be aware of before you report your car wreck to the police. The most important thing to remember is that responding officers will likely take a statement from you and the other involved parties.
The statement you provide can be used against you, so make sure you:
- Avoid admitting fault or apologizing for the incident
- Keep your statement brief
- Give a truthful account of what happened
Information To Include in an Accident Report After a Car Wreck
Knowing how to write a crash report is as important as knowing when to file one. When drafting a report after your car wreck, you’ll want to include several pieces of detailed information. Doing so will ensure the incident is well documented and increase your chances of making a full recovery.
Make sure to include the following pieces of information in your report:
- Names and contact information of all drivers involved in the crash
- Auto insurance policy information of all parties
- The exact date, time, and location of the collision
- Makes, models, colors, and license plate numbers of the vehicles involved in the incident
- Name and contact information of eye-witnesses
- Description of the vehicle damage done to all automobiles involved in the crash
- The speed you were driving at when the incident occurred
- A summary of the injuries you’ve suffered
- A description of how the collision occurred
Other Actions You Should Take After a Car Wreck
While filing a report is a critical step after a car accident, there are several other important actions to take after a crash. Make sure you take the following steps immediately after a collision to protect your physical health and your right to a fair settlement:
Seek Medical Attention
If you’ve been badly injured in a car crash and need emergency medical attention, call 911 and wait for the ambulance to come. Your car wreck report can wait until you’ve received the care you need to address your injuries and prevent further complications.
If you think your injuries can wait, you can stick around at the scene of the accident to document important information that will later go into your crash report. However, once you’ve done everything you can at the collision scene, you’ll want to seek medical attention ASAP.
Document the Scene
If you’ve decided to wait a few hours to receive treatment, you’ll want to gather the information you need to file a comprehensive crash report. Conveniently, your attorney can also use the information you collect to build a strong insurance claim or personal injury suit for compensation.
In addition to recording the information mentioned above, you’ll also want to take photos of the collision scene. Make sure to take photos of all the vehicles involved, close-up shots of vehicle damage, and photos of any visible injuries you’ve sustained.
Hire an Attorney
Once you’ve sought medical attention, gathered important information from the scene of the wreck, and filed a report, you’ll want to hire an attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can negotiate an insurance settlement that covers your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and a number of other losses.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Committed Car Accident Lawyer
The Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys are dedicated to getting the best possible outcome for your car accident case. They’ll investigate your collision and prove that the at-fault driver should be held liable for your losses and suffering.
To start your case, contact our firm and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a helpful car accident lawyer. They’ll guide you through the claims process and keep your best interests in mind from the beginning of your case until a settlement is reached.