How to Get a Police Report for an Accident in Philly
Ryan Zavodnick | May 23, 2022 | Car Accidents
According to Pennsylvania law, you must report a car accident that results in injury, death, or inability to move a vehicle safely by the “quickest means of communication.” For most people involved in a car accident in Philly, calling 911 is the quickest way to report the car accident.
If police officers do not investigate the car accident, the driver must file a written report of the accident within five days. The Driver’s Accident Report (Form AA-600) for reporting a car accident can be downloaded from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s website.
Getting a Copy of a Police Report for an Accident in Philly
Depending on where you have your car accident in Philly, the state police or the city police may be dispatched to investigate the accident. If the state police investigate the accident, you can request a copy of the police report from the Pennsylvania State Police Department.
Copies of crash reports are available for purchase online. However, you need to wait at least 15 days after the crash date to submit your request. The fee for the police report is $22.
You may also request a copy of the crash report by mail. You must complete the form to request a copy of the police crash report. Mail the form with a money order or certified check to the Pennsylvania State Police Crash Reports Unit.
If the Philadelphia Police Department investigates the car accident, you must request a copy of the police report in person or by mail. The office is located at City Hall.
The fee for a police report is $25. If you request a copy of the crash report by mail, you must send the completed request form, fee, and a self-addressed stamped envelope. The request form for traffic accident reports is available on the police department’s website.
Why Do I Need a Copy of the Police Report for a Car Accident in Philly?
The crash report provides information that can be helpful when filing an insurance claim after a car accident. Information on a police report for a collision includes:
- The location, date, and time of the car crash
- The drivers of each vehicle involved in the accident
- Description of each vehicle involved in the accident, including year, make, model, and tag number
- The insurance information for each vehicle
- The weather conditions at the time of the collision
- Information for each passenger in the vehicles
- Witness names and contact information
- Whether anyone was injured in the accident
- A diagram of the accident scene
The police report should also include the investigating officer’s determination of how the accident occurred and whether either driver contributed to the cause of the car accident.
A police report is not a final determination of fault for a car accident in Philly. However, the information can be useful during an accident investigation. In some cases, the determination of fault by a police officer could be sufficient to encourage an insurance company to offer a fair settlement for the claim.
If you hire a lawyer to handle your injury claim, the attorney’s office requests a copy of the police report as part of the car accident investigation.
Review the Copy of the Police Report for a Car Accident
Police officers can make errors and mistakes in car accident reports. Review the report to ensure that the information contained in the report is accurate. If you find a mistake or error, contact the police officer immediately.
If the mistake is a factual error, the police officer should be willing to amend the police report. For example, the street name is incorrect, or the date of the accident is wrong.
However, if you disagree with the police officer’s determination of fault for the crash, the officer probably will not change the report. The details of how the accident occurred can be disputed. Instead, talk to a car accident lawyer about your next steps regarding a car accident claim.
What Should I Tell an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident in Philly?
The best step is to tell the claims adjuster to contact your lawyer. Talking to an insurance adjuster without legal representation can be risky.
Claims adjusters work for the insurance company. Therefore, they watch out for the best interest of the company. Their job is to protect the company from liability for claims, which means they pay the lowest amount possible to settle your claim.
Let an attorney review the document before signing a settlement agreement, waiver, or release. You could be entitled to much more money for your damages than the insurance company offers.
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.