Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Friday, October 6, 2017

Do I Have to Report a Traffic Accident?

Not in all circumstances. While it is always advisable to report a car accident to the relevant authorities, New York Vehicle and Traffic laws have very specific requirements as regards reporting. Basically, there are times when you are mandated to file a report and there are times where you are not required to.

If you have been involved in a traffic accident in the Big Apple, talk to a New York personal injury lawyer for legal guidance.

When Do You Have to Report a Traffic Accident?

According to New York Traffic laws, immediately after a traffic accident, you should stop at the scene. Do not flee from the scene as this can lead to criminal charges. If you had already left the scene, go back.

At the scene, assess whether there has been any damage to property or injury to person, whether a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist.

  1. If the accident only resulted in property damage, then you and the other driver can exchange contact, insurance, driver’s license and vehicle registration information. If the vehicle was parked, look for the owner. If the owner cannot be found, leave a note with your name, address and contact details and report the accident to the police. If you ran over a domestic pet and cannot find the owner, call the police immediately.
  2. If the accident resulted in damage to property exceeding $1,000, both drivers should file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (MV-104) with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days of the accident. Failure to report may lead to a driver’s license suspension. In your report, ensure you include accurate information regarding your motor vehicle insurance cover, especially with regard to its limits.

    If you were seriously injured in the accident and are incapable of filing the report but there is a passenger in the vehicle who is able to, the passenger should file the report within 10 days.

    If you are only the driver of the vehicle, not the owner, and you are physically incapable of filing the report, the owner should do so within 10 days.

  3. If the accident resulted in injury or death of a person, you must call 911 and report to the police immediately. In addition, all involved drivers must file a report with the DMV. This accident will appear in the records of all drivers. It, however, does not mean that you are at fault since the DMV does not apportion fault.

While there are some instances where a driver is not required to file a report, it is advisable to always report accidents to the police since:

  • Some injuries do not reveal themselves until after the accident
  • You may not immediately realize all damage that’s been done to your vehicle
  • The other party could make false claims about the accident much later.

Reporting to Your Insurer

Many insurers include a reporting requirement in their contracts so it would be better to inform your insurer within 2 days of the accident.

If you’ve been in an accident in New York contact a New York personal injury lawyer for assistance. Contact lawyer Arthur O. Tisi now for a FREE consultation to better understand your rights to recover for your personal injuries.



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