If you were involved in a serious car accident, it would be wise to contact law enforcement to obtain a police report concerning the accident. A police report can help your insurance company determine how the accident occurred and help you secure compensation for your injuries. If you or a family member was severely injured in a car accident, contact an experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer. The Reiff Law Firm offers aggressive representation to victims of car accidents that were injured due to the negligent actions of another motorist. The Reiff Law Firm is here to explain how to obtain a police report for a car accident in Philadelphia.
Filing a Police Report After a Car Accident
After a car accident occurs, your first steps should be to call an ambulance and contact law enforcement to assess the scene of the accident. While awaiting law enforcement, it would help to gather the information that would help speed up the process once they arrive. For example, you should speak with the other driver to obtain:
- Their name, address, contact information, and driver’s license
- The make and model of their vehicle
- The insurance company that covers their vehicle
In Pennsylvania, it is required that a police report be filed for all car crashes where a person was injured or a fatal car accident. It is also necessary for a police report to be filed when one or more vehicles involved in the accident takes enough damage to become immobilized.
For one reason or another, law enforcement may not report to the scene of the accident to investigate. When this happens, the drivers involved in the accident must file a police report personally. The police report must be filed with the police department that services the area where the accident occurred.
A police report can also be useful to provide to your insurance company and could help if you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
The following is a list of information that must be included when filing a police report.
The Location of the Accident
When detailing the location of the accident, Pennsylvania requests that the filer indicate the city, borough, or township where the accident happened. If the accident happened at an intersection, the names of the intersecting streets or a nearby street should be named.
If the accident occurred on a highway, you should make a note of the nearest milepost that would indicate your location. These signs are placed along the side of the road at set intervals and often around bridges.
The Persons Involved in the Accident
In this section of the police report, you should provide information regarding every person that was injured the accident or had property damaged in the accident; this includes pedestrians or bicyclists. This information should include:
- The names of all parties involved
- The licenses of any drivers involved
- The registration and financial responsibility cards of any drivers involved
Point of Impact
The documents used for the police report will come with a map that you can use to detail the points of impact for the car accident. The photos of the damage to the vehicles involved can help you fill out this area of the form.
Posted Speed Limit and Speed of Other Drivers
Detailing the speed limit for the location of the accident can be a great help to determine liability for the accident. If you did not see a posted speed limit at the scene of the accident, law enforcement could help you fill out this portion of the form.
You should also make an estimate of the speed of the driver that hit you and any other drivers when the accident happened.
Description of How the Accident Happened
This section of the police report should provide your narrative of how the accident occurred. There is also a section that allows you to draw a diagram of how the accident happened.
You should be as thorough as possible when describing the accident. All the information that you can remember about the accident is important.
It is also important to note that a police report must be filed within five days of the accident. Failing to file a report within this timeframe can affect your ability to file the report.
Our Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You File a Lawsuit
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, consult with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney today. The Reiff Law Firm understands how a car crash can impact your life, and we are prepared to help you file a lawsuit against the driver that injured you. Our team of lawyers possesses decades of combined legal experience, and we would be honored to represent you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your car accident, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.