After a car accident, your immediate reaction may be to call 9-1-1, seek medical attention, or call your insurance company. If officers come to the scene, they will likely prepare an auto accident report based on their observations and file it for you. Otherwise, you can contact the police department after the accident to report it.
Specific laws govern how long you have to file a report for a car accident based on the estimated property damage and whether injuries or deaths occurred. For example, if you were in a car accident in South Carolina, you have up to 15 days from the date of the collision to file an incident report. This document is often critical evidence during the injury claims process.
Car Accident Reporting Laws in South Carolina
The South Carolina Code of Laws outlines how long you have to file a car accident report and who should file it. According to S.C. Ann. § 56-5-1260, a driver must immediately report the collision to the local police department, county sheriff, or South Carolina Highway Patrol if anyone is injured or killed.
Any driver, not just the at-fault driver, is obligated to report the accident. If a driver is physically unable to report the collision, another occupant should do so.
According to S.C. Ann. § 56-5-1270, if law enforcement did not investigate the accident, you must submit a written report to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) within 15 days when the collision involves:
- Property damage that appears to be more than $1,000
You can use the Traffic Collision Report FR-309 to report auto accidents to the SCDMV.
Reporting Hit-and-Run Collisions
If the driver who hit you or your loved one fled the scene, it’s still crucial to report the collision. Any information you provide to law enforcement and our team could help identify the driver so that we can hold them accountable.
However, even if the driver remains unknown, you could collect compensation from your insurer. Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance is mandatory in South Carolina and provides coverage against uninsured drivers and in hit-and-run cases.
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Determining the Value of Your Damages After a Car Accident
If another driver caused your collision, you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit to hold them financially liable. To pursue appropriate compensation after a car accident, you must calculate the value of your damages. Otherwise, you may accept a settlement that doesn’t fairly address your expenses and losses.
A car accident lawyer from our firm can help you figure out what your damages are worth. When reviewing a case, we look at factors such as:
- The cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
- Your medical costs
- Lost earnings during your recovery
- Estimated lost earnings in the future if you cannot continue to work in your profession
These are just some of the damages you could recover from the liable party. We give each case significant time and attention to ensure we don’t undervalue or leave out any recoverable damages in your case. Once we perform these calculations, our legal team can fight for your financial recovery.
How a Lawyer Can Help After a Collision in Greenville
A lawyer from our firm can help you build a case against the other driver after a car accident. We handle every aspect of each client’s case with compassion and empathy.
Collecting Evidence of Fault and Liability
Once you hire us, our team will start collecting evidence about the collision and your injuries and medical treatment. This evidence may include:
- The accident and police reports
- Photographs from the accident scene
- Written statements from relevant experts
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
We will use this evidence to prove the other party’s liability for your injuries and property damage or your loved one’s untimely passing.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
We can help you file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. After our team collects evidence and determines the value of your damages, we will submit the claim forms and case file to the insurer.
Many insurance companies will pressure victims to settle quickly after a car accident. A lawyer from our team will handle all communication with the other driver’s insurer for you, including negotiating on your behalf. If we cannot come to a settlement that you accept, our attorneys will assist you in filing a lawsuit against the other driver.
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Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in South Carolina
To sue for car accident damages, you must file before the statute of limitations runs out. In South Carolina, S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530 sets the general statute of limitations for personal injury, wrongful death, and vehicle damage at three years. The three-year period begins from the accident date for personal injury and vehicle damage or from the date of demise for wrongful death.
If you were injured, sustained property damage to your vehicle, or lost a loved one because of a car accident, you must file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver within this time limit, or you will lose your right to sue. We can help you navigate the complex process of filing a lawsuit. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner our attorneys can get to work for you.
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In the Aftermath of a Car Accident, Call Hammack Law Firm
A lawyer at Hammack Law Firm can help if you were injured, lost a loved one, or suffered property damage in a South Carolina car accident. We want to be your legal advocates and supporters during this difficult time. Previous clients like Deborah Day say they “could have not asked for a better law firm.”
Our phone lines are open 24 hours every day, so there is no need to wait for a free case review with our team. Call (864) 326-3333 to reach our Greenville office today.