Should You Call the Cops for a Fender Bender in Pennsylvania?

Over 100,000 traffic crashes were reported in Pennsylvania in 2020. On average, about 12 motor vehicle accidents occur every hour in the state. The economic loss caused by traffic accidents is estimated to be over $25.8 billion.

Drivers must report traffic accidents to the police immediately when the accident results in injuries, fatalities, or an inoperable vehicle. The law states that a person must report the accident by the quickest means of communication. Generally, that means calling 911 after a traffic accident.

If a police officer does not investigate the crash, drivers must file a written accident report within five days of the crash.  

Do I Call the Police if I Am Involved in a Fender Bender in Pennsylvania?

Fender benders generally describe car accidents that result in minor property damage. In many cases, the cars can be driven from the accident scene. Therefore, in many cases, you are not legally obligated to call the police after a fender bender.

That said, sometimes it is better to call the police for a fender bender than to exchange information with the other driver and file an accident report yourself. Reasons why it could be best to report a fender bender to the cops include:

  • You could realize in a few days that you sustained injuries in the car accident. Minor car crashes can cause neck injuries, soft tissue injuries, and other harm.
  • The police officer creates an official record of the accident. Having a police report can make filing an insurance claim easier.
  • An accident report contains official witness statements and the police officer’s observations, which could help prove causation and fault.
  • The police officer includes details about how the accident occurred and a statement detailing visible damage to the vehicles.
  • It can be difficult to know whether your vehicle sustained significant damages at the accident scene.
  • The police report indicates the police officer’s opinion of whether each driver contributed to the cause of the crash and whether the drivers were cited with traffic violations.

Depending on the crash and the officer investigating the accident, the police report could also contain other information that might assist you in filing a personal injury claim. Fender benders can cause severe injuries and damages. Proving fault and liability is crucial to recover the compensation you deserve for your damages.

What Else Should I Do After Calling the Cops for a Fender Bender?

While waiting for the police officer to arrive, you might want to take photographs and make a video of the accident scene. Try to capture the damage to each vehicle and other evidence. 

In addition, ask witnesses for their contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be invaluable if you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.

Do not discuss the details of the accident with witnesses or the other driver. Also, never admit fault for the cause of the accident. Even if you believe you could be partially to blame for causing the crash, it is best to talk with a car accident lawyer before making any statements. 

Seek Medical Attention After a Fender Bender

You might not believe you need to see a doctor after a minor car crash. However, those aches and pains you experienced might not go away. Instead, they could worsen.

It is a good idea to be checked by a physician after a car accident. The collision could have resulted in injuries that you might not immediately notice. However, delays in treatment could cause the injuries to worsen and make it more difficult to recover compensation for damages.

Damages Caused by a Fender Bender in Carbondale, PA

The damages caused by a car crash include the monetary losses you incur because of the car accident. Examples of economic damages in a car accident case include:

In addition to your financial losses, you may experience pain and suffering after a car accident. Personal injury law allows you to seek compensation for these damages. Non-economic damages include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Emotional distress
  • Scarring, disfigurement, disability, and impairment
  • Mental anguish

How much you receive for a fender bender accident depends on the facts of the case. It can be difficult to know how much to claim for damages. Insurance adjusters downplay the severity of fender benders to lower the value of claims.

If you are unsure what your accident claim is worth, seek legal advice from a car accident attorney before you sign a settlement agreement. The settlement agreement releases the parties from further liability, so you could not recover more money even if you realize you have additional damages. 

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, please contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:

Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

York Law Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Chambersburg Law Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Carlisle Law Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Carbondale Law Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Lancaster Law Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Lebanon Law Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon, PA 17042-1140
(717) 995-8963