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					If You Have An Auto Accident
                                        Do I have to call the police?                When am I required to fill out a formal
What should you do if you’re involved                                                report?
in an automobile accident in New            Yes, if someone is injured!
York?                                       Any time a person is injured, or             If property damage to one driver
                                        killed, you are required to immediately      exceeds $ 1,000, each driver involved in
             STOP!                      notify the police.                           the accident is required to fill out a
                                                                                     report.
By law, you are required to Stop and
                                            Yes, if an unknown person’s
Exchange Information.
                                            property is damaged!                         In the event that any person is
                                            In the event that other property, such   injured or killed, you must also fill out
   With whom?
                                        as a parked car, or a traffic sign or        a report.
                                        device, is damaged, you are required to
      Other Drivers
                                        either locate the owner of such property,        This form is called an MV-104, and
      Injured Persons
                                        or contact the police.                       can be filed with the Department of
      Owners of Damaged Property
                                                                                     Motor Vehicles.
      Police, if present
                                            Yes, if you feel it is warranted!
                                            Of course, anytime you feel it is            This report must be filed no more
   What Information ?
                                        necessary, request the presence of a         than 10 days after the accident.
                                        police officer or highway official and
      Name and address
                                        briefly give the basic facts underlying          BE CAREFUL! In the event that
      Show your driver’s license
                                        the accident.                                this report is not filed, the DMV may
      Show insurance I.D. card
                                                                                     suspend your driver’s license.
      Show your vehicle registration
                                                                                         You can obtain a copy of your
   What if this Information is Not
                                                                                     accident report through the local police
   Available at the Scene?
                                                                                     agency, or the Department of Motor
                                                                                     Vehicles.
      Submit the information to the
      nearest police station or a
      judicial officer as soon as
      possible.
What should I do if someone is injured?     What information can I collect at the         Talk to the Police :
                                            scene?                                             It will be beneficial for you to have
   Injured persons should receive first                                                   an accurate police report regarding the
consideration!                              Identify the Drivers and Passengers :         accident. The official report will help
                                                Be sure that either you or the police     you if a later lawsuit is made, or any type
    You should immediately attempt to       have obtained the names and addresses         of liability claim is made.
call a doctor or an ambulance. When         of all the other drivers and passengers
you contact any emergency personnel,        involved.                                        Remember to get the name and badge
you will need to identify your location                                                   number of any police officials who do
as quickly and as precisely as possible.    Identify Vehicles Involved :                  appear on the scene.
                                                Also, make sure either you or the
    While you are waiting for medical       police have obtained the ownership,
personnel to arrive, make the injured       license number, year and make of all              Identify Witnesses :
party as comfortable as possible.           cars involved in the accident.                    Get the names and addresses of as
                                                                                          many witnesses as possible. Witnesses
    You normally should not move an             If possible, obtain the names of the      will be a tremendous help to you in any
injured person. An exception to this, of    insurance companies and the policy            subsequent lawsuit. If the police arrive
course, would be if it remains dangerous    numbers covering the automobiles in the       on the scene, the police will attempt to
for the person to remain in the car. Keep   accident. By law, an insurance company        obtain this information themselves. If
the person warm with blankets or coats.     information card must be carried in           you can, get the names, addresses and
Try to keep the individual conscious, if    every vehicle licensed in New York            telephone numbers of as many witnesses
possible.                                   State. These cards can be your source         as possible. If they refuse to identify
                                            for that information.                         themselves, jot down their license plate
    Remember, you will need to file a                                                     numbers of their automobiles.
report with the DMV if someone is           Take Photographs :
injured in the accident.                        If you have a traditional camera or a         Do not discuss the accident with any
                                            cell phone camera available, take             of the witnesses. Do not give their names
                                            pictures of the accident scene and            to anyone, except for the police, your
                                            property damage. These pictures will be       attorney or your insurance company.
                                            helpful to you in the event that a claim is
                                            filed against you.
How can I prevent further injury or         What documents and information                When should I contact my insurance
damage?                                     should I retain from my own records?          company?

    Make every effort to prevent further       Police Reports :                              IMMEDIATELY!
accidents!                                     You can obtain a copy of the police           Call your insurance representative
                                            report by contacting the local policy         immediately after the accident.
Be Aware of Your Car’s Location :           agency, or the New York State DMV.
    Vehicles should not be left in a                                                          In addition, send written notice to
position of danger on the highway or            Drivers’ Reports :                        your insurance company as soon as
road, if they can be moved. You may be          In addition, you may want to obtain       possible. This notice should include the
liable for damages to approaching           copies of the other drivers’ reports of the   time, place and circumstances of the
vehicles, unless they are properly          accident.                                     accident. Keep a copy of this letter for
warned.                                                                                   your own records.
                                                Make Your Own Report:
   Passengers should not remain in the          You may also wish to keep your own            If you fail to notify your insurance
vehicles, unless they are injured and       records, and write down the details of        company of the accident in writing
cannot move on their own.                   the accident. This would include date         within a reasonable amount of time, this
                                            and time, road conditions, weather            could be grounds for the company’s
   If the highway is obstructed at night,   conditions, estimated speed of all other      denying any obligation to protect your
have someone with a flashlight warn         cars involved, and any other information      interest(s) in the event a claim is made
approaching motorists. Set out flares       which you believe is relevant to the          against you.
and reflectors if they are available.       happening of the accident. It is also a
                                            good idea to draw a diagram of the                Make sure your report to your
                                            accident, showing the position and            insurance company contains the names
                                            direction of the cars, just prior to and      of all injured persons (including
                                            after the accident.                           passengers, pedestrians, and drivers) and
                                                                                          the names of all available witnesses.
                                                Remember to keep copies of all
                                            correspondence and reports for your own           If you are injured, notify your
                                            records.                                      insurance company of your injury and
                                                                                          any health care providers immediately.
What if I am Insured Under More than        What if claims are made against me?         What if it appears I need to make a
One Policy?                                                                             claim for my own injuries?
                                                Refer all persons making claims
    Notify each and every insurance         against you to your insurance company           If you are injured, see a doctor as
carrier who you believe has issued a        directly.                                   soon as possible. Potentially serious and
policy which covers either you or the                                                   costly injuries may seem trivial at first.
owner of the vehicle.                          Make no payments, or promises to
                                            pay to any claimant.                            Remember to notify your own
    You may be insured under any policy                                                 insurance company of your injuries.
which bears your name as the “named            Further, do not make any admissions
insured”.                                   of fault, as these admissions may               Notify your health care providers that
                                            possibly used against you in the later      your injuries were caused by a motor
    You also may be considered an           proceeding.                                 vehicle accident, and provide them with
insured under any policy issued to any                                                  your automobile insurance carrier
resident in your household.                    Immediately send your insurance          information.
                                            company all legal papers served on you.
 Again, it is necessary for you to notify                                                   If the accident occurred in New
and all insurance companies who may             In addition, any correspondence you     York, automobile insurance policies
possibly have issued a policy covering      receive from another driver, passenger,     include provisions for payments for
your accident.                              or other possible claimant (or attorney     medical expenses, lost wages and other
                                            thereof), forward such information          expenses, regardless of fault.
                                            directly to your insurance company.
                                                                                            If you have any questions about your
                                                If the insurance coverage you have      right to sue for either personal injury or
                                            purchased is not adequate to cover the      property damage, consult your attorney.
                                            claims asserted against you, consult your
                                            lawyer at once. Remember, you may
                                            have insurance coverage under more
                                            than one policy.
What is No-Fault Insurance ?                What Do No-Fault Benefits Cover?            Am I Entitled to No-Fault benefits if I
                                                                                        am a Passenger in the Accident?
    Under New York State’s compulsory          $ All necessary medical           and
no-fault automobile insurance law,          rehabilitation expenses.                        Yes. Generally, no-fault coverage
persons injured in a motor vehicle                                                      follows the vehicle. You will want to
accident are eligible to receive up to         $ Lost earnings up to $ 2,000 a          make a no-fault claim on the policy
$50,000 in benefits provided they were      month for up to three years from the date   covering the vehicle which you were
not intoxicated, drugged or engaged in      of the accident. There is a 20%             riding in at the time of the accident.
other specified criminal or anti-social     reduction of actual lost earnings.
behavior.                                                                               How Do I Know If No-Fault Applies?
                                               $   Up to $25 per day is available for
   REMEMBER! These benefits do not          one year after the accident for other           No-fault covers injures sustained as a
cover claims for pain and suffering, and    reasonable and necessary expenses           result of “Use and Operation” of the
only apply to pecuniary losses, such as     incurred because of the accident, such as   insured vehicle. Remember, this may
medical expenses, lost wages, and other     the cost of hiring a housekeeper to         include non-traditional accidents and
expenses.                                   perform the household services usually      injuries involving a motor vehicle. Any
                                            performed by the injured person.            time you think your injury was caused by
    These benefits are payable regardless                                               the use and operation of a motor vehicle,
of who was to blame for the accident.           Some policies may contain               it is best to contact your insurance
                                            additional benefits. Its best to look       company and advise them of the
   30 Day Rule :                            carefully at your own policy and discuss    incident.
   All no-fault claims must be filed        your benefits with your insurance
within 30 days of the accident.             company directly.

    45 Day Rule :
    Medical claims must be submitted
within 45 days of treatment. Claims for
loss of earnings must be submitted
within 45 days of the accident.
When Can I Sue For Personal                What if the Other Driver Is                What if the Other Driver Has a Small
Injuries?                                  Uninsured?                                 Liability Limits?
                                               If the other driver is uninsured,
    New York’s automobile liability        claims for damages to your vehicle still       Again, your own insurance should
policies provide a certain amount of       will be covered by your own collision      cover your property damage, and any
benefits without regard to fault. In       or comprehensive insurance policy, if      expenses covered by no-fault
many cases, your insurance benefits        you have one. In addition, you no-         insurance.
will be sufficient to compensate you for   fault coverage will cover your medical         If you sustained personal injuries in
your damages and there is no need to       expenses, lost wages and other             the accident, and you are involved in an
assert a personal injury claim.            expenses up to the first $50,000.          accident with a driver with liability
                                                                                      limits less than your own, contact your
    However, you retain the right to sue       New York has adopted statutes          insurance company and attorney.
a negligent operator and owner of a        providing for uninsured and
covered vehicle for personal injury        underinsured motorist protection to            In the event that your personal
losses in certain cases:                   protect victims of motor vehicle           injuries require compensation beyond
                                           accidents caused by financially            the other drivers’ available liability
    $ If your medical expenses and         irresponsible motorists (ie., persons      limits, you may be able to make a claim
other economic losses exceed the           driving without insurance).                for your own personal injuries on your
$50,000 of benefits under your no-fault                                               own insurance policy.
insurance; or                                  If you are involved in an accident
                                           with an uninsured driver, contact your      Ask your insurance company about
    $ If you suffer a “serious injury”     insurance company and attorney             Underinsured Motorist Protection on
as defined by the Insurance Law. If        immediately. You may be able to            your own policy.
you think you have sustained a serious     make a claim for your own personal
injury, contact your attorney.             injuries on your own insurance policy.

   $   If the injury results in death;
                                              Ask your insurance company about
    $ If the injured person or the         Uninsured Motorist Protection on your
person at fault does not have insurance    own policy.
complying with the New York State
minimum provisions.

				
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