Determining Fault after a Car Accident

Local police, a sheriff’s deputy or a highway patrol trooper will respond to most car accidents in South Carolina. As law enforcement officers, they are concerned with whether laws were broken and whether criminal charges are appropriate against any of the drivers involved.

The police report filed after a car accident may provide guidance to insurance companies as they determine what sort of a claim payout they will provide after a wreck. But South Carolina law specifically says that police reports cannot be used as evidence of driver negligence in a lawsuit seeking damages (compensation).

Determining fault after car accident
To find out how we can help you, call us at 877-936-9707 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential claim evaluation.

To obtain all of the compensation you deserve after a serious car accident, you will need a full explanation of the crash that demonstrates who was at fault, as well as a thorough accounting of the scope and cost of your injuries and other losses. This requires an independent investigation by someone acting on your behalf, in most cases an experienced South Carolina car accident lawyer and his or her investigations team.

Just Call Joye Law Firm. We investigate South Carolina car accidents to obtain compensation for people who have been injured by other drivers’ negligence or recklessness. Call us now at 877-936-9707 or submit our online contact form for a no-cost, no-obligation claim review and consultation.

S.C. Accident Reports Are Not Allowable Evidence

After a car accident, police focus on whether the law has been violated. If they can determine fault, they may cite a driver with an infraction or make an arrest. In many cases, the responding police officer cannot determine fault, and the resulting police report states some simple facts, and that’s that.

In addition to information about each driver and their cars (name, address, make, model, etc.), a police report will list the date and time, generally describe the accident and whether there were injuries or charges.

South Carolina also requires the drivers or owners of cars involved in accidents to report the accident within 15 days to the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The investigating officer will provide a form (FR-10) to fill out, which your insurance company will complete and return to prove that you have the proper liability insurance.

But South Carolina Code Section 56-5-1290 says that neither of these reports may be used as “evidence of the negligence or due care of either party at the trial of any action at law to recover damages.” The law does allow a police officer to refer to his or her report if called to testify in such a case.

The role of the police in determining fault in a car accident is limited because of the simple fact that they don’t know. They must weigh the statements of those involved and by witnesses, plus any physical evidence available, just like anyone else. But because they are the police and it is an official police report, a jury might give a police officer’s report more weight than other testimony. Therefore, the law properly excludes police reports from evidence in a civil action seeking compensation for car accident victims.

Get Help from a South Carolina Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries and other losses if you can show that another driver was at fault. The car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm investigate car crashes in South Carolina in the development of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of our clients

Just Call Joye Law Firm today 877-936-9707 today or submit our online contact form to find out how we can help you.


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