Settle Your Own Claim, Step 3

Step 3: Getting the Police Report

Remember how I mentioned in Step 1 to make sure the police arrive at the scene of the accident to make a report? This is when the police report is going to come in very handy.

When the police arrive at an accident, an officer writes a report, which includes pertinent information about everyone involved. The police report serves as a factual representation of what happened during the accident. It helps determine who was at fault and lists every driver’s insurance information.

The insurance information found in the police report is most important when resolving a car wreck claim.  The insurance information of both drivers shows you which company you need to call to generate a claim.  The next installment will show you how to do that.

Getting that Report

Obtaining a police report is extremely easy.  Simply call the police department number closest to where the accident happened. Because some cities have multiple precincts,  calling the nearest precinct usually yields the best result. If that’s not the correct one, someone there will usually tell you where to call. In most cases, you simply have to send a letter requesting the report and a $15-30 check to the precinct, where it will be processed. The report will be sent to you. Some precincts, along with the Pennsylvania State Police, have reports online. There, you simply have to purchase the report with a credit card.

Once you have the report in hand, you can look to see what insurance covers the other driver.

Philadelphia Police Reports

In the city of Philadelphia, you must submit this form or arrive in person at Room 168 in City Hall with a check made out to the City of Philadelphia in the amount of $25 in order to request a copy of the police report.

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