When you’re in a car accident, your first concern should be for the well-being of everyone involved (including anyone in other vehicles). Once everyone is properly taken care of, it’s then appropriate to turn your attention toward what — and who — caused the accident and therefore responsible for any injuries and damages incurred. Proving who’s at fault for the accident can have a dramatic impact on how an accident in South Carolina is financially resolved.
You Need Evidence to Support Your Claim
While you may be a reputable person, simply stating who’s at fault usually won’t be sufficient. Even if you testify under oath while a car accident attorney questions you, this may not be enough. Unless the other driver affirms that they’re responsible, the case will devolve into your word against the other driver’s and no one will know whom to believe.
To bolster your claim, you’ll need evidence. There are several forms of evidence that may come in useful, some of which must be gathered at the time of the accident and others that can be obtained later.
Get a Police Report
One of the most important items is a police report, and you usually must get a police report before leaving the scene of the accident. (Moving vehicles to the side of the road or a safe location is usually alright.)
A police report serves as an objective account of what the officer observes and what each driver’s states occurred. It often also contains statements made by witnesses.
In South Carolina, police reports can’t directly be used as evidence in lawsuits to prove who’s at fault for a car accident. The officer who wrote a report can be called to testify, however, and the report can help refresh their memory of what they observed when they initially responded.
Gather Other Evidence
In addition to the police report, you should also gather as much information pertaining to the accident as you’re able to. Depending on the area of the accident and who’s around, you may want to:
- Obtain contact information and statements from witnesses
- Request security footage from nearby businesses with cameras
- Save your dashcam footage if you have a dashboard video camera
- Take pictures from the skid marks to where the vehicles collided
- Photograph both vehicles’ damage
Consult a Car Accident Attorney
After you’ve gathered everything at the scene of the accident, call a car accident attorney as soon as you’re able to. They’ll have the expertise necessary to use the evidence you have and obtain other evidence that shows who was at fault for the accident. To speak with a car accident attorney, schedule a consultation with us.