How to File a Police Report After an Accident in New York
Last Updated on March 4, 2020
After getting into a car accident, one of the first things you should do is file a police report. If you’ve never filed a police report before, you may be wondering how exactly to go about the process. Here’s an overview of how to file a police report in New York, as well as key steps to take after a car accident.
New York State Police Report Requirements
New York legally requires all drivers to file a police report within 10 days of an accident. You only need to file the report if damage to one or more parties exceeds $1,000. The legal course of action varies slightly depending on what type of accident it is and how much damage was caused.
- If the accident only caused property damage less than $1,000, you are required to exchange your insurance and registration information with the other party. You can contact the police afterward to file a report if you want to, but it is not required.
- If the accident caused damage to a parked car or injured a domestic animal, you are required to find the owner and trade insurance information or call the police.
- If property damage is over $1,000, you are required to file a police report after the incident. Note that all drivers involved in the accident are required to file a report, regardless of the circumstances.
- If someone is seriously injured or killed in a car accident, you must notify the police immediately. The police will take your statement on site.
Note that if you fail to file a report when you are legally obligated to do so, the state DMV can suspend your driver’s license. In particularly serious accidents where someone is injured or killed, you could face jail time for failing to notify the police.
How Can I File a Police Report in New York?
After an accident, you will need to visit your local precinct to file a police report. If you haven’t filed one before, the staff can guide you through the process to make it easier. You can download a copy of the police report form online as a PDF to fill out before you go. If you call the police at the scene of the accident, they may help you file a police report there. Police reports are detailed, and there’s a lot of information you’ll need to provide in order to complete one. You’ll need your driver’s license and registration information, information about the location of the accident and how it happened, insurance information, and a detailed description of how each vehicle was damaged. If you have been severely injured in the car accident, see if you can have someone help you file the accident report.
How Can I Get a Copy of My Police Report?
If you need to get a copy of your police report after the accident, there are a few ways you can do so. The first is to contact the local precinct where you initially filed the report and ask what their procedure is for obtaining it. In most cases, you will need to pay a small fee for a copy of the report, but the fee varies by individual police precinct and the agencies they use to process their documents.
Once your police report has been processed by the DMV, you can get a copy directly from them. Depending on how you originally filed the report, it takes anywhere between 14 and 60 days for the report to be available through the DMV. You can obtain a copy via mail or as a PDF file online. You will need to pay $22 in fees to get an accident report online and $25 to get an accident report in the mail.
In order to get a copy of a police report, you need to fit a few specific criteria. You must either be named as a party on the police report or you must be involved in a civil action as a result of the accident. You can also get a copy of the police report if you are legally representing anyone involved in the accident. To access the police report, you will need the plate numbers or drivers’ license numbers of at least one party involved in the accident. If you are requesting a police report by mail, you may also be able to locate it using the name and date of birth of someone involved in the accident.
What Should I Do Directly After the Accident?
Many people aren’t sure what to do right after an accident happens. The experience can be very disorienting, and you may not know exactly what steps to take. If you think there is any chance someone could be hurt or if the property damage is severe, call the police immediately, or ask a witness to call for you if you cannot do it yourself. Turn your blinkers on and move the car to the side of the road if you can. Never leave the scene of an accident. When in doubt, always call the police – it’s better to be safe than sorry to make sure you can file an insurance claim later on.
If your phone is working, use it to photograph the scene in detail. Make sure to give an accurate statement to the police as well. This will help you later on when filing an insurance claim. You should also trade contact and insurance information with the other party involved in the accident. If you need medical attention, seek help as soon as possible.
Filing a police report can seem tedious, but it’s a crucial step to take after an accident. If you don’t file a police report on time, you could end up facing legal consequences, plus it will be very difficult to file an insurance claim. Make sure to file the report within 10 days of the accident to avoid problems later on.