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How To Get Pennsylvania Accident Reports

How To Get A Crash Report After A Car Accident in Pennsylvania

If you’re involved in a car accident in Pennsylvania, one of the first steps is to ensure that police officers are notified and able to respond to the collision scene. Upon their arrival, officers will assess the situation, document the scene, gather statements from witnesses, and compile this information into a report. This document serves as a vital record of the accident, detailing the circumstances, involved parties, and any observed violations or contributing factors.

After being involved in an auto accident in Pennsylvania, obtaining a police report or a crash report is crucial for insurance claims and legal purposes. The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) are responsible for maintaining and distributing these reports. You can request a police crash report in several different ways in Pennsylvania. Additionally, consider reaching for a free consultation from the experienced personal injury attorneys at the PhillyLaw law firm where we can help you obtain this important report.

Obtain Police Report Online

The most convenient way to obtain a crash report is through the Pennsylvania State Police’s website. Here, you can search for and purchase crash reports using the report or incident number, the date of the accident, or the involved party’s name. If the accident occurred in Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Police Department responded, you can obtain a copy of your report online here.

Obtain Copy of Police Report by Mail

If you prefer or require a hard copy, you can request a crash report by mail. You’ll need to download the request form on the PSP website and send it along with the required fee either by money order or certified check to the PSP.

Obtain Report In-Person

Another option is to visit any PSP station. Remember to have your accident information ready, such as the police report number if available, the date of the accident, and the names of anyone involved. Fees for obtaining a crash report vary, so check the PSP website or contact them directly for the most current information.

Who Can Request an Accident Report in Pennsylvania?

Under Pennsylvania law, access to a crash report is not universally available to the public due to privacy concerns. However, there are specific individuals and entities who are authorized to request and obtain these reports. These include:

Involved Parties

Individuals directly involved in the car accident, such as drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or property owners affected by the incident, can request the report.

Legal Representatives

Attorneys or legal representatives acting on behalf of the involved parties or their estate can request a copy of the accident report for legal proceedings or insurance claims.

Insurance Companies

Insurance firms representing the involved parties can obtain the report to aid in the assessment and processing of an insurance claim related to the accident.

Government Agencies

Certain government entities may request accident reports for statistical analysis, infrastructure planning, or law enforcement purposes.

Requestors must provide adequate proof of their involvement or interest in the accident, such as identification, proof of relationship to an involved party, or authorization letters, depending on their relationship to the event. This ensures that sensitive information remains protected, while still allowing those with a legitimate need access to the reports.

When Can I Obtain an Accident Report After an Accident in Pennsylvania?

Typically, accident reports are accessible within 15 days of the incident. However, complex accidents may require additional investigation, potentially extending this timeframe. To ensure you receive the most accurate and updated information, it’s advisable to check the PSP’s official website regularly or contact them directly if the report seems delayed.

Why Do I Need an Accident Report in Pennsylvania?

An accident report serves as an official record of the events that transpired during a car accident. Having a copy of this report is essential for several reasons:

Insurance Claims

Most insurance companies require a copy of the accident report to process claims. The report provides insurance adjusters with the facts necessary to determine liability and coverage.

Legal Action

If legal action becomes necessary, an accident report is a vital piece of evidence. Lawyers use it to establish the facts of the case, assess damages, and argue liability in court.

Personal Records

Keeping a personal record of the accident can be helpful for future reference. If there are disputes or questions about the accident down the line, having the report can provide clarity and support your recollection of the events.

Overall, securing a copy of your accident report is a critical step in protecting your rights and interests after a car accident in Pennsylvania.

A Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer from PhillyLaw Will Help You Get An Accident Report in Pennsylvania

A personal injury lawyer can be instrumental in helping you obtain an accident report in Pennsylvania. The personal injury attorneys at PhillyLaw are well-versed in the legalities surrounding car accidents and understand the necessary steps to secure important documents like crash reports. By representing you or your interests, they can expedite the process in several ways:

  • Legal Authorization: Lawyers can request an accident report on behalf of their clients due to their status as legal representatives. They provide the necessary authorization and identification, ensuring the request meets all privacy and legal guidelines.
  • Expertise: With their expertise, personal injury lawyers can ensure that all documentation is correctly filled out and submitted, reducing the likelihood of delays due to errors or incomplete information.
  • Navigating Bureaucracy: Personal injury lawyers are familiar with the procedures and channels within the Pennsylvania State Police system and can navigate the bureaucracy more efficiently than the average person.
  • Advocacy: In cases where there might be delays or problems in obtaining the report, a lawyer can advocate on your behalf, using their legal knowledge and experience to resolve any issues.

The skilled legal team at the personal injury law firm, PhillyLaw, is available for a free consultation if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and would like to learn how to seek compensation.

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