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How Do You Obtain A Car Accident Report In Pennsylvania?

accident report
February 11, 2022
Legally Reviewed By Rand Spear, Esq.

WHY YOU NEED A CAR ACCIDENT REPORT

After first responders arrive, their three primary goals are to secure the accident scene to keep all parties safe, treat anyone who suffered injuries, and document the accident scene through a police report. On a basic level, an accident report is proof that a collision actually occurred. This evidence of the accident is an important start for a personal injury claim. It is critical to answer the question, “how do you obtain a car accident report in Pennsylvania or New Jersey?”

Outside of just documenting an accident, a car accident report is an important medium for gathering all of the information about a car crash. Accident reports are not filed for every auto accident, or there would be endless reports documenting minor fender benders. Car accident reports are always filed for a serious car accident or truck accident, because laws in many states require calling 911 or alerting the police for a serious incident. A police report records important information that a personal injury claim may incorporate following an auto accident. So knowing how to get a car accident report in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is important.

WHEN IS A CAR ACCIDENT REPORT FILED?

After suffering a car accident in Philadelphia, a common first reaction is to call 911 to report the accident. When first responders arrive, they file a police report to document the auto accident. As mentioned above, both Pennsylvania and New Jersey law require reporting an accident in certain circumstances. If anyone is killed or injured, it is Pennsylvania law to report a crash to the police. If the parties involved in the accident cannot safely move their accident vehicles safely, they must contact the police immediately. The laws for reporting car accidents are the same in New Jersey. According to Find Law, “In New Jersey, automobile accidents must be reported if they cause injury, death, or over $500 in property damage.”

WHAT INFORMATION DOES A CAR ACCIDENT REPOT CONTAIN

When police arrive at an accident, they investigate the entire scene, which includes inspecting the vehicles involved, speaking to witnesses, and photographing the site. The car accident report contains all of the important information collected from the police investigation. The police report will also include the police officer’s determination of fault. Having a written accident report is helpful when filing a car accident claim. 

A police report includes the other important details listed below. 

  • The date and time the accident occurred
  • The accident location
  • The names and contact info of the parties involved in the accident
  • The names and contact info of passengers in each accident vehicle 
  • Each driver’s insurance information 
  • An explanation and/or diagram of how the accident happened
  • The weather conditions at the time of the crash
  • The names and contact info of any witnesses of the auto accident. 
  • List of injuries sustained by everyone involved in the car accident 
  • The makes, models, and descriptions of each accident vehicle 

HOW TO OBTAIN A CAR ACCIDENT REPORT

After the police finish investigating the car crash, the officer provides all parties involved with a crash receipt. A crash receipt cites the accident date, accident location, and contact information for each party involved in the auto accident. While this receipt is not a full report, the receipt my act as a reference to obtain a car crash report in Pennsylvania or New Jersey. 

Car accident reports are usually available two weeks after the accident and obtained by completing a police report application in person, by email request, or through the website. Getting a car accident report may have a fee or cost associated. If there is any issue obtaining a car accident report, a car accident attorney can help speed up the process by communicating urgency.

WHAT TO DO IF THE INFO ON A CAR ACCIDENT REPORT IS INCORRECT

Mistakes may occur on a police report. Some errors may be factual and easy to correct, but other errors, such as the police officer’s determination of fault may be more complex to handle. If you notice any error on a car accident report, contact the police officer immediately. 

For a simple factual error, such as the accident location address being incorrect, the officer may be willing to simply correct the mistake. For corrections on the determination of fault, changes are a matter of dispute. A car accident attorney is the most effective route to handle a dispute on a car accident report. Your attorney has the resources to conduct an independent accident investigation to challenge the dispute on a police report. Remember, the car accident report is not a final determination of fault for a car crash.

CONTACT A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY

Many car accident victims first visited our office to ask the question, “how do you obtain a car accident report in Pennsylvania?” From that point, Rand Spear and Spear Greenfield welcomed these victims as clients and guided them through the legal process following a car accident injury. Our car accident attorneys obtained a copy of the police report and reviewed the report for any mistakes or errors.

Rand Spear and Spear Greenfield’s goal is to always represent our clients’ best interests. We will fight to represent your best interests and earn you fair compensation for your auto accident damages! Call us now for help with your car accident case.

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