When You Need to Contact Law Enforcement After an Auto Accident and Why
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it can be difficult to know what you need to do. Whether you are seriously injured or simply shaken up by the sudden impact, you should know your legal responsibilities following a collision with another vehicle, property, or pedestrian. Pennsylvania law requires that drivers involved in an accident with injuries or serious property damage contact police. However, it is generally a good idea to contact 9-1-1 regardless of the severity of the crash.
At Hagelgans & Veronis, LLP, we know just how overwhelming the minutes and hours after an auto accident can be. Our attorneys have extensive experience working with accident victims and their families. We can guide you through the process and help you make a claim against any liable parties. If you were involved in a car accident, contact our office at (717) 295-7009 to discuss your rights and responsibilities. All consultations are free and confidential.
Pennsylvania Statute Regarding Mandatory Reporting
Under the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 75, section 3746 (a), a driver is required by law to immediately report an accident to the police if there was injury or death to any person or if there was damage to any vehicle that caused it to become undrivable.
If you are required to provide notice to the police department, an officer must investigate the incident and provide a report. The report might be useful in your case if you suffered property damage, were seriously injured, or lost a loved one. If an officer does not investigate the crash, you must submit your own report within five (5) days to the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Why You Should Contact the Police
While Pennsylvania law does not require you to immediately contact law enforcement if there are no injuries, you should still consider doing so. It is not uncommon for people to think that they are not injured after a car accident. Their body may be in shock and unable to comprehend the impact of the crash.
An officer’s report can help determine liability and may benefit your claim. At the scene, you should not engage with any other involved parties except to exchange insurance information. A police officer can take statements from all motorists and eyewitnesses. They can act as a neutral go-between, as an at-fault driver may try to put someone else to blame for the accident. When you make a statement to the police, you need to stick to the facts. It is not your job to determine liability or make guesses as to what caused the accident.
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At Hagelgans & Veronis, we have over 25 years of experience. Let us fight to get you the compensation you deserve. There are no fees unless we win. Call now to get started.