At the David W. Martin Law Group, our car accident attorneys in South Carolina know that it is nearly impossible to make it through your driving career without experiencing a so-called “fender bender.”
While the fender bender is often described as an incident that does very little damage to the vehicles involved, and does not produce any injuries, it is almost impossible to know if either is true while you are still at the scene of the crash.
Here is why motorists should never underestimate the physical, emotional, and financial impact of a fender bender in South Carolina, and should call the police no matter how minor they believe the accident may be.
No Matter How Minor, Always Call the Police After a South Carolina Traffic Collision
According to South Carolina law, motorists who are involved in a “minor” collision where neither party is injured, and the damage to either vehicle is less than $1000, they do not need to call the police.
In theory, the parties — and their insurance companies — can determine fault, damages, and compensation on their own.
Our South Carolina car accident and injury attorneys have several reasons — and decades of experience — to prove why this is simply not true. No matter how intelligent you may be, or how loyal you are to your insurance provider, which leads most policyholders to believe they will do the right thing, always call the police after a vehicle collision.
- Without a traffic accident report documenting what happened, and who is responsible for the crash, the other driver can simply tell their insurance company that they have no idea what you are talking about. That you were the one who was liable for the crash, or that you both agreed the damage was not enough to pursue a claim. Unfortunately, it happens.
- Without law enforcement at the scene, you may be letting an impaired, unlicensed, uninsured, or otherwise unlawful driver off the hook. When the police arrive, they will run everyone’s licenses, and look for signs of impairment. If the other driver is exhibiting any unlawful signs of operating a vehicle, they should be held liable for their negligence.
- You have no way of knowing the total damage to your vehicle, and whether it is less than the mandated $1000 limit that warrants a call to the local police. Assume it is worth the call and stay behind until the police arrive.
- You have no way of knowing whether you are injured or not. Seek medical attention immediately after leaving the scene, so any injuries that were masked by your adrenaline may be identified, and a treatment plan is put in place.
Once you are safe and have visited your doctor or a local emergency room, you will need to make a few more calls to ensure you are protecting your best interests.
Who Should I Call Once the South Carolina Fender Bender Has Been Investigated by the Police?
If you have been involved in a fender bender in South Carolina, you must also report your crash to:
- Your insurance company.
- South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
If the police responded to your crash, you must complete and return an FR-10 form to the SCDMV within 15 days of the crash, or your license and registration may be suspended.
Finally, if you have been injured during a fender bender or another vehicle collision, contact our South Carolina car accident attorneys by calling (803) 548-2468 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation and ensure your best interests and overall recovery come first.