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When to Report a Car Accident in NY

  • When a serious car accident happens, you know you'll need to report it. When the police arrive, there's a good chance that they'll file a crash report for your New York auto wreck. But, not all accidents require a crash report. Do you have to file for a fender bender? What if no one was hurt?

    Every state has unique laws about reporting car crashes, so you'll need to know what to do before your accident happens. If you've been involved in a car accident in New York, make sure you file a report when your accident meets the requirements outlined in state law.


    When People Are Injured

    Accidents can be serious, and if someone suffered an injury or was killed in the accident, the responsible driver must file a car crash report as soon as possible. They're also expected to stay on the scene and call for help. The other driver might need emergency care in the wake of the crash, and you could be the only one able to request it.

    The consequences for not reporting an accident in these situations can be serious. You'll have only 10 days to file a written report for injuries and deaths, and you'll need to orally report the accident by calling the police as soon as possible. Not reporting an injury immediately is a misdemeanor, which means you could be paying hefty fines and dealing with a license suspension or even jail time.


    Dealing with Property Damage

    If there was only property damage, you might be tempted to absorb the financial loss and move on with your day. After all, there weren’t any injuries, it might not seem like serious damage, and you or the other driver don't want to deal with the stress of filing an accident claim.

    Still, drivers are required to make an immediate oral report to the police when an accident happens, even when it only involves property damage. If the damage exceeds $1,000, a written report will be required. If you’re not sure whether your damages exceed $1,000, it’s advised to file a written report, just in case.

    If you don't file a written report, the penalties might be less severe, but they can still affect you. You could be fined up to $250, so it’s better to call now rather than pay unnecessary fines later.


    Getting the Settlement You Deserve

    It can often be challenging to judge the severity of an accident immediately after the fact. If it’s just a fender bender, you might be unsure whether you're required to file a written report, or whether you need to notify the police.

    In most cases, however, it's best that you or the other driver report the accident, so you can get the settlement you need to recover. Unfortunately, you might still have trouble getting a settlement, even if you did file your report correctly.

    When this happens, you'll need a highly trained New York car accident lawyer from Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP. Our attorneys can review your case for free, and then work diligently for the full compensation you deserve. If you're struggling with your claim, get started with our firm by calling 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or by visiting our website for more information.