Failing to report a car accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can have serious consequences. In addition to having your license suspended, you could potentially face criminal charges resulting in fines and incarceration.
If you have been injured in a crash, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney. A car accident lawyer can inform you of your legal rights and obligations after an accident. Contact the Thumbs Up Guys at Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
The Specifics Vary From State to State
Depending on the state in which you are filing, the specific requirements and punishments for failing to report an accident can vary significantly. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution and overreport your accident. The consequences of failing to report a crash are too significant to ignore.
Requirements for Accident Reporting in South Carolina
In South Carolina, those involved in an auto accident must report the crash to authorities if the damage caused exceeded $1,000 in damage or resulted in injuries or death. If you fail to report an accident, you could face a license suspension or criminal charges.
There are two ways to report an accident in South Carolina. The first option is to report the accident to the police immediately by calling 911 or a non-emergency number. This is the safest way to avoid unwanted consequences. Police will arrive at the scene, provide assistance to those in need, and file an official accident report.
If the police were not called or could not arrive at the accident scene, you will still need to report the crash. The sooner you report the accident, the better. However, as long as you notify the authorities within 15 days, you should be able to avoid penalties. You can submit your report to the SCDMV by mailing in Form-309: Traffic Collision Report Form.
Reporting Your Accident is Essential When Attempting to Recover Compensation
Failing to report your accident will make attempting to recover financial compensation from the liable party incredibly challenging. Any claims of serious damage will be viewed with skepticism if you try to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
It’s essential that you report your accident and seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don’t think that you suffered any significant damage in the crash. Some injuries are not immediately evident. By reporting your accident and getting immediate medical treatment, you can ensure an official and reliable record of your collision and damages.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident
There are several things you should do to protect yourself and others after a crash. Follow these steps after a wreck to ensure that your health and financial future are both protected.
Pull Over and Stop Your Car
After an accident, it is critical that you remain at the scene. However, if possible, move your car out of the roadway to avoid further problems. If you can, pull your vehicle to the side of the road and turn off the ignition.
Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
After stopping your vehicle, check to see if you have been seriously injured. After a crash, adrenaline can mask the pain you would otherwise feel. Therefore, a thorough self-inspection is essential. If you do not have any serious injuries, the next thing you should do is check on the health of others.
Start with any passengers in your vehicle to ensure they are all right, then check on the occupants of any other vehicles or pedestrians involved in the accident.
If anyone is injured, you need to call 911 and follow any instructions from the operator to help the injured individual until the paramedics arrive. If nobody is hurt, you should still call 911 or a non-emergency number to notify the police of the accident so that someone can come and file an official report.
Failing to report the accident will make collecting compensation for any damages suffered difficult.
Exchange Information With Other Involved Parties
You should exchange insurance information with any other parties involved in the crash but limit your interactions with them beyond that.
Collect Information at the Scene
The more information you gather, the better position you will be in as your case moves forward. If you are able, take many pictures at the scene and make notes about details you observe that could have played a part in your crash. Additionally, write down the license plate numbers for any other vehicles involved.
Get Contact Info for Witnesses
Witness testimony can have a strong impact on a jury. Collect contact details for any witnesses so your lawyer can later take their statements and call upon them in court if necessary.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not believe you have suffered an injury, you should get checked out by a medical professional after a crash. Some injuries are not immediately evident, and failing to seek medical attention can be harmful to both your health and your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve.
Inform Your Insurer of the Crash
You don’t need to go into details about the accident, but it is important to inform your insurer that you were in a collision.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
Reaching out to a car accident attorney as early as possible will put you in the best position to recover the money you need from the liable party. At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys, we have helped countless accident victims through the process of recovering damages. Contact us today via phone or our online contact form for a free case evaluation.