In the state of Pennsylvania, not all car accidents must be reported at the time of the collision. Even so, there are legal requirements for accident reporting, and filing an accident report is to your benefit.
Learn when to file an accident report after a car crash and why it is to your advantage. Our Harrisburg car accident attorneys are here to help if you were injured in a collision – contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.
State Reporting Requirements
Pennsylvania law requires that car accidents be reported within five days of the collision. Accidents must be reported if the collision results in either of the following:
- Injury, even it is not life-threatening
- Death to any party involved in the accident
- Vehicle damage that prevents an involved party from driving away from the scene
When You Should File an Accident Report
If anyone is hurt or killed in an accident, or vehicle damage is so significant that a car cannot be driven away from the accident scene, the accident must be immediately reported to the police. If the police do not respond to the accident, each driver needs to file a report with Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (DOT).
In the event of an accident that causes serious injury, death or significant property damage, the responding law enforcement agency typically completes an accident report. Drivers may be required to complete a supplemental report – if this is required in your accident, the DOT will request it.
If no one was hurt and there was no significant vehicle or property damage, drivers still need to file an accident report with the Pennsylvania DOT. You must use the state’s approved form and submit your report within five days of the accident date.
Why You Should File an Accident Report
Filing an accident report after a collision in Pennsylvania protects you in many ways. Failure to file an accident report with the state could cause your driving privileges to be suspended.
- You are legally required to stop and render aid if necessary after an accident. An accident report shows that you fulfilled this legal requirement and that you did not leave the scene. Therefore, your accident report protects you if the other driver tries to claim a hit-and-run.
- Determining the extent of vehicle damage at the scene of an accident is difficult – the same goes for bodily injuries. If an injury or vehicle problem starts showing symptoms later on, you have a record of the accident happening. Your insurer will need your accident report for any claims.
- If the other party tries to inflate the damage done to their vehicle through an insurance claim, your accident report serves as a record that documents the damage that resulted from the accident soon after it occurred.
How to File a Pennsylvania Accident Report
Use the Pennsylvania Driver’s Accident Report form to make your accident report with the state. Your report needs to contain information about the parties and vehicles involved in the accident.
- Name, phone number, and address of the driver
- Driver’s license number
- Driver’s insurance policy number
- Names and contact information for any passengers or pedestrians involved
- Make, model and body style of all vehicles involved
- Vehicle license plate numbers
- Vehicle identification numbers (VIN)
- Description of the vehicle damage
Contact an Experienced Attorney Now
If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have helped countless car accident victims recover the compensation they deserve.
Request a free, no obligation consultation and learn what legal options may be available in your case. There are no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we recover compensation on your behalf.