If you are involved in an automobile accident in Pennsylvania, the first thing you should do is contact the police and emergency medical services. In some cases, no one may need emergency medical attention; however, you should always contact the police regardless of how serious the accident may be. You want the police to investigate the accident and complete a police report.
The police officer is an independent third party who is reporting the accident as he or she observes it at the time of the accident. The police officer is observing the accident scene immediately following the accident noting important details that you may not recall or you may not notice. While a police report cannot be used as evidence in your personal injury case, a police report can provide valuable information your attorney can use as (s)he is preparing your automobile accident claim.
What Information Does a Police Report Provide?
It may not be necessary to have a police report in order to pursue a personal injury claim against the other driver. If there is not a police report, your car accident attorney will more than likely still perform a thorough investigation to obtain information & basic facts regarding the accident. However, having a police report can save time by providing information such as:
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- Contact information for each driver
- Insurance information for all drivers
- Contact information for potential eyewitnesses
- The weather conditions and road conditions at the time of the accident
- A diagram of the accident scene including the position of the vehicle
- Any personal observations the officer may have of the accident scene
- Information regarding who was at fault for the accident
A police officer is not an eyewitness to the accident; however, a police officer may be able to provide valuable information and testimony as to other facts related to the accident scene. For example, if the stop sign is almost completely covered by foliage, this may be a crucial piece of evidence that can relate to the issue of liability.
What Other Evidence is Important in a Car Accident?
If you do not have a police report, the police report is inaccurate, or the police report is incomplete, this is not the end of your personal injury case. Evidence from the accident scene such as photographs taken by the driver, eyewitness statements, physical evidence, and your own personal account of the accident are important pieces of evidence your injury attorney can use to establish liability on the part of the other driver.
If possible, take photographs of the accident scene immediately following the accident and obtain contact information for any eyewitnesses to the accident. Provide this information to your car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will conduct a thorough accident investigation to identify and preserve key evidence in your case.
After a Wreck, Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Car Accident Attorney
Each vehicle accident is unique; however, almost every car accident causes some type of damage. Physical injuries, emotional trauma, and property damage are common damages in an automobile accident case. You need an experienced Harrisburg automobile accident attorney to work for your best interest. Contact the experienced Harrisburg automobile accident lawyers of Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC for a free consultation. We want to help you receive a fair and just settlement for your damages and losses.