It is reasonable for any person to believe that after being involved in a car accident the negligent motorist will stop their vehicle to speak with the person they hit. Unfortunately, some drivers are more concerned about how a serious car crash may affect their life before the life of any other person. As a result, an innocent hit and run victim may be left with severe injuries, damage to their vehicle, and without a way to seek justice. If you or a family member was injured in a hit and run accident, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia hit and run accident lawyer today. A hit and run accident can leave a family devastated and left with costly medical bills or possibly being left with the task of burying a loved one. The Reiff Law Firm is here to explain when you should file a police report after a hit and run accident in Pennsylvania.
Should You File a Police Report After a Hit and Run Crash
Suffering a serious car accident injury and watching the offender flee is a traumatizing experience. Not only will you be saddled with expensive medical bills, but your vehicle may have taken irreparable damage. That is why it is important to understand the importance of filing a police report immediately after a hit and run crash in Pennsylvania.
In Pennsylvania, law enforcement officers do not always arrive at the scene of the accident to investigate and make a report. This scenario is common if the car accident only resulted in property damage to any vehicles involved in the crash. However, there are circumstances where the police must respond to reports of an accident:
- A driver or pedestrian suffered bodily injury
- The vehicles involved in the crash are impeding the flow of traffic
- There was residential property damage or damage to property owned or operated by the State of Pennsylvania
It is important to note that law enforcement in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania take hit and run accidents very seriously. As a result, it is highly likely that law enforcement will respond to a reported hit and run accident. However, some drivers may believe they have no avenue for recourse if a reckless driver fled the scene of the accident. You should not assume that there is nothing you can do after being a victim of an in-person or parked car hit and run accident. To learn more about filing an accident report after a hit and run, you should continue reading and consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
When to File an Accident Report After a Hit and Run
Failing to report a hit and run accident or other types of car accidents in Pennsylvania can have unwanted consequences. You must file a driver’s accident report with Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT) under the following circumstances:
- Law enforcement did not investigate the accident
- The crash caused extensive property damage to a vehicle
- The crash resulted in a person suffering a serious or fatal injury
If any of the above applies to a car accident you were involved in, you must file an accident report with PennDOT within five days of the accident. It is important to note that even if the negligent driver offered to pay the cost of your medical bills and car repairs, you must still file an accident report if any of the above scenarios occurred. Failure to report the accident can result in the suspension of your license despite whether you were the victim of the crash.
While this law does not specifically reference hit and run accidents, it would still be wise to report a hit and run within five days of the accident. Your insurance company may require an accident report to compensate you for your injuries or damage to your vehicle. If you wait too long to file a report, you may have to deal with the consequences of the accident without any aid from your insurance carrier.
When reporting your accident to law enforcement or PennDOT, be sure to recall as many details as possible about the crash. Do not assume that a certain detail is irrelevant as it may be key to help the police solve your case. Additionally, if the driver that struck you is located, you can then file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for the accident.
Our Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys are Here for You and Your Family
If you or a family member was involved in a hit and run car crash, you should contact an experienced Chester County personal injury attorney today. The devoted attorneys at the Reiff Law Firm possess decades of legal experience helping residents of Pennsylvania deal with various types of car accident cases that we will employ to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 709-6940.