Getting a Copy of an Accident Report in Columbia
If you have been injured in a car accident in Columbia, Stewart Law Offices can help you seek financial compensation from the responsible party.
One of the key pieces of evidence you may need to successfully pursue a claim is the official accident report. This report provides an objective, third-party account of exactly what happened during the crash. It also lists crucial information about who was involved, how to contact them, and what insurance policies they carried.
An accident report can be extremely useful for establishing the facts of the crash and helping to determine liability. However, it’s important to remember that the police do not determine civil liability for a crash. That’s a job for your attorney, the insurance company, and ultimately the courts.
For help obtaining your crash report and pursuing your claim, contact Stewart Law Offices today by phone or online.
How Is an Initial Police Report Different from an Official Accident Report?
When the police are called to the scene of your accident, they will make a preliminary report and provide you with a copy of it. Though this report is important to have and keep, it will not be enough if you decide to file a claim for compensation. This report is far less detailed than the official report you can obtain from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The official report will include identifying information from all parties and witnesses, the estimated amount of property damage, personal information about everyone involved in the accident (including injuries and seat belt use), the detailed sequence of events explaining exactly what happened in the accident, and other crash details, such as weather.
When you obtain this report, you should review it carefully and ensure that everything appears to be correct. If changes need to be made, you will need to visit the Telephone Response Unit.
How to Request a Copy of Your Accident Report from South Carolina DMV
There are two ways you can obtain a copy of your accident report: in person or through the mail. You cannot obtain an electronic copy of your report, nor can you have a representative give you details from the report over the phone.
In either case, you will fill out Form FR-50 and submit it to the South Carolina DMV. Be as thorough as you can when completing this form, giving as much detail as possible.
If you choose to mail your request, send two copies and a check for $6 to SCDMV Financial Responsibility, P.O. Box 1498, Blythewood, SC 29016-0040.
If you choose to obtain your report in person at any SCDMV location, you’ll need to fill out the FR-50 form, and pay $3 per report. You may also do so at the Records Unit of the Columbia Police Department, located at 1 Justice Square (corner of Lincoln & Washington Streets). The records unit is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You must have a valid federal or state-issued ID with you.
If you need to speak to the officer who prepared your accident report for any reason, visit the Columbia Police Department.
For help obtaining your accident report and pursuing a successful claim, call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
At the Stewart Law Offices, we have been helping victims of car accidents in Columbia recover the compensation they need since 1995. If you have been involved in a crash that was not your fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We can help you go after it.
Just obtaining your accident report is just a start, but we have experience reviewing those reports and know how to use the information to help recover all that you deserve. Call us or contact us online now to schedule a free consultation.