On any given day, hundreds of motor vehicle accidents occur in New York City. Local police departments cannot possibly send an officer to the scene of every crash. However, this doesn’t mean that drivers are off the hook when filing an accident report.
New York State law requires all drivers to file an accident report with the local police within 10 days of a crash, no matter how minor or insignificant. Filing an accident report with the police is not the same as filing an insurance claim, and many drivers who have fallen victim to this error have paid the price down the line.
Determining when and how you should file a police report for a vehicle accident can be confusing, particularly when excessive damage or injuries cloud your mind. In this blog, we will describe the types of accident reports required by New York State, when they should be filed, and what resources you can use to stay compliant for future legal claims.
Types of Accident Reports in NY
There are two types of police reports used in New York to record the occurrence of an accident:
- MV-104A (Police Accident Report): This form is the official report submitted by a police officer who responds to the scene of an accident. This form is submitted by the officer and may not require the driver to complete additional steps.
- MV-104 (Civilian Accident Report): This form is the report drivers are expected to fill out if there is no responding officer to the scene of an accident, or if an officer requires a driver to compete these forms after providing the MV-104A form and the Exchange of Information form. The reports are submitted to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (D.M.V.) by the drivers via online, mail, or in person.
New York drivers should always call the local police immediately after a crash occurs to assess damage and injuries. If your accident is minor, police officers may not be able to respond if they are experiencing a high volume of calls. But this decision should be left up to the department, not the drivers, to help avoid future complications with your accident claim.
The two types of accidents that generally require police to be physically present for the filing of a report include:
- An accident that involves an injury or fatality; and
- An accident that results in over $1,000 in property damage.
Even when a crash is minor, calling police officers to the scene can be beneficial if your accident is expected to result in further legal matters. Police officers are trained in filing accident reports, protecting the scene of an accident, gathering witnesses, and ensuring drivers receive the medical care they need if an injury occurs. They can provide a third-person perspective about the cause of an accident that drivers may not be able to provide, especially in the case of an injury.
How To File an Accident Report
Filing an accident report in New York can be more complicated than you think. MV-104 forms require several pieces of information pertaining to an accident that drivers are expected to gather, including:
- Vehicle registration information;
- Driver license information;
- Accident location;
- Description of vehicle damage(s);
- Names of all individuals who were involved in the accident, types of injures, and causes of injuries; and
- Insurance information.
Drivers who are struggling to file an MV-104 may consider contacting a motor vehicle accident attorney for assistance, primarily if the accident resulted in excessive damage or injuries. An experienced accident attorney understands the requirements needed to file a successful accident report. They can easily navigate you through the process and avoid common errors known for reducing your chances of securing fair compensation.
Consequences of Not Filing a Police Report
When vehicle damage or injuries occur due to a car accident, a police report needs to be filed within the 10-day timeline. Insurance companies can dispute accident claims that are filed without police reports or with police reports filed late. In some cases, drivers who fail to file an accident report can also be charged with a misdemeanor and run the risk of having their license and/or registration suspended.
How to Get a NY Accident Report
An accident report can be a crucial piece of evidence when it comes to seeking compensation after a motor vehicle accident. Filing an accident report can help illustrate liability, document the severity of injuries, and provide an account of overall damages sustained in a collision.
New York drivers are required to file a written police report after a car accident within 10 days of an accident occurring. Missing this deadline can result in your claim being denied and
While insurance companies routinely obtain copies of accident reports to process insurance claims, New York drivers who are filing personal injury claims may also need to request copies of these reports to support their case. Accessing accident reports is not a complicated process. However, how you obtain these documents can differ based on where your accident took place, the type of officer who filed the report, and the format you require the report to be in.
Find more information on accessing your police report after an accident here.
New York City and Long Island Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving clients across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process using past experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of another, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343 or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.