Car Accidents and Police Reports


Thousands of car accidents occur nationwide every day. Many of these are minor “fender benders,” in which property damage is slight and no one is hurt. Often, drivers wonder whether they must file a police report after a crash.

Here are three situations in which it is essential to file a police report:

Someone is Injured or Killed

Pennsylvania law requires motorists to contact the police if someone is injured or killed in a car accident. Remember that some injuries, such as whiplash, can take hours to fully manifest, making it tough to tell at the scene how badly you’ve been injured. If you suspect you’ll be “feeling it tomorrow,” file the police report.

Significant Property Damage Occurs

The bills for auto body work can pile up fast. If you suspect you’ll be spending money to get your vehicle fixed, it’s wise to file a police report. Having the accident on record can make it easier for you to seek compensation for auto repair bills or other damaged or lost property, even if no one was hurt.

You Were a Victim of a “Hit and Run”

If you were hit by a driver who then fled the scene, contact the police as soon as possible. “Hit and run” accidents aren’t merely inconveniencing—they’re illegal. The sooner you contact police, the better their chances of identifying the driver, which in turn can help you recover compensation for injuries or property damage.

In any of these situations, you can and should contact police even if one party in the accident was not in a vehicle. For instance, if you were a pedestrian or bicyclist and were hit by a car, it’s important to ensure a police report is on file.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, an experienced Pittsburgh car accident attorney can help you file necessary insurance claims, communicate with police and other parties, and protect your legal rights as you pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. To speak with Attorney Smith and setup a free initial consultation, please call (412) 567-9598 or fill out our online contact form.

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