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How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in New York?

How Long is the Reporting Window for Car Accidents in New York?
New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Following a car accident, you may be concerned about a variety of issues, including your injuries and vehicle damage, and you may be unsure of what to do. Reporting your accident is one of the most important things you can do, and it could come in handy when it comes time to file a claim with your insurance company. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations about reporting car crashes. In New York, depending on the nature of the accident and its repercussions, you will be compelled to report it and meet specific deadlines; failure to do so may result in fines or other penalties.

Report Car Accident to the DMV in New York

When a crash results in injuries or death, or when property damage exceeds $1,000, New York State requires all drivers to file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days. If there were many drivers engaged in the incident, each must report the accident to the DMV. We advise to always file a report with the DMV, especially if you are not entirely sure if the damages surpass $1,000. To do so, you must fill out the form MV-104, which may be obtained on the DMV website. You have the option of filling it out online and printing it, or filling it out by hand after printing it. After you have completed the form, you must mail it to the address listed on the back of the form. If you fail to report an accident to the DMV in a situation where you are obligated to do so, your driver license may be suspended until the report is filed.

In New York, who else should I report the accident to?

Report Car Accident to the Police

After a car accident that causes injuries or death, you must stay at the scene and you are required to report it to the police as soon as possible. If there were no serious damages and nobody got hurt you can report it to the police by calling non emergency numbers or visiting any police station. If you struck a parked vehicle and are unable to contact the owner, you must also report it to the police. Drivers can also ask for copies of their accident reports in the police stations where they were filed.

Report Car Accident to the Insurance

There are no laws that require drivers to report car accidents to their insurance companies. However, doing so is critical because it ensures that you will receive your no-fault benefits. Furthermore, if the collision is not reported in a timely manner, some insurance providers may refuse coverage. Most insurance companies require you to report the collision within 30 days of the incident. Nevertheless, it is important to do so as soon as possible so that you do not have any problems in the future when filing a claim for compensation.

Report Car Accident to the MVAIC

If you were involved in a crash with a driver that has no insurance you can file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC). This is a fund used to protect automobile accident victims, cyclists and pedestrians that want to recover their losses caused by a collision. If the accident involved a Hit and Run or an unidentified motor vehicle, you must submit a Notice of Intention (NOI) within 90 days to be eligible for this program. But if the crash involved an identified motor vehicle you have 180 days to file a NOI. 

What Happens if You Don’t Report a Car Accident?

Failing to report an accident to the authorities may result in sanctions.

  • Not reporting an accident that exceeds $1,000 in damages is penalized with a $250 fine or 15 days in jail
  • Failure to report an accident that results in injuries can result in fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, as well as a year in prison.
  • Failure to report an accident involving death, disfigurement, bone fractures, loss of an organ or member and other serious injuries might result in a fine of up to $2,500 and up to four years in prison.

In addition to the legal consequences stated above, missing the report may affect your chances of collecting compensation from your insurance carrier. The MVAIC also requires that you report the accident to the police within 24 hours, otherwise your eligibility could be affected. 

Recovering Your Losses With a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Even if you have taken all of the appropriate procedures to recover your losses following an automobile accident, your insurance coverage may not be sufficient to pay all of your expenses. If this is the case, your best choice is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver; however, you will need the help of an experienced attorney in order to do so. They will assist you in gaining a better understanding of your legal alternatives and taking action as soon as feasible. In normal circumstances, you have three years to initiate a personal injury claim, but you must act quickly if you want to enhance your odds of succeeding in court.

At Greenberg & Stein P.C. We have an excellent team of accident lawyers that will help you receive the compensation you deserve. You will receive the correct guidance in difficult situations if you hire a lawyer who is well-versed in NYS laws. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team, call 212-969-8785. They will review your case and explain all of your alternatives.