Our auto and motorcycle accident clients are sometimes surprised to learn the document they got from the officer at the scene of the wreck isn’t the official police report. That document is called an “FR-10” by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and you need to turn it in to your insurance agent immediately or face legal penalties.
Here’s how the official accident report works.
Getting the Report
You can get the report for $6 from the DMV. You’ll need some information from the FR-10 to make the request. You might also be able to get it for free from your insurance agent or the investigating officer. If you hire us, we do it for you.
What the Report Says
The accident report contains important information about the crash and parties involved, including:
- Names and contact details for parties and witnesses.
- Insurance information for the at-fault driver.
- Date, time, and location of the crash.
- Who the officer found to be at fault. If you’re at fault, there’s no legal recourse. But officers don’t always get it right since they rarely witness the wreck. If witnesses or other facts show you were wrongly faulted, we can still help.
- Charges against the at-fault driver and contributing factors to the crash. We use this to build your case. For example, if the at-fault driver got a DUI, we obtain the police file to make your case for punitive damages.
- A diagram of the crash. This little drawing by the officer can contain powerful visual evidence. It’s so simple, it’s almost silly, but in many cases, the diagram becomes almost undeniable evidence of fault.
- Whether the officers took pictures. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, we get them.
Overall, the report gives important background on the cause of the crash, and it may also lead us to additional evidence. And if your case involves a serious or fatal wreck, it may have been investigated by the MAIT team, a highly-trained unit of state troopers who generate a treasure trove of evidence to help your case, which we can get and know how to use.
But the most important piece of the puzzle is you—and how we can help you make the best of an unfortunate situation often made worse by insurance company complications.