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

NY Car Accident: Unreported Consequences
New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

An automobile accident is something that no one wants to happen to them. Unfortunately, due to the large number of cars in today’s cities, this is not an unusual occurrence. When it comes to reporting accidents, each state has its own set of rules and regulations. According to New York State Law, you must report car accidents under the following situations, and failure to do so will result in different penalties.

  • The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) must be notified of all car accidents that result in significant injury or death within 10 days. Leaving the scene of the accident is considered a felony, punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a $2500 fine.
  • Accidents that only cause material damage and cost more than $1000. In situations like this, you must report the collision to the DMV.  You can estimate the value of the damage yourself or get an estimate from a repair company and file the report in less than 10 days after the accident. A $250 fine and/or up to fifteen days in prison may be imposed if the accident is not reported.
  • Accidents in which only vehicle damage occurs, but the property owner is not present and cannot be found. For example, if an automobile collides with another parked vehicle and the owner is nowhere to be located, the at-fault driver is required to file a report.

Keep in mind that a misdemeanor prosecution may be filed against a driver who fails to file an accident report with police within 10 days after being obligated to do so. After 10 days, your license and/or registration may be suspended until you file.

Unable to Complete a Written Report Within 10 Days

Accident injuries might sometimes be so serious that the motorist is unable to file a written report within the time frame required. When this happens, if there was a passenger in the automobile at the time of the accident, they are responsible for filing the report. Another case could be when the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, in this situation the owner must file all accident reports if the driver is unable to do it. 

Is it Required to Report a Car Accident in NY to my Insurance Company?

There is no law that requires you to report an accident to the insurance company. Nevertheless, especially in a no-fault state like New York, it is highly advised that you notify your insurance provider about the incident within 30 days. By doing this you ensure you will receive your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits that are used to cover medical expenses and lost wages. Furthermore, if you do not disclose the accident to your insurer, they may reject coverage or make the process of collecting compensation more difficult.

How to File a Report After a Car Accident in New York?

Once you’ve concluded that the accident you were in requires filing a DMV report, you’ll need to fill out the MV-104 form. This form is available on their website and may be filled out online or printed and filled out by hand. The following information is required on this form:

  • Driver license information
  • Information about vehicle registration
  • Description of the damage to the vehicle
  • Location of the accident
  • Name of the passengers in the cars involved at the moment of the collision and details of all injuries sustained.
  • Your insurance policy information
  • You can also provide key information such as whether or not the passengers wore seatbelts and whether or not airbags were deployed.

Can I Receive Insurance Compensation After a Car Accident If There Isn’t A Police Report?

Yes, the insurance company may agree to pay without a police report, but the simplicity with which the procedure may be completed will be determined by the amount of money being claimed. Most insurance companies will not pay huge sums of money unless there is sufficient evidence that the claim is genuinely deserving of such payment. Experienced accident attorneys can help you receive reasonable compensation, they will assist you in gathering the evidence necessary to prove that your demands are completely justified. However, having a police report will always be a good piece of information in order to pursue a settlement. Even while New York State Law does not compel you to submit a report for accidents that result in less than $1000 in damages, you should still do so since it may come in useful if the situation changes in the future.

When Do Personal Injuries Result In A Lawsuit?

Due to the fact New York is a no-fault state, all claims must be filed with the driver’s own insurance company, regardless of who is at blame. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required for all drivers and covers medical bills, lost income, and other out-of-pocket expenses up to $50,000. Nonetheless, there are accidents that may result in death, serious injury or damages to property. If the coverage provided by your PIP is not sufficient to pay for all expenses and you were not at fault, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. New York State Law classifies the following as serious injury:

  • Dismemberment
  • Significant disfigurement
  • Fractures
  • Loss of an organ or bodily function
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent limitation of use of and organ o member

If your case is worth pursuing in court, you’ll need to contact a car accident attorney. Personal injury cases are time-consuming and difficult to manage, so having someone to defend you and guide you through each stage is critical to your success in court.

New York’s Best Legal Representation

Our accident lawyers at Greenberg and Stein P.C. can help you get the compensation you deserve, whether you need to make a claim with your insurance company or file a personal injury lawsuit. Our legal team has years of expertise dealing with all types of vehicle accidents and will go to great lengths to ensure that justice is served. To schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to evaluate your case as soon as possible, call 212-969-8757.