If you don’t know how to obtain a car accident report in Pennsylvania, the information below will provide guidance. A car accident report is often an important piece of evidence you’ll need when filing a claim with your (or another driver’s) insurance company.
The following information about how to obtain a car accident report in Pennsylvania is provided by the personal injury law office of Stapp Law, LLC, located in downtown Williamsport.
Our skilled team has been assisting residents of Lycoming County with all manner of legal issues for many years. If you have questions about a motor vehicle crash in which you or a loved one was injured, contact our law firm. We offer free consultations to potential clients in search of expert legal representation.
Get a Copy of Your Crash Report From PA State Police
Most car crash accident reports are ready about two weeks after the incident. The Pennsylvania State Police Department advises you to wait 15 days until submitting your report request.
You must pay a fee of $22.00 for a copy of a crash report. Any updates to your report will be free of charge for up to one year following the motor vehicle crash.
You can request a car accident report from the Pennsylvania state police in two ways:
- Through the PA state police online crash report request portal
- By mailing form SP 7-0015, an application to obtain a copy of a police report
Obtaining a Car Accident Report Online
If you choose to request your PA car accident report online, you can search by the incident number, if you already have a paper copy of the crash report. The incident number is listed in the top left corner of the document. For those who do not know the incident number, you can search your particular motor vehicle incident by name and date.
Once you have located the report, you can add it to your cart and purchase it through the website. You will need a valid email address to access a link to download the file.
Obtaining a Car Accident Report by Mail
Requesting your Pennsylvania car accident report by mail allows you to submit a request before 15 days have passed. You will need to print the request form and include a money order or certified check for $22.00 in the envelope. Your check can be made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
You can mail your crash report request form and valid payment to the following address:
Attention: Crash Reports Unit
1800 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Once your request has been received, processed, and approved, you will receive your car accident report by mail. Be sure that the information in your form is correct and complete.
Who Can Request To Obtain a Car Accident Report in Pennsylvania?
Only those authorized by Section 3751(b) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code can obtain a copy of a crash report in PA. Those authorized parties are:
- Any person involved in the car accident
- The attorney of any person involved
- The insurance company of any policyholder involved in the crash
- The federal government
- Branches of the military
- PA Commonwealth agencies
- Officials of political subdivisions
- Government agencies and subdivisions of other states or nations
Only in very rare cases would a government body need to request a car accident report. In the vast majority of situations, the first three listed parties are the ones who need to obtain a crash report: the involved motorists, their lawyers, and their auto insurers.
Why Would You Need To Obtain a Car Accident Report?
If you were involved in any type of motor vehicle incident in Williamsport, Lycoming County, or elsewhere in PA, you will need a copy of the crash report for your insurance or legal claim. This type of incident includes:
- Car accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bus accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Car vs. pedestrian accidents
In many cases, your insurance company will obtain the car accident report for you. But it’s always a good idea to have a copy for your own records—especially if you may need to file a claim with an insurance company other than your own.
It’s also smart to make sure your car accident lawyer has a copy of your accident report, not just the insurance company. If the company offers you a lower settlement amount than you deserve, your attorney can use the crash report as part of the evidence to support your claim for full and fair compensation.
Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney After a Williamsport Motor Vehicle Crash?
Some car accidents are minor, resulting in minimal to no injuries and property damages. In cases like these, you may be able to handle a car accident claim with your insurance company on your own.
But not all motor vehicle crash cases proceed so smoothly. If anyone suffered serious injuries or property damage, it may be best to get legal help involved. And if there are any disputes about liability or what constitutes a fair settlement amount, it’s imperative that a skilled Pennsylvania car accident lawyer be brought in to defend your rights and make sure a fair outcome is achieved.
The car accident legal team at Stapp Law, LLC has the experience you need after a crash. We stand up for our clients when they need it most. Our law firm doesn’t take just any case that walks through our office door. When we take a case, it means something to us. You have our guarantee that, as our client, we will do everything in our power to make sure your case has the best possible result.
Call or schedule a free consultation online. A lawyer from Stapp Law, LLC is ready to evaluate your case at no cost to you.