If you have a car accident in New York, you may need an accident report. How do you file a report, though, and how do you obtain your own copy?

If you have such questions, this is unsurprising. The aftermath of a car accident is often overwhelming! To help you move forward with confidence, here’s how you complete a car accident report in NY the right way.

What Is an NY Accident Report?

Car accident reports set out the facts of a car crash. They contain key details, such as:

  • When and where the accident occurred
  • Driver information e.g. license number, contact details
  • Vehicle details
  • Witness details
  • Injuries and property damage
  • Any traffic law violations

They are legal documents you can rely on when settling claims such as insurance claims and personal injury cases.

Who Needs an Accident Report?

You need a New York accident report if you’re in a car accident involving any type of injury. You may also need a report if there is property damage – we’ll cover this below.

If you’re unsure whether you need a report, it’s always wise to call the police or the DMV to check. They can advise you whether you need a crash report.

Why Are Accident Reports Important?

Even if you don’t require a crash report, it’s a good idea to report a crash to the DMV. Here’s why.

  • Your insurance company can use the report to determine how much your claim is worth. Your claim may settle more quickly this way.
  • Accident reports can help to prove personal injury claims, if this is something you require.
  • An accident report forms a key part of your driver’s history. Keep it somewhere safe as part of your driving records.

Types of NY State Accident Reports

There are two main types of accident reports: police accident reports and DMV crash reports.

Police Accident Report

Police accident reports are completed by officers when they attend a crash scene. They explain what the officer believes happened, based on the evidence at the scene.

The police submit the report to the DMV after the crash. However, you are entitled to your own copy.

DMV Accident Report

A DMV accident report is a report you, as a driver involved in the crash, submit to the DMV. You must notify the DMV and submit such a report if:

  • There’s property damage to one or more vehicles totaling over $1001, or
  • Anyone is hurt or killed.

Although DMV reports will go on your driving record, they do not suggest fault. In other words, just because there’s a crash report on your driving record does not mean you were to blame.

How to File a New York Accident Report

The good news is that it’s fairly simple to file an accident report in NY. There are just a few steps involved. However, it’s crucial that you get them right or else the errors could delay your claim! So, to help, here’s an overview of how to file an NY accident report.

Gather the Relevant Information

First, make sure you have the details you need to complete the required DMV form. You should have exchanged details with other drivers involved in the crash, and you’ll need these details for the report. Details include:

  • Driver license number
  • Vehicle registration
  • Vehicle damage
  • Driver contact information (including home address)

If police attended the scene, you will also need your accident report number.

Insurance agent and car owner completing accident report and inspecting damage after a car crash

Complete a Form MV-104

Next, complete the required form – Form MV-104. You can download this from the DMV website or complete the form online. You can also get a copy from the DMV.

Complete the form carefully. One mistake could damage any follow-up compensation claims you make! Ask an attorney to help if you’re unsure how to complete the form.

Request a Copy of Your Accident Report

You can ask the DMV for a copy of your report after you submit it. You can also ask them for a copy of the police report. Or you can approach your local precinct directly.

However, it could take a few days, or weeks, to get a copy. It depends on how busy the departments are. And the request process is not always straightforward. You may have to contact various departments before you reach the right one.

The easiest way to obtain your accident report? Contact us. We’ll first find your police or DMV crash report, and then tell you exactly how to access it. Our service is free, too – it won’t cost you anything to find your report with ease.

Time Limit for Filing NY Accident Reports

Understandably, you may be feeling stressed and overwhelmed right now. Filing a crash report may be the last thing on your mind. However, there are strict legal deadlines for filing accident reports with the DMV.

Reports must be filed within 10 days of the crash or else the DMV may impose penalties. To ensure that you don’t overlook your reporting requirements, contact the DMV right away. The sooner you start the reporting process, the sooner you can move on after the crash.

Penalties for Failing to File a NYS Accident Report

Failing to report an accident is actually a misdemeanor offense in NY. So, should you fail to submit a DMV crash report, you could face:

  • Financial penalties
  • License suspension
  • License revocation

Your license may be reinstated once you submit your accident report, but there’s no guarantee that this will happen. You should discuss the matter with the DMV or hire an attorney to help.

Find Your NY Accident Report Now

Submitting your report to the DMV is only the first step in the claims process. Next, you need to obtain your crash report and inspect it carefully. And that’s where we come in.

At Auto Accident Report, we know exactly where to look to find those all-important crash reports. The Auto Accident Report team can quickly help you find any NYS accident report, such as police reports. And we’ll deliver the results right to your inbox.

Our service is free and there are no obligations attached. So, start your insurance claim the right way and find your report sooner rather than later. Simply click “Get Started” to locate your accident reports now.