Will Police Respond to My Car Accident in Philadelphia?

As of May 3, 2010, Philadelphia Police do not respond to the scene of minor accidents and fender benders where there are no injuries and when vehicles can be safely driven away. Philadelphia Police do respond when there are personal injuries and emergencies. Call 911 in either case.

What to do if you have been injured:

If you are able to, get our of harm’s way. Call 911. If there are injuries involved, police and paramedics should be dispatched immediately. Police will also create a Philadelphia car accident report. After, see our page: the correct steps to take after a car accident, then contact Philadelphia car accident lawyer Edith Pearce. In the quick video below, she explains just what to do after an accident:

What to do if Philadelphia Police do not respond:

First of all we should note that if you have just been involved in an accident it is very important to stay safe. Standing in the road while your adrenaline is pumping is not a good place to be.

The announcement of Philly PD no longer showing up to non-injury vehicle collisions basically states that if the only thing damaged are the vehicles in the accident, the vehicles can safely drive away, there are no injuries, and all drivers involved kindly exchange information, that drivers should contact 911. The announcement states that:

  • Drivers should move their cars to the side of the road, safely out of any lanes of travel, and turn on hazard lights.
  • Drivers should then call 911 emergency operators, where they will be asked a series of questions to determine whether or not police must be dispatched to the scene of the accident.
  • Once a determination is made that the drivers may report the accident in person, or on the phone, they will be given the contact information of the appropriate police district to which they can report the accident.
  • Drivers should then exchange the following owner/vehicle information with each other before leaving the scene:

Information to be exchanged includes: Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, insurance company name, insurance policy number, vehicle year, make, model, color, license plate number, and VIN #, which should be located on the driver’s side of the car, on the dashboard, which is visible when looking through the windshield. This will look like a very large combination of numbers consisting of 17 characters (Example: 1C4RJEBG8CC299381).

What if my injury appears later?

The fact is many injuries occur, even during very low speed impacts. Sometimes the adrenaline wears off and people realize they have a soft tissue injury such as whiplash. Soft tissue injuries may not present themselves until days or weeks after the accident. While some forms of whiplash clear up, others can last a very long time. Other injuries which do not always appear right away include chronic head pain, or even a cracked sternum. Concussions  are another injury which can have long lasting negative side affects.

If your injuries appear days or weeks later, contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation and we will go over your legal options with you.

What else can drivers do?

After any accident, it is wise to obtain witness information and pictures of the accident. Do not stand in the street to take pictures of the accident scene. If you have any discomfort at all, have the police respond get an accident report.