Help With Your South Carolina Accident Report
A guide for injury victims and families who need information for their claim
If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed in a South Carolina car accident, you may need to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim. The auto accident report completed by the investigating police officer is one of the key pieces of evidence our attorneys typically use to evaluate a case.
Our clients tell us they want to be informed about their case. They want to know exactly what the investigating police officer reported about the details and facts of how their accident occurred.
To help you understand how to read your traffic accident report, we have added to our website a copy of the official form used by police statewide, the South Carolina Traffic Collision Report Form (TR-310).
We have highlighted important areas of the report which often are used to support an injury or wrongful death claim.
If you need to request a copy of your accident report or need any other important forms, visit the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website.
You can also click here for a printable PDF version.
The names of the drivers or pedestrians involved in the accident will be listed in the boxes (unit 1, unit 2 or unit 3). For example, your name might be listed in the "Unit 2" box. If so, the officer will refer to you as unit 2 through the report. These boxes include details about the people involved, including sex, race, age, address, driver's license number, name of insurance company, telephone number and whether they contributed to the collision. The box also notes if drivers were speeding.
This box will contain the location of the accident, including the direction of travel for each of the vehicles.
The officer will put in writing what happened and estimated the property damage. The names of the people involved will be referred to by their unit number.
This is where you can find out the name of the investigating officer and his/her rank and badge number. You may need to reach the officer sometime after the accident to clarify any details.
The names and addresses of all involved in the accident. This section also includes details about the extent of any injuries they may have sustained, from "not injured" to "fatal." This section of the report states where the individual was seated in the vehicle and whether he/she was wearing a seatbelt. Other details listed here include whether the air bag was deployed, whether the person was ejected from the vehicle and whether the person was transported to the hospital.
This section includes details about the type of accident, whether a fixed object was struck and the extent of property damage to each vehicle.
This section includes details that may reveal negligence, such as whether alcohol or drug tests were given and any results of those tests.
This section includes contributing factors that may reveal negligence and may help support your accident claim. The police officer will note whether any driver disregarded traffic signs or signals, was distracted, was speeding, was fatigued or asleep at the wheel, was following too closely, made an improper turn, was driving aggressively, was under the influence or driving on the wrong side of the road, among other factors.
This section will indicate whether there were any vehicle defects, such as defective brakes, steering, tires, lights, signals or other defects.
If a truck or bus was involved in your accident, the police officer will fill out this part of the collision report and include details about the truck or bus.
This section includes more details about the truck or bus, such as whether it was a flat bed, dump truck, cement mixer, garbage truck, auto transport truck or some other type of truck. The officer also will detail the trailer length and width and whether the truck was carrying hazardous materials.
How to Contact Benjamin R. Matthews and Associates, LLC
If you need additional assistance interpreting your accident report, don't hesitate to contact us. You can reach our Columbia office at 803-799-1700 or our Darlington office at (843) 662-9699. We will answer any of your questions about your report free of charge.