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Reporting a crash in New York

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Being involved in a motor vehicle crash is a traumatic experience. Some people who go through this are so shaken up by the event that they may not remember what to do next.

One of the critical steps after a crash is to report it. This includes filing an accident report with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Alerting relevant insurance companies is also necessary.

New York motor vehicle crash reporting requirements

New York law mandates that any motor vehicle crash involving property damage exceeding $1,000 must be reported to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This must be done within 10 days of the accident using the DMV Form MV-104. A crash involving injury or death must be reported immediately to the police and subsequently to the DMV with the same form.

Reporting the crash to your insurance company

Reporting a motor vehicle crash to your insurance company as soon as possible after the wreck is equally important. There are several reasons why prompt reporting is crucial:

  • Claim process: Early reporting initiates the claim process quickly. Insurance companies often have a reporting window. Failing to report within this period might affect the claim.
  • Accurate information: Reporting immediately can ensure that the accident details are recorded accurately. Over time, memories can fade, and details may become less clear, so it’s beneficial to document everything while it’s fresh.
  • Legal protection: Prompt reporting allows an insurance company to offer certain legal protections if other parties involved in the accident decide to file a lawsuit. Early involvement of the insurer can help in the defense of such claims.
  • Mitigating damage: An insurer can offer guidance to prevent further damage to a vehicle, which is often a requirement under an insurance policy.

Victims of car wrecks may have to fight with an insurance company to get the compensation they’re due. It’s a good idea to stick to facts when speaking about the crash. They may opt to work with a legal representative who can help to protect their rights after a crash.