Do I Need to File a Police Report After a Philadelphia Truck Accident?
Ryan Zavodnick | June 23, 2021 | Truck Accidents
Large commercial truck accidents are often devastating and involve multiple vehicles. A passenger truck may not cause as much damage as a semi-truck accident, but there is always the possibility of severe injuries and significant property damage.
Pennsylvania’s Requirement for Reporting a Truck Accident
Pennsylvania laws require that drivers report a motor vehicle accident if anyone was injured or died because of the accident. Accidents resulting in damage to vehicles that make a vehicle unsafe to drive must also be reported.
When you call 911 to report an accident, the emergency operator will dispatch the appropriate law enforcement agency for the jurisdiction. The emergency operator can also dispatch emergency medical services to treat injured accident victims. The police officer investigating the crash will create a written report.
If the police officer does not file a written report, the drivers must file one with the state. The report must be filed within five days of the date of the truck accident.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides a form to report the crash. Form AA-600 (Driver’s Accident Report) is available on the DOT’s website.
How Do I Know if I Am Injured in a Truck Accident?
If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, you are likely to sustain traumatic injuries. Nearly three-fourths of the injuries and deaths sustained in large truck accidents are people in other vehicles.
It is always possible that someone will survive an 18-wheeler accident with no injuries, but it is unlikely. At the very least, you may sustain soft tissue injuries from the collision.
For accidents involving passenger trucks, there is a better chance that a victim might walk away from the truck crash with no injuries. However, you cannot be sure you did not sustain injuries in a truck accident until a doctor checks you.
Therefore, it is generally better to err on the side of caution and report a truck accident by calling 911. Having an official accident report can be very helpful when you are ready to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
What Information Does a Philadelphia Truck Accident Report Contain?
The information in a truck accident report includes:
- The identity of all parties involved in the truck accident
- The date, time, and location of the truck crash
- Insurance information for vehicle or party
- The road and weather conditions at the time of the collision
Other information that might be helpful includes whether each driver received a traffic ticket related to the accident. If a driver received a traffic ticket, the charge could be a starting point for determining the cause of the crash. Whoever caused the truck accident can be held financially responsible for the other parties’ injuries and damages.
The police officer may have notated if he concluded whether one or more of the drivers contributed to the cause of the accident. While the police officer’s conclusion of fault might not be the final decision regarding fault, the notation could result in an insurance settlement instead of a dispute regarding fault for the crash.
Sometimes the police officer may write a narrative that includes statements made to the police officer, evidence collected at the accident scene, and a diagram of the position of the vehicles. Again, the information gathered by the police officer could be enough to encourage the insurance company to settle the claim instead of fighting the claim.
Do I Need to Get a Copy of My Truck Accident Report?
You should have a copy of the truck accident report for your records. You may obtain a copy of the accident report from the state, or you can ask your truck accident attorney for a copy of the report. Your lawyer obtains a copy of the truck crash report as part of his investigation into the cause of the truck crash.
What Should I Expect After a Truck Accident in Philadelphia?
If you hire a truck accident lawyer, your attorney’s office takes care of everything for you. You continue to focus on your recovery and getting back to your daily routines. However, before you contact a personal injury lawyer, the insurance provider for the other party may contact you to discuss the accident.
It is never in your best interest to talk with a claims adjuster or insurance investigator after a truck accident until you have a chance to talk with a truck accident lawyer. The insurance company wants to limit its liability for your damages. Therefore, the claims adjuster may try to pressure you into making a statement, signing documents, or accepting a quick settlement.
Many truck accident victims sustain permanent impairments. They have substantial medical bills and lost wages. They also experience a tremendous amount of pain and suffering because of the accident and their injuries.
The insurance company will make a low offer to settle your claim. It will not tell you how much a truck accident claim is worth. Talking with a lawyer may be the only way for you to know for sure how much you could potentially receive for a truck accident case.