No one plans to get into a car accident. But the tight city streets, tourists, and a high number of pedestrians and cyclists can make the roadways through the Bronx difficult to navigate, and car accidents are inevitable. A car accident report details the circumstances of the collision, the parties involved, and often, who was to blame.
Understanding the basics of car accident reports and your obligations under New York law can help you after a car accident and ensure that your rights are protected.
When Should I Report a Bronx Car Accident?
It’s always best to call the police immediately after an accident, even if you don’t seem hurt. A professional on the scene can help facilitate exchanging insurance and contact information with the other driver and de-escalate any tension after the collision.
Additionally, the police create an official report of the incident, recording the damage to each vehicle, road conditions, and witness statements.
Even if it seems like there is no damage to the car and no one is visibly injured, it’s always best to have the accident documented, protecting you in case your insurance company or the other party disputes your claim.
Am I Required to Report a Car Accident in the Bronx?
Car crashes that only result in property damage aren’t required to be reported to the police. New York law only requires you and the other driver to stop and exchange driver’s license information, insurance, and your respective vehicle registration numbers.
Many insurance companies require a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident, which you can file online with the NY Department of Motor Vehicles. Or you can file the report in person at your local police service area or precinct.
While you aren’t required to file an accident report if there was no property damage, it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident without exchanging information with the other drivers, as per New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
You’re required to remain on the scene and immediately contact the police if:
- Any person involved in the accident is injured or killed
- A domestic animal is killed or injured (if the animal’s owner can’t be located)
- A parked car or other property is damaged, and the owner can’t be readily found
You must file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident with the New York DMV within ten days of a car accident if the collision caused injury, death, or damages over $1,000 to the property of any one person. If you fail to report the accident, you may have your license suspended.
What Are the Benefits of Filing a Car Accident Report?
Sometimes, the other driver may try to talk you out of calling the police.
However, there are several benefits to having police respond to the scene of the accident, such as:
- Creating a record of the accident, which can help prevent insurance fraud
- Getting assistance dealing with the other driver. After an accident, emotions can run high, but police offer a cool head
- Creating the traffic accident report, which you may use to pursue a claim or protect you from false claims
- Helping gather evidence about the cause of the accident
Although New York is a no-fault auto insurance state, you may still be able to file a claim for damages against the other driver. If you call 911 and have emergency medical care, it can also strengthen your claim for coverage of your injuries and any ongoing medical care you need after the accident.
What Happens If I Don’t Report a Car Accident in the Bronx, NY?
If you don’t follow the New York state laws for reporting a car accident in the Bronx, you could receive a fine and even have your driver’s license suspended. In addition, many insurance companies won’t accept a claim for property damage or medical bills after an accident unless there is an accident report.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Bronx, NY
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