Personal Injury

What to Do After a New York Car Accident

February 4, 2021

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Alan L. Fuchsberg

If you have been in a New York car accident, you should call 911 to report it and to request help, including an ambulance, if needed. If you are unable to call 911, ask someone on the scene to call for you.  In New York City, the New York City Police and Fire Department work together to operate the 911 system and to dispatch police cars and ambulances as needed to the site of the emergency.

Get Information From the Other Drivers and Take Photos

If you were driving the vehicle, and you are physically able to, you should exchange your license, registration, and insurance information with the drivers of the other motor vehicles involved in the accident. If there is collision damage to your vehicle or the other vehicles as a result of the accident and you have a camera with you, even a cell phone camera, you should take several photographs, both close up and at a distance, and do so from different angles. In addition, you should take some photographs to capture the position of the motor vehicles after the accident. Lastly, you should photograph the site of the accident, including the traffic lanes, and any traffic control devices such as traffic lights, stop or yield signs, and the street names. These photographs will be an invaluable aid to accident reconstruction in the event you commence a lawsuit for persnal injury or merely interpose a claim for collision damage to your vehicle with the insurance company.

Cooperate With New York Police

If 911 has been called, when the police arrive, cooperate with them and answer their questions. Also, identify any eyewitnesses to the accident, whether passengers in the vehicles or bystanders. Seek the cooperation of eyewitnesses and take down their full name, address, and phone number if they will share that information with you.

New York No-Fault Insurance Filings

If you or your passengers have been physically injured in the accident, you should prepare, sign, and file a no-fault insurance application with the automobile liability insurance company for the vehicle in which you were either a driver or a passenger. In New York State, the application is known as the New York Motor Vehicle No-Fault Insurance Law Application for Motor Vehicle No-Fault Benefits. The form is available online and also through the insurance company for the vehicle in which you were traveling. Your signed and dated no-fault application must be filed with the no-fault insurance company within 30 days of the date of the accident pursuant to the New York Insurance Law; otherwise, it is likely that the insurance company will deny no-fault benefits and that denial will be upheld if challenged. You should forward any medical or hospital bills for the treatment of the injuries sustained in the automobile accident to the insurance company together with the application. Thereafter, whenever you are seen by a healthcare provider for injuries sustained in the accident, verify that they accept no-fault benefits and give them the information for the no-fault insurance company, including the claim number and the name of the no-fault insurance adjuster if one has been assigned, so that your doctor’s office or hospital may bill the carrier directly.

After the no-fault application is filed, the insurance company is responsible for medical bills, lost earnings, and other reasonable and necessary expenses arising from the accident to the extent of the no-fault coverage provided by the insurance policy for the motor vehicle you were in. You should cooperate fully with the no-fault insurance company which over time may seek to conduct one or more no-fault examinations by a physician or other medical specialist to assess your recovery and need for further treatment.

New York Filing Requirements

In New York, if you were driving a motor vehicle involved in an accident, you are required to file an MV-104 form under section 605 of the N.Y. State Vehicle and Traffic Law,  where a person is injured or killed, or there is damage to the property of one individual (including yourself) in excess of more than $1,000. The driver is required to file their own MV-104 accident report within 10 days from the date of accident or DMV may suspend your driver’s license until the MV-104 is received.

To meet the filing requirements, you must fill out, sign, and file the MV-104 form with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by mailing it to the address in Albany, New York on the form.

We Can Help When the Unimaginable Happens

The above procedures can be complicated, especially if you are under treatment for and attempting to recover from physical injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. If you have been seriously injured and want to have the assistance of counsel, please call or contact The Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm at 212-869-3500. We are highly experienced in all types of personal injury work, including injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents. Our attorneys will evaluate whether you potentially have a meritorious case and are likely to recover for your personal injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages. In addition, if we accept your case, we will help you fill out the no-fault insurance application and the MV-104 form, if not already filed. Our firm may also commence and prosecute a lawsuit on your behalf to compensate you for your losses.