How To Obtain an Accident Report in Philadelphia
An accident report contains valuable information for an injury claim in Philadelphia, PA. It summarizes the crash investigation conducted by the police officers who responded to a car accident, and it can help your car accident lawyer obtain admissible evidence for your accident case.
This evidence can help you prove what happened in your crash. It may even support your claim that the other driver caused the collision. As a result, you will need a copy of your crash report for your insurance claim and lawsuit.
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How Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Car Accident in Philadelphia
Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers was founded over 30 years ago, making our firm a pillar of the Philadelphia legal community. Our Philadelphia car accident attorneys have over 80 years of combined legal experience fighting on behalf of accident victims across the state.
Our personal injury law firm has recovered over $50 million in injury compensation for its clients, including:
- $4.8 million auto accident settlement for a crash victim with catastrophic injuries
- $1.1 million auto accident settlement for a client who suffered spine injuries
- $780,000 auto accident settlement against a bar that served a drunk driver
We can help after an auto accident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by:
- With the aid of experts when necessary, conducting an internal investigation into your accident
- Negotiating a settlement that accurately reflects all of your losses and damages
- Filing a lawsuit on your behalf against the at-fault party, if needed
An insurer will expect evidence proving its policyholder caused your crash. Contact Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers to learn how an experienced injury lawyer will use a crash report to prove your case.
When Do Police Prepare Accident Reports in Philadelphia, PA?
Under Pennsylvania law, motorists must report accidents to the police that cause:
- Damage that disables a vehicle so severely that it requires towing
When the police respond, they will investigate the accident and prepare a crash report. All police agencies in the state use the same form. The crash report form includes fields for police to describe:
- What caused the accident
- Vehicle insurance information
- The people and vehicles involved
- Light, road, and weather conditions
The investigating officers must prepare and file a copy of the crash report with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation within 15 days.
How To Get a Philadelphia Crash Report
Pennsylvania law limits who can receive a copy of a crash report to the following parties:
- Attorneys for crash victims
- People involved in the accident
- Insurers for vehicles in the crash
Although the law does not specifically include them, owners of vehicles and parents of minors involved in the crash can likely also get copies of a crash report. Police agencies can charge up to $25 for a crash report.
The procedure for getting a crash report depends on the police agency that investigated your crash. If your crash was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police, you can request a copy of your crash report online using the Online Crash Report Requests website. The Pennsylvania State Police handle crashes on interstate highways and ramps.
You will search for your crash using either the incident number or your name and the date of the crash. Once you find your crash, you will pay the fee and verify that you are a person who can receive the report under Pennsylvania law. The Pennsylvania State Police will email a copy of the full report to you.
If your accident happened on Philadelphia city streets, the Philadelphia Police Department investigated your accident. To get a copy of a Philadelphia PD crash report, you must access the Philadelphia Department of Records website.
There, you can find the link to request your crash report online. You can also print the form for requesting a crash report in person or via mail. The city will release your crash report after you pay the fee and sign a document affirming that you are eligible to receive it.
Using Your Crash Report
Crash reports are considered inadmissible hearsay for most purposes, so you cannot rely on the investigating officer’s conclusions to prove the other driver caused your crash. However, a crash report can perform two other functions:
Support an Insurance Claim
Claim adjusters do not follow the rules of evidence used in court. When you file a copy of your crash report with an insurance claim, the adjuster will read it at face value. If the crash report concludes the other driver caused the accident, the adjuster may give it significant weight.
Identify Admissible Evidence
A crash report contains valuable information that can lead you to admissible evidence. The report might list witnesses who saw the crash and can testify in court. It may also include photos of the accident scene.
If the report includes the other driver’s statement, your lawyer might use the statement to know what questions to ask in a deposition or at trial. And if the other driver changes their story, your lawyer can use the statement to impeach the driver’s testimony.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers
A crash report can help you develop the evidence to support your injury claim. To discuss your accident and how your crash report can help you get injury compensation, contact Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. Our experienced Philadelphia car accident attorneys can help you throughout the entire claims process.