If you or somebody you love has been involved in a vehicle accident in Philadelphia, then you undoubtedly have questions about how to proceed forward with an insurance claim. Regardless of whether or not the crash was caused by the negligence of another driver, there are various types of documents that you will need to proceed forward with the claim. Here, we want to discuss what documents you need to get ahold of so that you can ensure that your insurance claim goes smoothly as possible in order to receive compensation for your injuries and property damage expenses.
The Police Report
This is perhaps the most important document that you will need in the aftermath of a vehicle accident. The vast majority of vehicle accident claims are resolved through settlement with insurance carriers, but the insurance company will need to see the police report in order to proceed forward with the claim. When the police come to the scene of an accident, they usually conduct a preliminary investigation and include most of the information that the carrier will need to move forward with the claim. This will consist of all driver identifying and insurance information as well as information regarding the vehicles involved. Additionally, the police will often indicate who they think caused the crash.
Filing a Report on Your Own
If the police do not come to the scene of a vehicle accident in Philadelphia, drivers are responsible for filing a claim within five days in the event an injury occurred in the incident, any party lost their lives, or there was enough vehicle damage that prevented any party from driving away from the scene.
If a person has to fill out their own police report, then they must do so using Pennsylvania’s approved car accident reporting form. This form requires that the parties involved fill out the information about themselves as well as the vehicle involved. All parties involved in the accident will have to send in their version of the incident to the Commonwealth within five days.
Please note that if the police filled out a report at the scene of the crash, drivers will not be responsible for filling out their own report and sending it in.
Proof of Insurance
Pennsylvania is one of several states throughout the country that operate under a “no-fault” system. This means that drivers will turn to their own insurance carrier to cover compensation in the event a collision occurs. In general, the following types of insurance minimums are required in Pennsylvania:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability coverage: $5,000
- First party benefits: $5,000
This insurance requirement is referred to as “limited tort,” which is the “no-fault” insurance required in the Commonwealth. However, drivers in this state have the choice to opt-out of no-fault coverage and obtain “full tort” insurance. In these cases, drivers with full tort will pursue their claim based on which party caused the accident. The at-fault party will be responsible for paying compensation to the victims.
Proof of Losses
In the aftermath of a vehicle accident in Pennsylvania, any party seeking compensation will have to provide documents showing that they have sustained the losses that they are claiming. This will actually include various types of documents, such as:
- Medical bills
- W2s, 1099s, tax returns, or pay stubs showing lost wages
- Receipts showing general out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage expenses or vehicle appraisal reports
When working to establish losses, any vehicle accident victim should consider working with a skilled attorney. A Philadelphia car accident lawyer can use their resources to investigate every aspect of these claims and help properly calculate total expected losses.