- Duty to Report Car Accidents
- When Should You Call the Police After a Car Accident?
- What Are the Benefits of Calling the Police?
- Calling 911 Helps Your Injury Claim
- Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Bronx, NY
New York law tells you when you must call 911 after a car accident in the Bronx. But even when the law does not require you to call 911, you still might consider reporting an accident to the police.
Reporting an accident to the police creates a record of your accident and documents your injuries. This can provide powerful evidence when you file an insurance claim.
Here are some factors that can help you to decide when to call 911 after a Bronx car accident.
Duty to Report Car Accidents
Under New York law, you must report accidents where:
- Anyone was killed or injured
- Unattended property – including public property – sustained damage
You do not need to call the police for property damage-only accidents in which all property owners received notice of the damage.
When Should You Call the Police After a Car Accident?
It’s important to satisfy your legal duty to report accidents that produce injuries or fatalities. But beyond those accidents, you should also consider calling the police after any accident.
Car accidents sometimes produce delayed or hidden injuries. For example, some injuries only become apparent after your tissue swells. Many concussion symptoms take hours or even days to appear.
Car accident injuries can also worsen over time. You might experience minor knee pain after your accident that you attribute to bumping it during your collision. But over time, your injury might worsen as torn ligaments or cartilage become inflamed.
The forces involved in an accident can cause a range of injuries, from damaged discs in your neck and back to fractured bones. You should always consider calling the police if you experience these forces during a collision.
What Are the Benefits of Calling the Police?
There are several benefits to calling the police after an accident, including:
Creating a Record of the Accident
New York uses a no-fault system of auto insurance. Although insurers do not need to investigate fault when paying out for no-fault claims, they will investigate fraud.
Fraudsters often file false no-fault claims. In these scenarios, the victimized insurer pays a medical provider for services that were never performed. The medical provider splits the money with the claimant.
If you contact the police after your accident, the police can document the facts surrounding your accident and injuries. This will smooth out the claims process by addressing the insurer’s fraud checks.
Getting Assistance with the Other Driver
After an accident, New York law requires you to exchange information with the other driver. But sometimes, tempers run hot, and engaging with the other driver can escalate the situation. If the other driver suffered severe injuries, they might not have the ability to exchange information.
When you call the police, the responding officers can facilitate the information exchange. This will give you what you need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Producing a Traffic Accident Report
The responding officers will investigate your accident. Some steps they may take during their investigation include:
- Talking to everyone involved, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists
- Interviewing witnesses
- Examining physical evidence, such as skid marks
- Photographing the accident scene
- Administering field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests if drugs or alcohol were involved
Based on their investigation, the officers will prepare an accident report. This report can provide valuable evidence as you file your insurance claim or lawsuit.
Calling 911 Helps Your Injury Claim
Calling the police satisfies your legal duties, but it also sets you up for success with your injury claim.
If you do not call the police and you later develop an injury, your insurer might deny your claim. By calling the police any time you suspect an injury, you prevent the insurer from using your actions as grounds for denial.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Bronx, NY
We have two convenient locations in New York: