South Carolina Car Accident Checklists

A car accident can leave you shocked and confused. It may be difficult to think clearly. At the same time, you need to take steps in the immediate aftermath of a crash in order to protect your health, your property and, ultimately, your legal rights.

To help you get through this difficult challenge, Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C., provides the following Car Accident Resource Guide. We suggest you click to download, print a copy and keep the guide stored in your car. We hope it can serve as a quick, helpful reference.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Spartanburg, Greenville or elsewhere in Upstate South Carolina, please contact us for immediate attention to your case. Simply call or reach out to us online to arrange for a free consultation.

Before an Accident Occurs


The average driver is involved in a car accident once every 18 years, or about three to four times during one’s lifetime. You want to be prepared in case it happens to you. Make sure to keep the following in your vehicle:

  • South Carolina motor vehicle registration card
  • Proof of automobile insurance
  • Flashlight
  • Gloves
  • Blanket or coat
  • Bottled water
  • Emergency repair kit (Booster cables, Spare tire, Tire jack, Lug wrench, Flares)
  • First aid kit (Bandages, Adhesive cloth tape, Antibiotic ointment, Antiseptic wipes, Aspirin, Cold compress, Scissors, Sterile gauze pads, Roller bandages, Thermometer)
  • Cell phone with camera feature (make sure it is charged)


When an Accident Has Just Occurred


The first step is to try to remain as calm as possible after you have been in an accident. Then, if possible, you should proceed to do the following while you are still at the accident scene:

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    Check on the condition of all drivers and passengers of the cars involved in the crash.

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    Call 911 for law enforcement and emergency medical assistance to come to the accident scene.

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    If possible, move your vehicle to a safe area off the road while waiting for help to arrive.

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    Provide all information requested by the law enforcement officer for the officer’s accident report. Get the officer’s name and agency. Get the report number if possible.

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    Exchange contact and auto insurance information with the other driver(s) involved in the crash. Do not blame the other driver. Do not admit fault.

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    Get contact information for each witness. You need to act promptly. Witnesses tend to leave the scene shortly after a crash.

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    Take photos of the accident scene (debris, skid marks, signs, traffic lights) and vehicles involved (the corners of each vehicle and at least one interior shot).

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    Contact a towing company or make sure you know where your vehicle is being taken.


Following the Time of an Accident


In the days and weeks after an accident, you need to focus on your recovery and learning more about your legal rights and options.

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    After making sure that you and any passengers in your vehicle get immediate medical attention, schedule a follow up visit and/or follow any recommended treatment such as physical therapy.

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    Report the crash to your own auto insurance provider.

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    Obtain a copy of the accident report from the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Local Law Enforcement Numbers

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    Keep documentation of all accident-related expenses, including medical expenses, car rental and car repair or replacement.

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    Document all time missed from work or lost self-generated income.

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    Keep a journal that documents your injuries and the recovery process.

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    Consult with an attorney before you agree to any insurance company offers.