Do I Have to Report a Minor Car Accident in Philadelphia?

Do I Have to Report a Minor Car Accident in Philadelphia?

Even the most minor motor vehicle accident can be frustrating and nerve-racking. Aside from property damage and possible personal injuries, you will also have to deal with the legal implications. 

In most cases, you will need to deal with resulting insurance claims, questions of liability, and other legal processes that follow a car accident. In the moments after a car crash, you may wonder if you need to notify the police.  

The law in Philadelphia does not require police officers to respond to traffic collisions that don’t involve injuries or property damage. But even if law enforcement officers are not dispatched to the scene, drivers may be required to report the accident in some circumstances. 

Often, drivers are hesitant to contact law enforcement after minor car accidents, and that’s understandable. But every driver should know their responsibilities in case they find themselves in that unfortunate circumstance. 

If you are wondering whether to report your traffic collision to the police in Philadelphia, read on.

Understanding “Minor” Car Accidents

The moments after any type of traffic accident are critical. Immediately following the crash, you should assess the resulting outcome. If no one has sustained any injuries, the next priority is to check the vehicles for damage.

Minor car accidents that don’t involve personal injuries do not necessarily need to be reported to the police. If no one is injured and no surrounding property has been damaged, you do not have to report the accident. Likewise, collisions do not need to be reported if everyone involved can drive their vehicles away from the scene safely. 

However, if anyone is injured in your collision, you must report the accident. Hit-and-run accidents must always be reported. This is true even if no one is injured and no property is damaged. The quickest way to report an accident is by calling 911.

If the police do not respond to the scene, you have five days following the crash to report the accident to the department.

How to Report a Minor Car Crash

In the immediate aftermath of a minor crash, pull your vehicle out of the roadway. Turn on your hazard lights to make your vehicle more visible to surrounding traffic. Also, make sure that you are safe from passing traffic.

Even if the accident is minor, it is always best to call 911. The dispatcher can determine if your crash requires a police presence. They will ask questions to better understand the circumstances of your traffic accident. 

If the collision does not require the police, you may be able to report the accident over the phone. The 911 dispatcher will provide contact information for the agency where you can report the crash.  

After calling 911, exchange the following information with the other motorists involved in the accident: 

  • Names
  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • License plate numbers
  • VIN numbers
  • Insurance provider names
  • Insurance policy numbers 

This will help you to file a successful claim. In some cases, you may be owed financial compensation for the property damage resulting from your collision. 

That is why you should speak with a legal professional in the wake of any motor vehicle accident. In the case of a minor crash, you can report the accident to the police after exchanging information with the other driver and leaving the scene.

You Should Report Minor Car Accidents for the Sake of Your Insurance Claim

Even though it is not a legal requirement to report minor car accidents in Philadelphia, it is still a good idea. A police accident report provides an objective account of the circumstances of the crash. This document may become critical to filing a successful insurance claim or pursuing a legal case against the liable parties.  

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.