If you have been injured in a car accident in New York City caused by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. This can include medical expenses, lost wages due to missed time at work, and property damage. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be able to make a financial claim for the pain and suffering you have experienced due to your injury.
However, to qualify for this compensation, you must provide key pieces of evidence to the insurance company or the court if your case goes to trial. One of the most important documents you’ll require is the accident report.
What Is an Accident Report?
New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law requires a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident to be made for any road collision that results in the injury or death of anyone involved in the crash. Or one that results in property damage of more than $1,000. You must file this report yourself within ten days of the occurrence of the accident if no police officer is called to the scene to make the report. If you don’t, the DMV may suspend your driver’s license until they have received the report.
Why Is the Accident Report Important?
Regarding your personal injury case, the accident report is important because it contains valuable information and details related to the collision that the responding officer recorded. This includes:
- The conditions at the scene of the accident when the crash happened
- Statements from witnesses present at the scene
- Details of whether there were violations of any laws in the lead-up to the accident, as well as who violated them
- Explanation of who the responding police officer determined to be the party responsible for the accident
An accident report demonstrating that an unbiased authority believed the other party was at fault for the crash can help convince the insurance company or the court that you should receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.
How to Obtain a Copy of Your Accident Report
Requesting a copy of an accident report is simplest when you do so within the first thirty days after the report was filed. You have two options if you would like to request within this timeframe.
The first way is to make a request for the report from the precinct where the report was filed. This will involve filling out the Request for Copy of Collision Record and submitting it by mail or in person at the precinct. You must fill this form out as accurately as possible. The required information includes:
- The name of the driver of the vehicle
- The name of the owner of the vehicle
- The vehicle’s license plate number
- The location of the accident
The other way to request your accident report within the first 30 days after its filing is to visit collisionreport.nypdonline.org. The website will give you prompts that you must follow to complete the form with the necessary information. You’ll need to submit the same information as above. Once you have completed the request, you can print a copy of the report within seven days.
Requesting a Report after 30 Days
If more than 30 days have passed since the report was originally submitted, the accident report will have moved from the precinct to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. While you can still request the accident report online, you will no longer be able to do so in person or by mail from the precinct where you filed it.
If you wish to request the report by mail after 30 days, you will need to fill out form MV-198C and mail it to:
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228
You may also request a PDF of your accident report online by visiting the New York State Motor Vehicle Accident Report page for a small administrative fee.
Contact a New York City Car Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident here in the City, an experienced New York City car accident lawyer can help. The seasoned attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP can not only help you obtain your accident report but can also assist you in taking all the necessary steps to maximize the compensation you are able to recover.
Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for injured people in New York, and we are ready to put our experience to work for you too. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help.