Beginning May 3, 2010 those involved in a minor Philadelphia car accident (fender-bender) will no longer have to wait for police to arrive on the scene before filing a police accident report. If damage to the vehicles is minimal and no one is injured, drivers themselves can collect the pertinent information and file the car accident report on their own. Philadelphia car accidents can be reported over the phone or in person once it has been determined by Philadelphia 911 emergency operators that that no one has suffered personal injuries from the Philadelphia car accident.
The specific types of Philadelphia car accidents to which this new rule applies include those in which only the vehicles involved are damaged and not any surrounding personal, commercial, or government property; the vehicles are able to be safely driven away from the scene of the Philadelphia car accident; and all drivers agree to remain at the scene and exchange the relevant car accident information (vehicle make and model details, VIN, license plate number, insurance coverage, owner’s address and phone number).
Before proceeding in gathering information from each other, the drivers involved in a Philadelphia car accident are asked to immediately move their cars to the side of the road out of any other lanes of traffic and illuminate hazard lights. Drivers should then call 911, at which time they will be asked questions by emergency personnel to make sure the Philadelphia Police are not required at the car accident scene. Once it has been confirmed that Philadelphia Police will not be dispatched, the 911 operator will give drivers the contact information for the police district to which the Philadelphia car accident should be reported.
Drivers will be issued a District Control number from the Philadelphia Police Department upon report of the accident and are then able to contact their auto insurance carrier. Officials with the Philadelphia Police Department report that they are called out to nearly 50,000 minor Philadelphia car accidents each year, which may not be the best use of their time. This new Philadelphia car accident reporting system is expected to free-up officers to investigate more serious Philadelphia car accidents, especially those resulting in severe personal injuries or car accident fatalities.
Drivers should continue to call 911 for emergency responders following any Philadelphia car accident where personal injuries are sustained. In addition, though the vehicle damage may be slight, drivers who suspect there are other factors at play, such as driving under the influence (DUI), distracted driving, or driver fatigue, should insist upon police presence at the scene when initially calling 911.
It is not unusual for pain resulting from back injuries, neck injuries, spinal injuries, or shoulder injuries sustained due to a car accident to present itself a day or two after being involved in a “minor accident”. In addition how difficult will it be to actually make a police accident report in Philadelphia. If these types of accidents are low priority, will answering the telephones to take down these reports be low priority? What if the other driver denies that he or she was involved the Philadelphia car accident? It is doubtful that the police will go out and inspect the vehicles for damage as they would do in a normal accident. This may lead to increased false accident claims and insurance fraud.
Should you find that you actually have sustained personal injuries from a Pennsylvania or New Jersey car accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC for a free, no obligation consultation.