How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in New York?

There are many procedures to follow and forms to fill out after a car accident in New York. One of the first and most important steps is to ensure you have notified law enforcement.

It is not necessary to report every vehicle collision. However, when a crash involves personal injury or severe property damage, you must notify the state within 10 days. The failure to do so could cost you in a number of ways.

After you’ve reported your accident to the authorities, you might benefit from discussing your options with the New York City car accident lawyers of Douglas & London. We could help you seek compensation following an accident that was not your fault.

Other regulations for reporting an accident

When only property damage is involved, it is necessary to notify the authorities when the damage is more than $1,000. However, it can be difficult to estimate the cost of a vehicle repair, so it is typically better to be safe than sorry– notify the police after any crash short of a fender bender.

The process of reporting an accident in New York

  • The first step in the reporting process is to notify local police. Typically, the nearest police station will handle that call. If the accident occurred on a public street or highway, the police would appear at the scene to make their report. This is not always the case if the accident occurs on private property, like a parking lot. In those instances, they may require you to file a report in person.
  • Once the police file an official report in your accident, you are entitled to a copy. This is important for the next step, which requires that you file the report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You must provide a copy of the police report to the DMV within 10 days of the crash.
  • If you are incapacitated or physically unable to file that report, any passenger in your car at the time of the crash is responsible. If you are not the owner of the car, the owner is also required to file a report if you are too injured to do so. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to find someone to file it on your behalf as soon as possible. It’s important that you do this, as your personal injury lawyer will use any reports you file to pursue your claim for compensation.

Informing your insurance company

There is no requirement under state law that you inform your insurance company of an accident. However, contacting them is likely in your best interest.

Failing to notify your insurance company could have serious consequences. Because you are contractually obligated to notify them, the failure to do so could be a breach of said contract. This could have far-reaching consequences for you.

For starters, if your insurance company determines you have breached the agreement or are not cooperating with their investigation, they could deny any claims made on your liability policy. This could leave you at risk of being saddled with the cost of the other driver’s bills if you are found to be responsible. If you have a comprehensive policy, you could miss out on your own compensation as well.

Contact us today at Douglas and London

The New York City personal injury lawyers of Douglas & London can assist you every step of the way following a car accident. From helping you notify your insurer to making certain you comply with accident reporting requirements; our firm is ready to help. Call now to learn more.