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Do You Have to Report Minor Car Accidents in Pennsylvania?

July 31, 2019

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

It’s common knowledge that after a major car accident that involved serious injury or death, you must phone the police and report it. However, many of the car accidents that happen every day on Pennsylvania roads are only minor. Do you have an obligation to report these accidents?

When reporting any car accident, you should contact both the police and your insurance company.

The Law on Reporting Accidents to the Police

According to 75 Pa.Cons. Stat. Section 3747, you must report any car accident that resulted in death or serious injury. You must also report any accident that caused damage to your vehicle to the extent that you cannot drive it away from the accident scene.

Reporting an accident doesn’t necessarily mean that the police will come out to the scene. If they believe that the accident was only very minor and they are busy with other police work, they may not be able to make it out to the scene. In these cases, you should fill out a Form AA-600 within five days of the accident so you can obtain a copy of the accident report.

Reporting the Accident to Your Insurance Company

Regardless of how minor an accident, you should always report it to your insurance company. If your car sustained damage during the accident, insurance might provide compensation for those costs. If you later learn that you sustained a more significant injury than you thought, it’s also helpful to have the accident on record with your insurance company.

Most insurance policies require you to report any accident. If you don’t and the insurance company learns later of an accident, they could deny your claim, or even cancel your insurance policy altogether.

Benefits of Reporting Car Accidents

Reporting an accident to the police as soon as it happens will help protect any future claim you file. There are other benefits however, to reporting even the most minor of car accidents.

One of those benefits is that the police will determine what happened, collect insurance information, and get statements from both parties. It’s better if this can be done immediately, before evidence is moved and people’s stories change.

The police can also remove the confusion from the situation, as they can advise on the next steps you should take.

Do You Need a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer After a Minor Accident?

In accident cases that resulted in serious injury or death, attorneys often get involved. However, do you need an Allentown auto accident lawyer after a minor accident? These accidents won’t always require the help of a legal professional, particularly if your insurance policy will provide coverage for your injuries or property damage. Many times though, minor cases turn into major, complex cases very quickly. For this reason, it’s often beneficial to contact an attorney even after a minor car accident.

If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, no matter how big or small, contact van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today at (215) 486-0123. We’ll review your case, advise you of your legal options, and ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process. Call us today or contact us online so we can start reviewing your case.



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