When you get in a car accident in South Carolina that causes death, injury, or a certain amount of property damage, the police officer who responds to the scene is required to submit an official accident report. You can obtain this accident report through the police department, the state government, or a third-party source.
The fees for going through each of these sources vary. However, it is unlikely that your fee will exceed any number that would make getting a copy unreasonable. If you were injured in your accident, your police report will be invaluable in securing recovery through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
If you are having trouble obtaining your police report or aren’t sure what you should do with it, the South Carolina car accident attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers can help. You can start with a free initial case assessment when you call us today at (803) 451-4000.
How Much Is a South Carolina Car Accident Police Report from the Police Department?
Crash reports are usually inexpensive. It is important that everyone be able to get a copy for use in a potential accident case, so these documents rarely cost more than $5 to $10. Individual police departments might have slightly different rates, and reports might be more expensive if you get them online or have them mailed to you. Additional copies of the report will also cost more.
The content of the report may also add to the fee in some cases. Some police departments charge by the page, and others will require additional fees to obtain any photos or other visual evidence obtained at the scene.
If you are in doubt of how much your police report will cost, try calling the police department that handled the report or check their website. They can walk you through the process of getting a police report and tell you exactly how much it will cost.
Lawyers are typically unable to buy a police report for you, but we may be able to help you get a copy and review it with you. Since these reports only cost $6, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to get yourself a copy.
Cost of Obtaining a Police Report Through a Third-Party Service in South Carolina
If you are browsing the internet for ways to obtain your car accident report, you might have come across some third-party search engines that offer to track down your police report for you.
These resources can be helpful if you are not sure which police department was responsible for filing your police report or if your accident occurred on a toll road, such as the Southern Connector. Most reports for accidents that occur on the Southern Connector are the responsibility of the South Carolina state police force, so you will not be able to obtain them through one particular township’s police department.
A popular third-party car accident report gathering service is buycrash.com. The search is run through LexisNexis’s platform and contains results for police departments across many states. Typically, the platform only contains reports from cooperating departments. In South Carolina, buycrash.com services the following jurisdictions:
- Fort Mill Police Department
- Hanahan Police Department
- Liberty Police Department
- North Charleston Police Department
- Rock Hill Police Department
The price across these third-party sites for obtaining a copy of your official accident report depends on the jurisdiction that reported the accident, the contents of the report, the specific rules of the third party, and the party that requests it. For more details about whether to use a third-party service to obtain your police report, contact our Columbia car accident attorneys.
Process of Getting a Police Report from the Police Department for a South Carolina Car Accident
If you want to obtain a police report directly from the police department that filed it, you will have to comply with the specific police department’s procedural requirements, which vary between jurisdictions. Almost every police department in South Carolina allows individuals to go in person to the department to submit their requests. Others may permit requests via mail or even email.
You may also request a copy of your collision report through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). This can be helpful if you are not sure which department was responsible for filing your accident report or if a state trooper responded to the scene of the accident.
To get your accident report through the SCDMV, you can visit your nearest SCDMV branch in person, mail in your request, or use the online portal. For in-person or mail-in requests, you will need to submit Form FR-50, which will require you to provide certain identifying information about the parties involved and the accident. You will also need to submit a check or money order for $6, which is the flat fee for the SCDMV’s services.
To use the state’s portal, you will need to submit your driver’s license number, social security number, and date of birth, as well as the date and location of the accident. You will still need to pay the $6 fee. If you have a driver’s license from a different state than South Carolina, use of the portal may not be available to you.
Is Getting a Police Report Worth It in South Carolina?
No matter what method you use to obtain your police report, the fee that you will have to pay will be relatively small and manageable, particularly in comparison to what you may stand to recover through a car insurance coverage claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Having the police report for your car accident is necessary for an insurance claim and important for preparing your lawsuit filings, so it is very much worth it to pay the small fee to get this critical source of information.
Let Us Help You with Your South Carolina Car Accident Police Report
At Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers, our Sumter car accident lawyers recognize that your injuries may leave you too overwhelmed to deal with your legal options. That is why we are here. To learn more about our services, call our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at (803) 451-4000.