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How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in South Carolina?

Posted By Legal Team | April 30 2022 | Car Accidents

After an unexpected car accident, there are many items that you will need to complete. One of the most important is reporting the accident to the appropriate authorities. In the chaos following a collision, it can be easy to let this task slip your mind.

In South Carolina, you have up to 15 days from the date of your accident to file a report with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, you will need to contact the police immediately if your case involves certain criteria.

Do You Have to Report an Accident in South Carolina?

There are two laws in the South Carolina Code of Laws that govern car accident reporting in the state. 

  • Motor Vehicles 56-5-1260 details requirements for immediately reporting accidents to the police. 
  • Motor Vehicles 56-5-1270 involves submitting written reports to the state’s DMV.

South Carolina does not require drivers to report every accident that they are involved in. However, you do need to notify police immediately after certain types of accidents. If the collision results in bodily injury to any person or someone’s death, contact the police as soon as possible by calling 911.

Additionally, you may need to file a written report with the South Carolina DMV. If the accident results in an injury, a death, or more than $1,000 in property damage, you will need to submit your report, along with proof of liability insurance, within 15 days. 

Do You Need a Police Report to File an Insurance Claim in SC?

Like most states, South Carolina follows a fault-based system for car accidents. If a driver is responsible for a collision, the victims of that accident have the right to pursue an insurance claim against him or her. 

If you plan on filing an insurance claim against a negligent driver, you will need to provide sufficient evidence showing that he or she caused the accident. There are many documents that you could leverage, including medical records, surveillance footage, and the police report.

This document usually includes valuable information that you could use to prove your side of the story. If an officer visits the scene, for example, he or she may write how he or she believed that the accident happened. The report may also contain contact information for the at-fault driver or any witnesses, which can be helpful if you were unable to collect these details at the scene.

To protect your interests, report the accident to the police as soon as possible following the collision. In most cases, you are required to take this step regardless. The fastest way to satisfy your reporting duties is to call 911.  

Injured in a Car Accident? Contact an Attorney

If you are involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Filing a police report is only one of the steps that you will need to take. In these situations, a South Carolina car accident lawyer can help.

An attorney can guide you through each stage of the claims process and fight for your right to maximum compensation. Contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer as soon as possible following your collision to strategize your next steps.

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