When you are involved in an auto accident, it can turn a good day bad. This turns into an unexpected event with lots of headaches and information involved. It’s important to have all the necessary knowledge incase you are ever in an auto accident. In addition, it’s also important to have this information for the insurance company, law enforcement, and if needed, for the courts.

Immediately after involvement in an accident, you are required by law that you stop and exchange information. This information includes name, address, proof of showing your driver’s license, insurance I.D. card, and vehicle registration. This information should be shared with other drivers, any injured pedestrians, owners of damaged property, or police if they are present.

What information should I collect at the scene?

It is beneficial to have all the necessary information for the time following the accident. Some information that you can collect immediately following the accident includes:

  • Names and addresses of other drivers or passengers
  • Ownership, license number, year, and make of all cars in the accident
  • Pictures of the accident scene or any property damage
  • Accurate police report with the name and badge number of the officials on scene
  • Names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses

Having as much information as you can get will help in filing a claim or any potential lawsuit that may come with the accident.

For more information on how to fill out a motor vehicle accident report, please visit https://dmv.ny.gov/dmv-records/how-file-motorist-accident-report.

Are there documents or information I should retain for my own records?

Those involved in the accident can decide on what information they would like to keep for their own records. Having this information on file can help in the long run for any problems that may come up. For your own records, you should retrieve a copy of the police report. By contacting your local policy agency or the New York State DMV, you can obtain this report. You may also want to obtain a copy of the other driver’s reports of the accident. Lastly, you can also create your own report of the accident involving any details that may be helpful in the future. Your report could include the date and time of the accident, road conditions, and weather conditions. It may also be a good idea to draw a diagram of the accident as a visual of the accident before and after.

What’s next?

You should call your insurance company immediately following the accident. You should also provide your insurance representative with written notice as soon as possible. This written notice should include the time, place, and circumstances surrounding the accident. If you fail to notify the insurance company of the accident, you are denying any obligation if a claim is made against you. If you or someone involved in the accident is injured, you should contact medical help immediately as well.

What about no-fault insurance?

Under the New York State law, any person injured in a motor vehicle accident are eligible to receive up to $50,000 in benefits. These benefits are provided if they were not operating a vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by the use of drugs or substance. These benefits will only cover losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses.

Important Rules to Note

  • Submit no-fault claims within 30 days of the accident
  • Submit medical claims within 45 days of treatment
  • Claims for loss of earnings and other expenses must be submitted within 90 days of incurrence

Getting involved in an auto accident is not something we’re always prepared for. But, it’s important to know the steps and actions that need to be taken following the accident in order to properly abide by the law.

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