If you are in an accident, you must stop and exchange information with the involved drivers. If a parked vehicle or other property is damaged, or if a domestic animal is injured, you must locate the owner or contact the police.
If there is property damage in excess of $1,000 or anyone is injured, all the involved drivers must file form MV-104 with the Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days after the accident. The DMV can suspend your driver license if you fail to report an accident.
If a person is injured or killed, immediately notify the police. All involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident that causes personal injury or death.
At the scene of the accident, if you are physically able, you should write down as much of the following information as possible:
- Name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number of every driver
- Name, address and telephone number of every passenger and witness
- Name of each of the insurance companies and the number of each insurance policy
- License plate number of each vehicle
- Make and model of each vehicle
- Location of the accident by street and by landmarks
- If In New York City, number of the New York City police precinct responding to the scene
- If outside of New York City, the name of the responding police department
- Tow trucker company’s name, address, and phone number
- Tow truck driver’s name, address and driver’s license number
Although drivers may not always have all the information handy, the law requires them to carry it in the form of a driver’s license, automobile registration, and insurance card.
If you are injured, go to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment. If an ambulance arrives on the scene, go to the hospital in the ambulance. Often injuries are not immediately apparent. Likewise, if you experience any pain after you have left the scene of the accident, immediately go to a hospital emergency room or to your own physician.
Obtain a copy of the police report within 30 days of the accident. If you wait longer, the police department will no longer have the accident report. After 30 days if the accident took place in New York the accident report is sent to Albany, after which getting a copy of the report will take longer.
Do not make any statements to anyone other than the police.
As soon as possible, hire a lawyer that you trust to represent you. Beware of tow-truck drivers, hospital staff, or others who suggest a lawyer to you. This is unethical and may not be in your best interest.
You must file an application for benefits within 30 days of the accident; otherwise you will be denied No-Fault benefits. You may request the “No-Fault forms” from your insurance company or ask us to do that on your behalf.