Vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania are often chaotic, and victims are sometimes left wondering what steps they need to take to ensure they are adequately compensated. One of the most important steps that must be taken after a vehicle accident occurs is filing the police report. Here, we want to discuss how police reports are filed. There are specific laws regarding when a vehicle accident must be reported, and we want to make sure that you know your responsibilities after these incidents occur.
When do Accidents Have to be Reported in Pennsylvania?
Vehicle accidents should almost always be reported in Pennsylvania. In fact, Commonwealth law is very specific about when vehicle accidents must be reported to law enforcement officials. The law in Pennsylvania requires that a crash be reported within five days after the collision occurred under the following circumstances:
- An injury occurred, even if the injury was not life-threatening
- Any party involved lost their life
- There was vehicle damage that prevented any party from driving away from the scene
Even though the law says that these incidents must be reported within five days after the collision, it is crucial that a crash get reported to police as soon as possible. Typically, this means that someone at the scene of the crash will call 911 to ensure that police, fire, and EMS professionals are on the way. When the police respond to the scene of a crash in Pennsylvania, they will typically be the ones responsible for filling out a police report and turning it over to the DOT.
The five-day reporting period is written into the law to describe how parties should proceed if the police do not respond to the incident. When this occurs, every driver will need to file a report with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).
Filing a Vehicle Accident Report in Pennsylvania
In the event you or a loved one have to fill out a police report on your own because the police did not respond to the scene, you must do so using Pennsylvania’s approved car accident reporting form. This form will need to contain various types of information about the parties and vehicles involved in the accident. This will include the following:
- Personal information. Various types of information about the driver will be requested on this report, including:
- The name, phone number, and address of the driver
- Driver’s license number
- Driver’s insurance policy company and number
- The names and contact information of any passengers
- Vehicle information. Information about the vehicle involved will need to be included as well. This includes:
- The make, model, and body style of all vehicles involved
- All vehicle license plate numbers
- Vehicle identification numbers (VIN)
- A description of the vehicle damage
The vehicle accident form must be filled out and sent to the following address:
- PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
- BUREAU OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND TRAFFIC ENGINEERING
- O. Box 2047
- HARRISBURG, PA 17105-2047
Work With an Attorney After a Collision
If you or somebody you care about has been injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident in Philadelphia, you need to consider contacting an attorney as soon as possible. If the careless or negligent actions of another driver caused harm to you or a loved one, an attorney can fully investigate the claim, determine liability, and help secure the compensation you are entitled to. An experienced car accident attorney will handle every aspect of these claims on behalf of the victim so that those involved can focus on recovering from their injuries, repairing damaged vehicles, and moving forward with their life.