The Importance of Obtaining a Police Report After an Accident
After a car crash, it is natural for victims to want to move on with their life instead of dealing with paperwork. As such, they may not want to file a police report. In some cases, the other driver involved in the crash may even try to convince injured individuals not to file a police report. However, this is very damaging to a personal injury claim when accident victims want to secure compensation for their injuries.
It is important that all drivers in Pennsylvania understand when they must file a police report after a car accident, how these documents can help, and how to obtain a copy of this report if they did not obtain one after a crash.
Pennsylvania’s No-Fault Insurance Laws and Police Reports
Unlike most other states, Pennsylvania’s insurance laws allow a driver to purchase limited tort insurance or unlimited tort insurance. Individuals that choose limited tort have purchased no-fault insurance, which means they must seek compensation for their injuries from their own insurance company. Unlimited tort insurance means that motorists can hold another driver, or their insurance company, liable for paying compensation after a crash.
No matter the type of insurance a driver has chosen, they should still obtain a copy of a police report after an accident. Individuals with no-fault insurance typically must provide their own insurance company with a copy of a police report. Drivers that have chosen unlimited tort, or fault-based insurance, can use police reports as evidence when trying to secure compensation from the other driver’s insurer.
When Police Reports are Required in Pennsylvania
There are certain instances in which drivers are required to file a police report. Under Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code, any time a car accident results in injury, death, or property damage so severe that a vehicle involved is inoperable, the drivers involved must file a police report.
A police report is not always written and filed at the scene of the crash. When law enforcement is not called out to the scene, the drivers involved have five days to file a police report if the crash resulted in any of the damages listed above.
How to Obtain a Police Report After a Car Accident
If law enforcement visited the scene but you did not receive a copy of the report at the time, you can still obtain a copy of the report. To do this, you must fill out form SP7-0015, which will ask for details about your accident. It will also require the incident number, which a police officer should have provided at the scene of the crash. You can only submit this form if it has been at least 15 days since the day of your accident. To submit the form, mail it to the Pennsylvania State Police with a check for the required fee, which is currently $22.
Need Help with a Claim? Call Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in a car accident and now need compensation to help with medical expenses, lost income, and more, call our Scranton personal injury lawyers. At Haggerty, Hinton & Cosgrove, LLP, we can obtain a copy of your police report, help you navigate the civil justice system, and will work hard to help you secure the maximum amount of compensation you deserve. Call us today at 570-344-9845 to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.