Some documents you expect, some you might not, and some are a pain to get. I'm giving you a list of the typical documents you'll need to file a South Carolina accident injury claim, which could be a car accident, motorcycle accident, dog bite, slip and fall, trip and fall, medical malpractice, or neglect by a nursing home or assisted living facility.

By the way, to make it easy, I’m defining documents as evidence in any form.

If it's easier for you to talk through this, or you have other questions about your South Carolina accident injury case, get your questions answered in a free, no-pressure strategy session with a Spartanburg, SC personal injury attorney. Call toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form

Below are typical documents you need for your South Carolina accident injury case.

Accident Reports in South Carolina Personal Injury Cases  

The source and type of report may vary with the case:

Car, Motorcycle, and Tractor-Trailer Accident Cases

Folks generally expect a police report to be created. However, many clients of mine are surprised to find out the “report” they get at the scene isn't the official report. The document the officer gives you at the scene is called an “FR-10,” which gives the insurance company the basic information it needs to set up a claim. And you're legally required to give it to your insurance company within a certain time.

The official police report gets done later and contains a diagram of the scene plus more descriptive information about the crash. For extremely serious accidents involving multiple injuries, DUI, and wrongful death, the report may be generated by a special team of the South Carolina Highway Patrol called MAIT. These reports are highly extensive, often containing massive amounts of evidence like numerous pictures, recorded interviews, multiple investigative reports, and sometimes even computer-animated drawings. If your South Carolina crash case involves MAIT, you've likely got an extremely complex case with severe injuries or death, and you need an experienced car accident lawyer so you don't shortchange yourself in a settlement or overlook coverage you should be able to get for a bigger settlement.

To get the official report, you've got to know how to request it, especially if the MAIT team is involved. 

Slip and Falls or Trip and Falls

In these cases, the businesses where they occur often interview the victim and any employee witnesses. These interviews typically take the form of a written statement at the request of the business manager. Stores are notoriously stingy about handing over these reports. They might give you a copy of yours, but they'll withhold any statements made by employees. Once they send them to the insurance company, you should expect them to remain under lock and key. In most cases, the only way we get these reports is by filing a lawsuit to force them to hand them over in the discovery process.

Medical Malpractice

You shouldn't expect any evidence indicating a medical provider did anything wrong. Most of the time, the malpractice must be figured out by an expert we hire to review the medical records.  

Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Cases

If the victim suffers a fall or even an assault, hopefully, the circumstances will be indicated in their facility records. But don't expect it. Like malpractice cases, how these injuries occur can be kept secret by the facility. It takes an expert and facility employee testimony to figure it out as best we can.

Dog Bite Cases

In South Carolina, dog bites can be investigated by law enforcement, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control [DHEC], the county health department, or a combination of any or all three. You've got to know who investigated, and how to get the records. It's critical to get them, as they may cntain pictures of your injuries . They can also reveal multiple attacks, which can impact the value of your case.

Medical Evidence

You can't prove the injuries caused by the accident without medical records. You can't prove the cost of treatment without medical bills. But you might also need a(n):

  • X-ray to show broken bones.
  • Doctor questionnaires in complex cases to make it clear what treatment is related to the accident, plus the extent of injuries and the cost of need for future care. I've developed a process to produce this critical evidence. It requires a close review of your medical records and a meeting with the doctor to discuss your case.
  • Medical expert affidavit in medical malpractice and nursing home or assisted living facility neglect cases. This is a sworn statement by a qualified medical expert who will testify a provider violated a safety rule, resulting in injury or death. These affidavits have specific legal requirements, like laying out the expert’s credentials, the safety rules the provider violated, and how those violations caused harm. You can't file a lawsuit in these cases without one. If you do, expect your case to be quickly dismissed.
  • Medical illustration for severe and complex injuries. These illustrations are done with the approval of the treating surgeon to give a full color, graphic depiction of the massive harm done in a serious accident. They are highly expensive, so you need guidance on whether it's worthwhile to pursue this option, as well as which company to use.

Dealing with the complexity of medical evidence is just one reason of many to get an experienced South Carolina accident attorney if you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a fatal accident. Don't risk losing your one chance to do your case right. Call me toll-free at  888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

Pictures to Help Your South Carolina Accident Injury Case

Pictures speak a thousand words, and the fact most of us carry a powerful camera in our pockets in the form of a cellphone makes it easy to take them. Some of the primary ways pictures can help your case come from:

  • The accident scene. In car crash cases, I’ve gotten immense help from my client’s presence of mind to take pictures of damaged cars before they get towed away to disappear forever. In a fall case resulting from a cluttered floor, my client took a picture of the floor, showing it was a mess. It helped us argue that it was no wonder she overlooked a single screw she slipped on- she was so worried about stepping over the bigger pieces of junk in her way.
  • Injuries. If you've got gruesome injuries, take pictures. That includes during your treatment when wrappings come off to put ugly surgical scars on full display or to show the sickening leak of an open wound.
  • Using assistive devices like wheelchairs, crutches, or braces. These pictures can be especially powerful when taken while you attempt to do everyday things, like go out to eat with your family or navigate a grocery store. It shows the struggle that's been imposed on you by the wrongdoer and your fighting spirit to reclaim a normal life from it.
  • “Before” pictures. If you've suffered a crippling injury, pictures of you doing things and enjoying them that you can't do anymore or just can't do right now. The “before and after” effect can be a powerful tool to show the impact of injuries on you.

If you're wondering how you can possibly gather all this evidence and present it meaningfully to get a good settlement, call me toll-free at  888-230-1841.

“Created” Evidence in a South Carolina Accident Injury Case 

This is evidence made by you or someone else to depict or explain your injuries. Examples include:

  • Car, motorcycle, and trucking accidents- pictures of the crash scene. Sometimes, the police don't capture pictures of it, or the pictures they get don't show the most important parts. It can be critical to go to the scene because it can yield a better understanding of how the crash occurred, and it might even win the case. In a trucking case I handled, my client got put at fault for crossing an intersection in front of the truck that slammed into him. That is until a picture from the scene revealed the reduced speed limit sign not far from the intersection, which proved the trucker was guilty of speeding at twice the speed limit. You might also use Google Earth without going to the scene. This powerful computer application can show the scene of a crash to give it more meaning. I've used it in a case to show how my client rolled down a steep ditch after a crash.
  • Surveillance video. This can be especially helpful in a slip or trip and fall case, as it shows how it happened. But I've also used it in unexpected cases: crash cases. If your South Carolina car or motorcycle accident occurs on a busy street, there may be surveillance video at nearby businesses that record it as it occurs. This evidence can be priceless. I've used it to prove a police report putting my client at fault was mistaken. The key here is that you've got to get it fast because it can get recorded over soon. And the business recording it may well refuse to give it over. That requires a “spoliation letter” to put them on notice not to destroy the tape. To get the tape, you'll still have to file a lawsuit.

Health Insurance Claim Documents

Most folks don't expect to need these. But if you've been injured in a South Carolina accident, you first need to know to use your health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid to pay for it. That's what it's for, and it works out better for you in the end.

You've got to repay health insurance, but don't let yourself get overcharged by them. You need to get copies of the claims they've paid since your accident. Once you get them, make sure all the claims are actually related to your accident- you don't need to pay them back if you got treated for a cold. You ask the insurance company to remove them from the listing, then negotiate a reduction for what's actually owed.

This is yet another hurdle for an accident injury victim, featuring yet another insurance company full of red tape and bureaucracy. If you hire us, we handle this process called “subrogation” for you, striving to get more money in your pocket from your settlement as a result.

Putting It All Together: Your Demand Letter

To get the insurance company to offer you a settlement, you've got to prove you've got the law and the facts to show it's their fault you got hurt, the injuries it caused, the current and future, and the impact it had in your life in pain and suffering. All this gets put together in the demand letter, which is really a package of all the evidence we've just discussed.

Yes, it can be overwhelming, especially if you're seriously hurt. But you can't expect a good settlement without one. That's why preparing a solid demand package is a critical part of how we help our South Carolina accident injury clients

If you think you might need help with the demand package and how to value your case for a proper settlement, call me and my team toll-free at  888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.

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Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.