Should You Call The Cops For A Fender Bender In New York?

For many drivers, a minor fender bender may not seem like a big deal, but it is possible that it will lead to underlying problems. People may experience pain days or even months after a minor car accident due to the injuries they sustained in the accident.

How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?

If the accident resulted in a personal injury that required medical attention, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim under New York law. If the accident involved only property damage, you have three years to file a claim.

If applicable, there are additional filings you must make within the two- or three-year filing window:

  • New York’s no-fault law allows you 30 days to file a claim with your insurer (see section below).
  • You have 90 days to file a claim with the Motor Vehicle Accident Indemnification Corporation (MVAIC), which handles uninsured motorist claims.
  • Damages and/or injuries exceeding $2,000 must be reported within 10 days to the DMV.

Contact a personal injury attorney for assistance with filing a claim and understanding your case’s deadline.

What is New York’s No-Fault Law?

New York applies the no-fault rule to automobile accidents. This means that all injury claims must initially be processed through your insurance company, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. The entity that covers medical bills, property damage, and other expenses is your insurance provider. You cannot receive compensation for non-monetary damages, such as emotional pain and suffering, under this rule.

What are the Benefits of Filing a Police Report for a Minor Car Accident?

When you call the police after being involved in a fender bender, they will file an official police report detailing the circumstances of the accident, including the parties, their insurance information, and other details that you may need when filing a claim with your insurance company.

When evaluating claims, insurance companies rely heavily on police reports because they eliminate the risk of hearsay during the investigation process. If you wish to file a lawsuit against the other driver, you can also use police reports of auto accidents. Having an official record of what occurred is advantageous for all parties involved, whether they are at fault or not.

Understanding the Laws About Filing Police Reports

Even if you are at fault, it is always in your best interest to file a police report following a minor collision.

If one of the following situations occurs, you are required by law to call the police:

  • Injuries or fatalities resulted from the accident.
  • In the event that a domestic animal or pet was injured or killed in a car accident, you must also contact the police.
  • The owner of a damaged parked vehicle cannot be located.
  • Other property, such as a railing, is damaged.

You may be penalised if you are required to report an accident but fail to do so. The typical penalty for failing to report an accident is a fine, but jail time may be imposed if someone was injured. Even if there is no visible property damage or visible injuries, it is always recommended to report an accident.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm

Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.

Abrams Law Group
104-70 Queens Boulevard, Suite 502
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 997-9797

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