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Reporting a Car Accident in New York

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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In the aftermath of a car accident in New York, you may be wondering what your next steps should be. One of the most important responsibilities you will have is reporting your car accident. But not every car accident requires a police report.

If you are not sure whether you need to report a car accident in New York, or if you need legal help after a car accident, Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates can give you legal guidance and support.

When to Report A New York Car Accident

After a car accident, you may not know whether you are required to file a car accident report. According to NY § 605(a)(1), New York State law requires you to file a report within ten days of any car accident that:

  • Causes injury or death of one or more people
  • Causes property damage exceeding $1,000

This means, in instances where you might have been lightly rear-ended but suffered no physical injuries and minimal vehicle damage, you may not be required to file an accident report with the state.

Why Should You File an Accident Report?

Failure to report an accident within ten days could mean you are risking suspension of your driver’s license. Filing an accident report may also be in your best interests following the accident.  However, even if an accident report is not filed in your accident, New York Law does not bar you from bringing a claim.

At the time, you may not be fully aware of the extent of your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, or any of the other ways the accident might affect your life. By filing a New York car accident report, you can take steps to protect yourself should you need to take legal action in the future, as it may become important evidence in an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

For a free legal consultation, call (212) 540-2987

How to Report a Car Accident in New York

If you, another motorist, or a witness calls a police officer to the scene, the officer will likely file a report about the accident for you (MV-104a). In the event that the police were not called to the scene and you need to report your car accident on your own, you can submit a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident (MV-104) form with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

You will need to include detailed information about the accident, as well as your insurance and contact information. The report can be submitted online, via mail, or in person. 

How to Obtain a Copy of Your New York Car Accident Report

The New York DMV only keeps copies of police and motorist accident reports for four years from the accident date. For this reason, soon after your collision, it may be in your best interests to obtain copies of your New York car accident report that the police or other motorists involved in your accident may have filed. 

Find Out if the DMV Has Your Report On File

First, you can do a free and limited search on the New York DMV website to see if they have a copy of your report available. You may be able to find a copy of your accident report by searching via the “List Reports on File by Date” in the DMV‘s system. This will return a list of results of accident reports filed on the date of your choosing.

Search for Your Report

If there are specific reports that you want access to or copies of, then you will need to do a paid search to order them. The search fee itself is $7. You can search for your specific report by your DMV accident case number, plate number, or license number.

You should also be prepared to input one of the following types of information to purchase a copy of the accident report:

  • Your driver’s license number
  • The license plate number of any vehicles involved in the accident
  • The DMV‘s case number

Purchase Copies of Your Report

Each copy of the report will be an additional $15. This means you can expect to pay the $7 search fee plus the $15 to access one copy of your accident report. 

Once you have made your payment, you will be able to access your report via digital download in PDF format. The report will be available to you for a maximum of seven days. Once those seven days have passed, the DMV‘s system will require you to purchase the accident report again.

Your accident report may prove to be a valuable piece of evidence that you and your attorney can use to support your claim for damages after a car accident in New York.

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A New York Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You 

Get help with your injury claim or lawsuit from a New York car accident lawyer at Dansker & Aspromonte LLP Associates. We have been serving New Yorkers since 1989 and have won over $500 million on behalf of our clients. 

You can get started on your car accident case today by giving our office a call to receive a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.

Call or text (212) 540-2987 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form

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