Have you or someone you know ever been involved in a fender bender? You have, at the very least, driven past them on the highway during rush hour. Minor car accidents are fairly common and typically involve some property damage, but major injuries might also be involved.
If you are involved in a minor traffic accident, you may wonder if you need to report it to the authorities. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
Do I Need to Report Minor Car Accidents to Law Enforcement in PA?
If the accident was minor, such as a rear-end accident, and no one was injured, you do not need to report the incident to the police. According to Pa. C.S.A §3744, you must report a car accident to law enforcement in Pennsylvania if the accident resulted in injury or death. Additionally, if a vehicle is too badly damaged to drive away from the accident and must be towed or removed by other means, you will also need to contact law enforcement.
If, by rare circumstances, law enforcement is unable to make it to the scene of the accident before everything is resolved, all parties involved must fill out Form AA-600 within five days of the accident.
Do I Need to Report Minor Car Accidents to My Insurance Company?
While Pennsylvania state law does not mandate that you report an accident to your insurance company, most insurance policies require that you report all incidents that resulted in any damage to your car. This would include fender benders and minor accidents.
Benefits of Reporting an Accident
While it may seem like a hassle to you, it’s actually to your benefit to report an accident. There may be damage to your car that is not visibly obvious. Worse still, you could actually be more injured than you realize. It’s not uncommon for a person to not feel any pain until a few days after an accident.
If you don’t get a police report, it’s your word against the other driver’s. They could blame you for an accident you didn’t cause. Having a police report strengthens your claim and makes it much easier to recover damages if you weren’t at fault.
Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident
Do NOT agree with the other driver to “work things out privately” and not report the accident to your insurance companies. People often change their minds about who was at fault, and often fail to live up to their agreement. These side conversations could also jeapordize a personal injury claim if you discover later on that you were injured.
If you think you might have been injured, speak to a lawyer before discussing anything with your insurance company. Do NOT accept any settlement offers from your insurance company without first consulting with a personal injury lawyer who can help you understand what you are truly entitled to.
Do You Need Legal Help After a Minor Car Accident?
If you need legal assistance because of a minor traffic accident, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Freeburn Law for a free consultation. We can discuss your accident and whether you are entitled to compensation. We have been serving clients throughout Pennsyvlania for more than 70 years. Contact us today to talk about your case.