Car accidents are common on the busy roads of New York. They often lead to injury, property damage, and even death. There were 35% more traffic deaths in the first quarter of 2022 in NYC compared to the same period in 2021. After a car accident, there are steps you’re legally required to take.
Drivers are responsible for calling the police and filing an accident report after a serious crash. You may think, “I didn’t call the police after a NY car accident, so what does that mean for me?” Read on to find out.
Circumstances Under Which You Must Call the Police
You must call the police in case either of these happens:
- Someone got injured in the crash
- The car accident resulted in a person’s death
- The accident led to property damage worth at least $1,000
Sometimes you may not know if the crash led to an injury. It’s better to be on the safe side. Report the accident to the police. You won’t face any penalties for reporting a crash then it’s discovered that no one got injured. However, the opposite is true. You’ll likely get into trouble for not reporting a collision that led to injury or death.
The symptoms of some injuries, like whiplash, tend to manifest sometime after the accident. You can still file a report if you discover injuries after the crash. Promptly call your local police department and report the accident.
The Law on Filing a Car Accident Report
According to New York law, all drivers party to a car accident must file their accident report. They must do so if the accident leads to injury, death, or at least $1,000 in property damage.
Drivers have ten days from the date of the crash to file a report. If you fail to file a report, the DMV might suspend your driver’s license. The suspension will remain effective until they receive your accident report. So, if you’re thinking, “I didn’t call the police after a NY car accident,” you may have some time to file a report before ten days elapse.
Other Laws Regarding Car Accidents in NY That May Affect You
Leaving the scene of a crash that leads to injury or death is a crime. Sometimes, a car accident may cause property damage only. If so, the law states that the involved drivers must exchange pertinent information. That includes information on driver’s licenses, insurance, and registration. In addition, you must file an accident report.
An accident might lead to the damage of a parked vehicle or the injury of a domestic animal. If so, the driver must find the owner and call the police.
The Process of Filing a Police Accident Report in NY
Reporting a car accident in NY involves filling out and submitting the Report of Motor Vehicle Accident. You can carry out the process online. You will need the following information when filling out the report:
- Driver’s license and vehicle registration details
- Location of the car accident
- Description of the vehicle damage
- Insurance details
Accidents usually appear on your record. However, that doesn’t mean you caused the crash.
How Filing a Police Report Helps Your Car Accident Claim
New York is a no-fault state. That means that after an accident, you can recover compensation from your own insurer. You may recover damages regardless of who is at fault.
However, you can file a suit if your losses exceed the no-fault benefits. The same is true if you want to recover non-economic damages in the case of a severe injury.
An accident report helps back up your claims. Thus, it can be instrumental in helping you recover compensation. An insurance company may try to dispute your claim if there’s no accident report.
Obtaining a Copy of a Police Accident Report in NY
You should get a copy of the accident report if you plan to file a compensation claim. Call or go to the local precinct where the crash happened to obtain a copy. Ask them whether the accident report is ready and what the fee is. You can also obtain the report online or in the mail.
There are certain conditions that someone must meet to access an accident report. One, your name must be on the accident report. Two, you must be a party to a lawsuit arising from the crash. Your lawyer can also obtain the accident report on your behalf.
Safeguard Your Right to Compensation After a Car Accident in NY
Ensure you file a police report within ten days after your NY car accident. Doing so will help safeguard your right to compensation. You will also avoid a penalty. A lawyer can advise you on your options if you’re thinking, “I didn’t call the police after a NY car accident.”
Talk to the Car Accident Lawyers at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law
We get it. Car accidents can impact on your health, well-being, and finances which can cause worry, fear, and anxiety -- for you and your family. We have decades of experience championing for our clients and succeeding, even when other attorneys say there is no case and insurance adjusters deny or devalue your claim.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the top-rated car accident law firms in the area. With offices across New York City and New York State, we’ve got you covered. We’ve helped people just like you move forward after sustaining an injury that was caused by another’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.