Do you need a police report to file an insurance claim in New York? Generally, you do not need a police accident report to initiate an insurance claim, but this report can be an invaluable piece of evidence to help prove the negligence of at-fault drivers. However, for a variety of reasons it is typically best to report accidents to the police. In fact, in hit & run and uninsured motorist accidents, it is critically important to report the accident within twenty-four (24) hours to preserve all rights to make a claim with the insurer of the host vehicle.
Police reports provide you with several benefits that your lawyer will use to strengthen your case. During your free consultation, our team will go over the steps for getting a copy of your police report after a collision.
In This Article
- Do Insurance Companies Require a Police Report to File Your Claim?
- How Does a Police Report Help with the Outcome of Your Claim?
- Can You Give Other Evidence to the Insurance Company?
- Does New York Law Require You to Report a Car Accident to The Police?
- Do You Have to Report Your Accident to Anyone Besides the Police?
- How Do You Obtain a Copy of the Police Report?
- Can Filing a Report Late Affect Your Insurance Claim?
- Can a Lawyer Help You Get Your Police Report in New York?
- How Else Can Lawyers Help You with Your Insurance Claim?
- Speak to Us About Filing Your Insurance Claim after an Accident
Do Insurance Companies Require a Police Report to File Your Claim?
Police reports help establish fault, an important step to securing damages depending on the type of injury claim you are filing. For example, if you’re injured in a slip and fall, your lawyer will have to collect evidence demonstrating the negligence of the property tenant or owner. In this case, a Police Incident/Aided Report mayl be very helpful. Even if the information in the report does not help with actually establishing negligence, it may, at the very least, help establish that the event in question did actually happen, at the time and location alleged.
Your lawyer will determine if fault plays a significant role in the kind of accident case you are filing.
Proving Fault Isn’t Necessary to obtain No-Fault Benefits for New York Car Accidents
For car accidents in New York, you can collect compensation regardless of who is at fault for the collision. According to the Department of Financial Services (DFS), your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance will be the first avenue for compensation after your accident. These policies typically cover up to $50,000.
However, if your injuries and damages exceed $50,000, or if your injuries are severe, you may need to file a lawsuit for additional compensation from the at-fault party. To secure this kind of compensation, a police report may be especially important. For cases where you’re pursuing liability coverage, you will have to establish that their negligence caused your accident and injuries.
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How Does a Police Report Help with the Outcome of Your Claim?
You can file an insurance claim immediately following an accident. You do not need a police report to do so. But, reporting the collision to the police expedites the resolution process with the insurance. Police reports may help with your insurance claim by supporting your story of what happened.
Without a report, it can be more difficult to secure compensation or coverage for the physical injuries, mental trauma, and property damage the accident left you with.
For example, having a police report to back you up helps if:
- The insurance company claims that the accident never happened.
- The insurance company claims that your damages and injuries did not result from the collision.
- The insurance company claims that you do not have enough evidence to receive a settlement.
A police report will help fortify critical details about your accident. Once you have the accident report in hand, you can use it to back up your statements, so it’s not just you and the other party making claims about who caused the incident.
As mentioned above, it is critically important to note that in hit & run car accidents where the at-fault party was in a collision with the vehicle you were driving or that you were a passenger in, or if you were injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist by a vehicle that left the scene without the identity of the vehicle driver or owner being ascertained, the accident must be reported to police within twenty-four (24) hours as a necessary condition to making a claim with the insurer of the host vehicle for uninsured motorist benefits.
Can You Give Other Evidence to the Insurance Company?
Other forms of evidence may support your version of how your accident happened. . An accident lawyer in New York may seek information such as:
- Statements from witnesses who were present at the accident site and saw what happened.
- Dashcam footage or surveillance footage from businesses near the accident location.
- Photographs that show the injuries, property damage, weather, road condition, etc.
- Medical records that outline the injuries you sought treatment for after the accident.
The strength of these different kinds of evidence can vary. Having a police report is one of the most reliable forms of information available to support your claims about who is at fault.
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Does New York Law Require You to Report a Car Accident to The Police?
In many situations, you have a legal duty to report the collision to law enforcement. Generally, you must notify the police if:
- The accident causes injuries
- The accident results in a fatality
- The accident injured or killed a pet or domestic animal
- The accident resulted in property damage of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars or more
You may also have to call the police if you are in an accident that results in damage to a parked vehicle or other property and you cannot find the property owner. In these situations, you must reach out to the police and they will file a claim regarding the collision.
You may face criminal charges if you leave the accident site when someone is injured (including yourself). In this situation, some drivers end up charged with a hit and run, so it’s important that you follow the regulations to contact the police.
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Do You Have to Report Your Accident to Anyone Besides the Police?
In some situations, you have to notify people beyond the police that you were involved in an accident in New York. For example, you may have to report a car accident to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
According to N.Y. State Vehicle and Traffic Law § 605. You must report your car accident if:
- The accident resulted in someone being injured
- The accident resulted in someone being killed and/or
- The accident caused over $1,000 in property damages
If the above conditions stand true for your accident, you have ten days from the collision date to submit a Civilian Accident Report (MV-104) with the DMV by U.S. Mail. Failure to do so can result in a temporary suspension of your license till you send in the report
A personal injury lawyer from our firm will patiently listen to the details of your accident and determine what needs to be filed in your case. We will also manage the filing of an MV-104 form for you if you choose us to be your injury lawyers
How Do You Obtain a Copy of the Police Report?
While you do not need a police report, it can make the process of obtaining compensation for your losses much easier. Therefore, we recommend getting a copy.
You can obtain your police report by contacting the local police agency or the precinct that has jurisdiction where the accident happened. Call and verify if the report is available and what fees you may have to pay.
In some cases, you may be able to obtain a copy for free if you pick it up in person. Usually, an officer at the accident scene will inform you of how to obtain a police report. Frequently police reports are also available online and the officer or the station/precinct can advise you accordingly.
Your personal injury lawyer will be able to obtain your police accident report for you.
Can Filing a Report Late Affect Your Insurance Claim?
Not filing a police report immediately after the auto accident does not necessarily mean you will not be able to recover compensation. But it can prolong the process of your insurance claim or lawsuit reaching a favorable verdict or make it challenging in other ways.
Filing a claim right away provides you with several key benefits. Having the police come to the scene of your accident provides official proof that the accident occurred when you say it did. They also officially record the statements and contact information of everyone involved in the accident.
Additionally, having the police come out right away allows them to perform tests at the scene of the collision. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver, the police perform a blood alcohol content (BAC) test and record the results in their report.
Can a Lawyer Help You Get Your Police Report in New York?
A member of our team of dedicated legal professionals can take care of requesting a police report after an accident in New York. We can identify the precinct that handled your accident and answer any questions you have about requesting the report.
You can also count on a New York accident attorney to assist if you notice an error in your police report. Inaccuracies can impact the status of your claim, but a lawyer can file a request to have the data corrected.
How Else Can Lawyers Help You with Your Insurance Claim?
Were you or a loved one injured in an auto accident? At Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., our accident lawyer will review your case, file an accident report with the State of New York DMV on your behalf, obtain a copy of the police report, and proceed with filing an insurance claim.
Accident lawyers investigate the causes of your injuries, establishing that someone else caused the incident. They will also review all the injuries you sustained as a result of the incident, speaking with medical professionals about how much compensation you may need to fully recover.
Our team will assess your situation to determine an appropriate financial award to cover your current and future losses. We will also build a case that supports your claim and negotiate for what you deserve.
Speak to Us About Filing Your Insurance Claim after an Accident
While you may not technically need a police report to file an insurance claim, it can help with your odds of financial recovery. An injury lawyer at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. will go over these benefits and assist with your legal needs.
We will fight for appropriate compensation for your medical expenses, property damage, wage loss, and other losses. We pursue appropriate compensation through all legal avenues, including, if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit against at-fault parties or entities.
Our multilingual team is ready to meet you wherever you are on Long Island or the NY Metropolitan area. Call us to speak with our team and get a free initial consultation.
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