What to Do if the Other Driver Doesn’t Report the Accident
Ryan Zavodnick | March 20, 2020 | Car Accidents
Reporting a car accident to the police is typically the safest option. If the other driver refuses to report the accident or leaves the accident scene, you can call 911 to report the crash. A driver might not want to report the accident because they:
- Do not have a valid driver’s license
- Are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs
- Do not have the required car insurance coverage
- Want to avoid an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit
- Fear the consequences because of their immigration status
- Are driving with a suspended license
If the other driver is uncooperative, belligerent, or aggressive after a car crash, call 911 immediately. Do not let the other driver talk you out of reporting a car crash. In addition to jeopardizing a car accident claim, you might break the law by not reporting the car crash.
What Is the Pennsylvania Law for Reporting Car Accidents?
Pennsylvania law requires a driver involved in a car accident to “immediately by the quickest means of communication” notify the police department if the accident involves:
- Death or injury to any person; OR,
- Damage to a vehicle involved in the collision that requires the vehicle to be towed because it is dangerous to drive the vehicle or could result in more damage.
The police might not investigate all car accidents. If the police do not investigate an accident, the drivers are responsible for submitting crash reports within five days to comply with Pa. C.S.A. §3747.
If drivers are not required to call the police after a car accident, they are still required to stop at the accident scene to exchange information. However, when a driver refuses to provide you with their information or flees the accident scene, call the police immediately to report a hit-and-run accident.
Reasons Why You Should Call the Police After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
Having an official accident report from a police department has benefits, even when the car accident is a minor collision. A police report can help you if the other driver tries to shift the blame for the cause of the accident or deny the car crash occurred.
Information on a police report that could help you with a car accident claim includes:
- The date, time, and location of the traffic accident
- A description of the visible damage to the vehicles
- Whether the police officer issued traffic citations to either driver
- A description of the accident scene, including road and weather conditions
- The police officer’s determination of which driver contributed to the cause of the crash
- A description of the injuries sustained by accident victims
- Statements the drivers, passengers, or eyewitnesses made to the police officer
An accident report is not evidence of fault for a traffic accident. However, a skilled Philadelphia car accident lawyer can use the information as they conduct their investigation. The information could lead to evidence that helps prove causation and fault.
What Should You Do While You Wait for the Police to Arrive at an Accident Scene?
Do not admit fault for the cause of the crash or discuss the crash with the other driver. It is never wise to confront a driver who is angry about the accident. Instead, document the accident scene, if possible.
Take photographs of the vehicles and make a video of the accident scene with your cell phone. Remember to be safe while taking photos or making a video.
Ask for a person’s name and contact information if they witnessed the collision or stopped after the crash. Eyewitness testimony can be valuable evidence in a car accident case.
When the police officer arrives, answer questions and provide information without admitting fault. If you do not require emergency medical services, it is best to say you intend to be checked by a doctor instead of saying you are not injured. You might not realize you are injured until a few hours after the crash or the next day.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer for Help After an Accident
Car insurance can be confusing. Depending on the type of insurance policy you purchased, you may or may not be able to sue a driver. If you have questions, car accident attorneys can provide legal advice during a free consultation.
Contact our law firm today to learn more about your options after a car accident.