Local Accident Reports

After being injured in a car accident, most people have a lot on their minds. While a personal injury lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind during the fallout that immediately follows a car accident, a successful claim could help you cover your medical expenses as well as any damage to your vehicle. 

There are several important South Carolina car accident laws that you need to understand if you are thinking about filing a claim. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers have years of experience handling negligent and reckless car accident cases and have seen just about every type of accident imaginable. You can rest assured that they will secure a just settlement or jury verdict that covers all of your damages. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. 

South Carolina Accident Reporting Laws

South Carolina Car Accident Laws

South Carolina has laws governing the reporting requirements of all car accidents within the state

Reporting a Car Accident

If you are involved in a car accident resulting in fatalities or injuries, you are required to report the accident right away. South Carolina law states that if the crash took place in a municipality, it must be reported to local law enforcement. If not, it must be reported to the closest South Carolina Highway Patrol office or the office of the county sheriff.

Written Car Accident Reports

Certain types of car accidents also require the submission of a written traffic collision report

If you are the driver or owner of a vehicle involved in a car accident that was not investigated by law enforcement, you are required to file a written car accident report if that accident led to:

  • More than $1,000 worth of property damage 
  • Physical injury
  • Death

Once it is completed, the accident report must be sent to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles no more than 15 days after the incident. The written report needs to contain proof of liability insurance.

If law enforcement does respond to the scene of your accident and conduct an investigation, the police officer will generally handle creating and filing the report. However, even if the police do investigate, it is still a good idea to draft your own report. This could be useful to your South Carolina car accident lawyer as well as your insurance company.

Your personal report should include:

  • A detailed description of how the accident happened
  • How many people were in each vehicle
  • The names, contact details, and insurance information of everyone involved
  • Pictures or videos of any visible injuries and any damage to vehicles or other property 
  • The names and contact details of any bystanders  
  • Any notable road, traffic, or weather conditions that contributed to the accident
  • Pictures or videos of the accident scene

Your personal accident report will also come in handy should the other party admit fault. A written report of their admission of fault could help you prove your case when they change their story later.

Failure to Report an Accident

If you do not report a car accident to law enforcement or document it in a written report, your insurance carrier will very likely deny your claim for damages. 

In fact, many insurance carriers have clauses in their contracts that let them cancel your insurance coverage if you do not report an accident. Failing to file a report can also impact your ability to file a claim against the other driver. 

South Carolina Fault Laws

South Carolina follows the standard of modified comparative fault in personal injury cases. This means that if you are not more than 49% at fault for the accident, you will still be able to collect financial compensation for your injuries. However, if you do share in liability for your accident, your damages will be decreased by your percentage of fault. 

So, even if you were a bit negligent, it is crucial to show that, overall, you were driving safely. This will decrease the percentage of fault assigned to you and help maximize your compensation.

For instance, you may have neglected to use your turn indicator when you changed lanes which led to you being rear-ended by a speeding car. You may be able to reduce your percentage of fault enough to recover damages if you can prove that you were also driving the speed limit, checked your blind spot before making the lane change, had both hands on the wheel, and were not on your phone.  

This is one of the reasons it is so critical to file your accident report as soon as you can after an accident while you can still clearly remember the details.  

What Damages Am I Eligible For After a South Carolina Car Accident?

Damages in a South Carolina car accident claim include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. What specific damages each car accident victim is eligible for will depend on the circumstances surrounding the crash, the losses they endured, and the defendant’s actions.

Economic damages almost always include hospital bills, lost wages, and physical therapy, although you could also be eligible for lost future wages, future medical care, and many more. Non-economic damages are compensation for your mental trauma, physical pain, and decreased quality of life. In cases where the defendant has acted with extreme maliciousness or recklessness, punitive damages may be awarded by the court.  

What Are the Elements of a South Carolina Car Accident Case?

In order to collect financial compensation for a South Carolina car accident claim, your attorney will need to prove:

  • A duty of care existed 
  • That duty was violated
  • The violation caused the accident 
  • The accident caused your damages 

You and your South Carolina car accident lawyer can build a strong case by conducting a thorough investigation. Eyewitnesses can be interviewed both informally and formally. Accident reconstruction experts and other professionals may be called on to give their opinions on what happened, how it happened, and who was responsible.  

Will I Have to Go to Trial?

Although it is possible for a personal injury case to go to trial in South Carolina, it happens very rarely. The majority of defendants would rather avoid the liability risks and expense of a trial by settling the claim with the plaintiff. Generally speaking, settlements tend to be smaller than the award a defendant might be ordered to pay via a jury verdict. Settling could, therefore, mitigate the risks for the defendant.

Where the plaintiff is concerned, a settlement is often more appealing because it is cheaper and quicker than a civil trial. It also ensures a positive result, whereas the risk of being awarded nothing for damages is inherent to a trial. While trials are part of the public record, settlements are usually private, so a settlement keeps the claim out of the public eye. For your best chance at reaching a successful conclusion to your South Carolina personal injury case, work with a qualified personal injury attorney from Local Accident Reports.

What Is the South Carolina Civil Statute of Limitations?  

South Carolina car accident victims do not have an unlimited amount of time to file their claims. For most civil claims, including car accident claims, you have three years from the day of your accident to file. If, however, your accident involved a government agency, you could have only two years to bring your claim. While three years certainly sounds like ample time, a lot of boxes have to be checked before that can happen. If you are considering filing a car accident claim in South Carolina, don’t wait to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about how the statute of limitations applies to your claim.  

What if the Insurance Company Denies My Claim? 

If your claim is denied by the negligent driver’s insurance carrier, you have the option of suing them directly. If your own insurance carrier denies your claim, you could either file an appeal, sue for bad faith, or sue for breach of contract. The option that is best for you will depend on the specific details of your accident. An experienced car accident lawyer will be able to advise you which of these options will most likely result in maximum compensation. 

Speak to a South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer

A skilled South Carolina personal injury attorney will be exceptionally useful if you were partly to blame for your car accident. They can help you demonstrate that the other driver was mostly at fault according to the state’s auto accident laws.

Speaking with a lawyer as soon as you can after a car accident is in your best interests. A reputable attorney will know how to handle the insurance company and the most effective ways of maximizing your recovery. They can also make sure you have complied with the state’s accident reporting requirements and accurately calculate the value of your case. 

The nationwide auto accident lawyers at Local Accident Reports can help you obtain financial compensation that covers your physical injuries and mental anguish. Call us at (888) 657-1460 to schedule your free consultation and find out what course of action our South Carolina car accident lawyers recommend for you. 

Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in this incident, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer immediately will ensure your rights are protected. The first step is to request a police report, and we can do that for you. 

Contact us today at


to get the help you deserve. 

Local Accident Reports is here to provide you with valuable resources after you have been injured in an accident. In addition to your free police report, you can also schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys right now to find out more about pursuing compensation. If you any have questions at all about your legal rights following an accident, please don't hesitate to call. 

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Note: These posts are created solely for the use of Local Accident Reports. We have not verified the information in these posts as the information is gathered from secondary sources. If you have personal knowledge that the information contained in these posts is inaccurate, please contact Local Accident Reports immediately so we can make the necessary corrections or remove the story.

Disclaimer: We are providing this information to the general public as a resource to use in the event you or a family member are injured in a similar incident. Every effort is put forth to honor the victims of accidents, and hope the information presented helps others avoid the same type of accidents in the future. The photos depicted in these posts are not representative of the actual accident scene. Please contact Local Accident Reports at (888) 657-1460 to be connected with an attorney in your area who will answer any legal questions you may have.

Harvey Barbee is our chief content writer who also has nearly 15 years of experience as a practicing attorney. Combining his skillset as a strong writer along with his in-depth knowledge of the legal system, Harvey uses his talents to write informative pieces for law firms about a variety of topics that affect individuals. He enjoys helping people find creative solutions to their legal problems. When he is not writing or practicing law, Harvey enjoys golf, gardening, and spending time with his family in North Carolina.

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