Have you or someone you know recently been involved in a car accident? Do you need to know more about who was involved or what the police report says? Obtaining this information can be challenging and oftentimes confusing, involving multiple phone calls to different agencies, all of whom will try and push it off on other agencies when prompted.
This is compounded by the fact that many people involved in serious accidents may not remember what happened and often simply wake up in a hospital. They may have never spoken with a police officer; this leaves car accident victims searching for information that they themselves may not know.
Sadly, this government mess leaves many frustrated. With the litany of bureaucracy involved, the easiest way is to contact a qualified Columbia car accident attorney, but there are ways you can obtain the information you need.
Start With the Police
For those seeking their own accident records, this may be relatively straightforward. Simply provide them with your information, typically including your driver’s license number and any other requested identification. Be sure to inform them of the location and date of the accident, and provide the make and model of your car to help them narrow their search.
In the true bureaucratic spirit, the police may request that you reach out to a different law enforcement agency, such as state troopers or the county sheriff, depending on who handled your report at the time of the accident. This can be especially true for car accidents on Interstate 26, 20, or 27, as the accident may have occurred outside a local jurisdiction.
Many car accident victims may read their police accident report and find out that the police have marked them down as the party at fault. The one thing that cannot be overstated is that police reports are not the final word on an accident. Police officers aren’t superhuman, and they make mistakes from time to time.
Witness testimony may be able to change a police officer’s report of who was at fault. This is why having an attorney on your side to challenge police reports can be extremely beneficial to your financial future after an accident.
Ask the State Government
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, more government records are public than ever before, which means getting an accident report in Columbia, South Carolina has never been easier. The State of South Carolina website offers crash reports and information. However, obtaining this information on your own can be quite expensive.
You’ll see some rather eye-popping fees listed on the state’s website, but these reports will be highly detailed. It should be noted that as far as the Freedom of Information Act allows, there are also certain restrictions on what information can be provided. As a result, you may receive reports that are incomplete and or redacted to protect certain parties.
Experienced Car Accident Lawyers on Your Side
With all of the headache of obtaining just one complete and comprehensive accident report, what exactly do we do with this information, and how can we use it to make sure we are compensated?
Our committed and professional car accident attorneys here at Strom Law are standing by to help you make sense of your accident and receive the compensation you may be entitled to. We’ll reach out to all parties involved in your case, including the police, the insurance companies, potential witnesses, and car manufacturers to obtain every possible piece of information.
Using this information, we’ll work with you side by side to build a case that ensures you receive the maximum compensation possible. We understand that, after a car accident, the last thing you want to be doing is spending hours online and on the phone trying to fight against the system.
The most important factor when contacting an attorney for your car accident and subsequent injuries is time. The longer you wait, the more difficult obtaining information becomes. CCTV footage that police may not know exists can be erased. Witnesses may become difficult to track down. Officers who completed reports may be reassigned.
All of these are potential obstacles to getting compensation. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin working on your case.