Nobody ever anticipates a car crash until it happens and puts their health, property, and even lives, in jeopardy. In the moments following an accident, you may not know who you should call or what you should do. Understanding the process of how to report a car accident in Pennsylvania properly is critical to ensure you receive the compensation you need to recover.
When To Report An Accident To The Police
Under Pennsylvania law, you are required to report an accident to police if it resulted in severe injury, significant property damage, or death. However, no matter how minor an accident may seem, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call the police when an accident occurs that was not your fault.
If a police officer comes to the scene, we recommend obtaining a copy of the police accident report for your records. Accident reports contain important details about a crash such as where and when it took place, who was involved, the names of witnesses, and who was at fault. Having this information can benefit you if you decide to file a personal injury claim. Without a police report, it’s your word against the other driver’s. This could place undue blame on you even if you were not at fault for the crash.
If you did not receive a copy of the police report or misplaced it and do not have the incident number, you can visit https://www.pa.gov/psp/crash-reports/home to get a copy of the report.
If you do have an incident number, you can search for records of the accident via the following link https://www.pa.gov/psp/crash-reports/search.
What if a Police Officer is Unavailable?
In the event that a police officer cannot be dispatched to the scene, you would have to file the accident report on your own. You must complete and submit an accident report up to five days after the accident.
How To File an Accident Report
If you need to file an accident report on your own, you must have the following information on the other parties involved:
- Name, address, and phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance policy number
- Name and contact information for passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident
In addition, you will need to include the following information for all vehicles involved:
- Make, model and body style
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Description of damage
The online form to submit an accident report can be found on the PennDOT website: https://www.dot.state.pa.us/Public/DVSPubsForms/BMV/BMV%20Forms/AA-600.pdf and submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation within five days of the accident occurring.
We suggest that you bookmark this page to use as a handy reference in the event of an accident. Then, we’ll take it from there. Your attorneys at Freeburn Hamilton will fight for you to receive the maximum possible compensation for your car accident. Call our office now at 717-777-7777 or submit a form online for a free consultation.