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September 15, 2017

Do I Have to Call the Police if I’ve Been Injured in an Accident?

Car Accident Lawyer in PA

Involvement in an accident that results in an injury to oneself is not something most people expect. Car wrecks are often violent and traumatic and tend to leave those involved shaken, confused, and uncertain about what to do next. Many people wonder whether they need to call the police or whether they can simply exchange information with the other driver and continue with their day.

The Law

Section 3746(a) of Title 75, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes requires that a driver of a vehicle involved in an accident report the incident to the police immediately if it involves:

injury to or death of any person; or damage to any vehicle involved to the extent that it cannot be driven under its own power in its customary manner without further damage or hazard to the vehicle, other traffic elements, or the roadway, and therefore requires towing.

As a result, you have an affirmative legal duty to call the police in the event that you have been injured in a car wreck in Pennsylvania. In addition, if the police do not investigate the accident, all drivers involved are required to submit a written driver’s accident report to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation within five days of the accident.

The Benefits of Calling the Police

As an accident victim, there may be significant benefits involved in calling the police to investigate your accident—besides the obvious benefit of being in compliance with the relevant law. Under a legal doctrine known as negligence per se, individuals who are in violation of the law can often be held liable for any injuries they cause as a result of that violation without any further showing of evidence by the victim. Put more plainly, if the driver that hit you was breaking a traffic rule and receives a citation, that may be sufficient evidence for you to obtain compensation for your accident-related losses.

When you call the police after an accident, they will interview the people involved and any witnesses that may have seen the accident take place. They will also make a determination as to whether any laws were violated. If the police officers believe laws were broken, they will usually issue citations to the drivers who broke the law. In addition, they will likely perform sobriety testing on any drivers they suspect are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and arrest them if there is probably cause to do so.

In this way, having the police investigate your accident can make your case much easier to win, provided that you are not the at-fault party. Some of the types of traffic violations that often lead to serious car crashes include the following:

  • Speeding
  • Texting and driving
  • Following too closely
  • Running stop signs or stop lights
  • Driving without headlights or taillights at night
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street
  • Malfunctioning vehicle lights
  • Reckless driving

The Benefits of Calling a Lawyer

Not only should you call the police after you are hurt in an accident, you should also call a lawyer. Here are some of the ways in which a lawyer can help you after you are hurt in a crash:

  • Evaluate your case and determine whether there is any evidence of negligence
  • Communicate with the insurance company and make sure that you do not say or do anything that could hurt your chances of recovering compensation
  • Determine your current and future economic and noneconomic losses and attempt to negotiate a settlement that fully compensates you for those losses
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf, if necessary

Perhaps the most notable benefit of retaining a lawyer after an accident is that it allows you to focus on the most important aspect of dealing with the aftermath of a serious wreck: your physical and emotional healing.

Call The Levin Firm Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer

If you have been involved in an injury-causing accident in the Philadelphia area, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. If you can establish that your accident was the result of someone else’s negligence, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses, including the damage to your vehicle and other property, lost income, loss of quality of life, and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

At The Levin Firm, we are committed to representing the rights of accident victims and ensuring that they receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney, call our office today at 215-825-5183 or send us an email through our online contact form available here.

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