With over 3.5 million drivers sharing the road in South Carolina, it is hardly surprising that accidents happen. Unfortunately, even safe drivers cannot control the behavior of other motorists who may be distracted, impaired or simply reckless.
According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, in 2018 there was one motor vehicle collision every 3.7 minutes, one collision involving injury every 13.8 minutes and one collision involving a fatality every 9 hours.
If a collision involves injury, your own safety and the safety of others is the most important concern. However, if possible, it is also important to record as much information as you can while at the scene.
Exchange contact information
If a collision involves injury or property damage, the law requires drivers to come to a safe stop and exchange information. In addition to names, home addresses and contact numbers, make sure to take down as many details about the other motorists and vehicles involved, including:
- Insurance carrier names and policy numbers
- The model, make, year and color of involved vehicles
- License plate numbers
It may be helpful to keep a simple checklist stored with your insurance documents.
Document the scene
Take note of the location, date and time of the accident and be sure to take photographs of injuries, vehicle damage and any other property damage. It is also a good idea to take pictures and video of the scene itself, including traffic signs and signals, the positions of the vehicles and weather conditions.
Record a description of the accident
Soon after the collision, make sure to write down a description of the circumstances of the accident. Include as many relevant details as you can, including what the weather was like, where you were going and how fast you were driving. Try to describe the traffic conditions as well, including the behavior of other motorists or any details about the intersection or roadway.
In addition to making it easier to file a successful insurance claim, making sure to fully document an auto accident may prove invaluable if you become involved in a lawsuit.