How to File a Car Accident Report in Lancaster, PA
When you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, you may be anxious to hold the liable party accountable. From the start, there are steps you can take to begin building a case against them so you can get the most out of your claim.
One of the first steps you can take is to file a car accident report. When your collision occurred in Lancaster, PA, having a car accident report as part of your evidence could prove invaluable in supporting your case.
Here’s more about how you can file a car accident report in Lancaster, PA, what a car accident report should contain, and other important details to build your case against those responsible.
When Is a Car Accident Report Filed in Pennsylvania?
Generally, when you are involved in a collision, your first call will be to emergency responders and law enforcement officials. Lancaster police who arrive at the scene of the accident will then document damages, injuries, note how the accident occurred, and determine liability.
If you have an obligation to file your own accident report when police do not conduct an investigation, you can do so by filing an accident report with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Failure to adhere to Pennsylvania car accident reporting laws could result in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Key Information in Your Car Accident Report
The information that should be included in your car accident report could prove valuable in figuring out who is responsible for causing your injuries and the accident itself. Law enforcement officials will be sure to include a variety of details, including:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Notes regarding property and vehicle damage
- The date and time of the collision
- Where the accident occurred
- The types, makes, and models of the vehicles involved
- All involved parties’ license, registration, and insurance information
- The names and contact information of all involved parties, including passengers
- A description of how the accident occurred
- Notes regarding weather conditions at the time of the accident
- Notes regarding the injuries sustained by all involved parties
- A diagram of how the accident occurred and who is responsible
- The names and contact details of all bystanders and potential witnesses to the accident
Why Your Accident Report Matters
Although there may not always be a requirement that an accident report is filed, doing so could make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Having a crash report that details police findings and other important information regarding how the accident occurred and why the defendant is at fault could go a long way in helping prove the defendant’s negligence and liability for your damages. Additionally, if you file a claim with the insurance company, you may be required to file an accident report before the insurance company is willing to process your claim.
How to File a Car Accident Report
In the aftermath of your car accident, your first reaction will likely be to contact 911 emergency responders. If police investigate, they will file the car accident report on your behalf, including the above details.
However, if you are responsible for filing your own car accident report, here are the steps you can take:
- Obtain a copy of the form AA – 600 and fill out the form in its entirety
- Be sure to include information regarding how the accident occurred, where it happened, who the involved parties were, vehicle descriptions, and a diagram of the accident
- Once your form has been completed, mail it within five days to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. You can send your completed form to the following address:
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Bureau of Highway Safety and Traffic Engineering
PO Box 2047
Harrisburg, PA 17105
Obtain a Copy of Your Report Online or by Mail
Once your crash report has been filed, it is important to obtain a copy. These are typically available within two weeks of the collision. You can obtain a copy of yours by visiting the Lancaster police department to request a police report application, email the Lancaster Police Department, or visit the Pennsylvania State Police website. Be prepared to pay a $22 fee to obtain a copy of your report online or by mail.
Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer in PA Today
If you need assistance obtaining or filing a car accident report, or if your report has been filed and you are anxious to get started on your insurance and civil claims, do not hesitate to contact an experienced Pennsylvania car accident lawyer at Atlee Hall.