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.