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Do You Have to Report All Car Crashes to the Police?

July 09, 2020

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

It is obvious after certain crashes that you should call the police. These situations include when anyone was injured or killed during the crash. However, not all car crashes in Pennsylvania are so serious. There are many fender benders that happen in the state every day and when these occur, the people involved often wonder if they have to call police to the scene. Truthfully, anyone that is in a crash should always call the police to the scene, no matter how minor. Below are a few reasons why.

It is Often the Law

Pennsylvania law does not require that you report all crashes, but there are certain instances in which you must. These include when the crash resulted in injury, death, or significant property damage. If you fail to report the crash and the other driver discovers they have serious injuries, it could be used against you if the other driver argues that you were at fault and therefore, liable for their injuries.

Preserving Evidence

When police arrive at the scene of a crash, they will start to collect evidence right away. They will retrieve the names, contact information, and insurance information of the other drivers involved. The police may also try to piece together how the crash occurred and will include that in their report. All of this evidence is crucial when proving a claim to the insurance company.

Your Insurance May Require It

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is not required in Pennsylvania, but drivers can purchase it if they choose. Policies that include this coverage require the driver to call the police immediately if they are hit by a driver that does not have enough insurance, or does not have any at all.

The Police will Keep You Safe

Although car crashes are dangerous, the aftermath at the scene is as well. You may be stranded in the middle of the road, unable to move your vehicle, or the other driver may become irate and hostile. When this happens, the police can help after you call them to the scene. They can block off the road, direct traffic so there is not a secondary crash, and ensure that all drivers involved remain calm.

The Police May Not Come To the Scene

Just because you call the police after a crash does not necessarily mean that they will come to the accident scene. If they determine that the crash was only minor, there is a good chance they will not send an officer to the scene. Still, your phone call will be on record, which should satisfy the insurance company that you met your duty, and help protect your case.

Hurt in an Accident? Our Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers can Help

Calling the police to report a crash is one of the first steps you should take after, but there are many others, as well that will help protect your claim. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, our Allentown auto accident lawyers can explain what those steps are, and help you navigate them to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn how we can help with your case.


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