What Do I Do After a Car Accident in New York City?

Apr 29, 2019

29 Apr
Helpful Tips & Ideas

What Do I Do After a Car Accident in New York City?

by Jane Donahue

Being involved in a car accident is overwhelming. You may be shocked or in pain. Even if you’re not physically harmed, you’re not going to be thinking clearly. That’s why it’s best to prepare for an accident ahead of time. Knowing what to do after a car accident in New York City can save you from costly fines, the loss of your license or worse.

Here’s what you need to know!

Remain at the Scene

The first thing to keep in mind if you are involved in an accident with a pedestrian, moving or parked car, or someone else’s property is that you must remain at the scene of the accident.

The law in New York State requires that drivers stop and stay at the scene to exchange information and assist anyone injured if it is reasonable to do so (i.e., won’t cause you harm). Failure to comply could result in charges and severe penalties, including:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • All of the above  

Call the Police

If there is an injury or death, you must call 911 immediately.

You must also inform the owner if you hit a parked car or caused damage to property. Report the accident to local police and leave a note at the scene with your name, address, license plate number, and insurance information.

Exchange Information

If your car accident in New York City involved another driver, exchange information, including:

  • Names
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Vehicle identification numbers
  • Name and address of the car owner if different from the driver’s
  • Insurance policies

You may also get the name and contact information of any other passengers in the car or witnesses to the accident.

Take Notes and Photos

Make a note of traffic and weather conditions at the time of the accident, draw a quick diagram of the scene, and take as many photos or videos as you can.

Report the Accident to the DMV

If the property damage to one driver exceeds $1,000 or if anyone is injured or killed, you must file an MV-104 with the DMV within 10 days of the accident. Failure to do so could result in the suspension of your license.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

To claim no-fault benefits, you must report your car accident in New York City to your insurance company within 30 days.

What Not to Do

Never admit fault or agree to anything without first consulting with your insurance agent, lawyer, or both. Be courteous and cooperative at the scene, but do not admit fault because it could have negative consequences later.

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