If the police don’t show up after an accident, take these steps:
- Don’t admit fault.
- Document the crash scene.
- Fill out a crash report and submit it to the local police precinct.
The police are not required to respond to a vehicle accident, especially if it’s a minor crash or there was only property damage. If someone was injured or passed away, call 911.
Don’t Admit Liability
If you’ve just been involved in an accident, you may or may not realize all the factors that led up to it. That’s why one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to admit liability or say the accident was your fault – even if you believe it was.
Law enforcement, insurance companies, or attorneys should be the ones to determine liability for your accident. Additionally, there can be shared liability in an accident where both drivers have some degree of fault.
If you admit liability for the accident at the scene, you may compromise your ability to seek damages that result from the accident.
Document the Accident Scene As Much As You Can
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that resulted in injury, death, and/or the damage exceeds $1,000, you (and the other driver) are required to file accident reports – even if the police don’t respond. To submit a thorough report, you will want to gather as much information as possible.
Insurance companies will use the information contained therein to determine liability for the accident. Also, the department of motor vehicles also attaches the accident report to the record of each driver involved.
Fill Out Form MV-104
The report of motor vehicle accident form, also known as MV-104, is the official name of the form you need to fill out after an accident. The information in this form will include, but is not limited to the following:
- Names and driver’s license numbers for the drivers involved
- Physical description of the damage caused by the accident
- Time, date, and location of the accident
- Contact information for drivers involved
- Insurance policy information for the drivers involved
- Names of any witnesses
- Description of the driving conditions at the time of the accident (e.g., weather, wet roads, visibility levels)
- Diagrams, renderings, or drawings of the events leading up to the accident (e.g., direction of vehicles and what they were doing immediately before the accident)
If your information conflicts with the other driver’s, the insurance company and DMV may rely heavily on witness information and the diagrams in both reports to try to reconstruct the accident to determine liability. So, the information you gather after the accident will go a long way towards defending your position or establishing your right to seek damages.
Submitting Your Accident Report
Within 10 days of the accident, you must submit a copy of the report to the police precinct where your accident took place. Before that, however, you should make a copy of it for yourself and keep it for your records.
If you don’t make a copy, don’t fret. You will still be able to request a copy of your report from the police precinct for up to 30 days after the accident. After 30 days, the police precinct will forward your accident report to the DMV, where you can request a copy of the report online by entering in some basic information about your accident.
There is a $7 search fee and a $15 report fee (per copy).
Your Next Steps After a Car Accident in New York
Seek medical attention as soon as you can after the car accident. It’s not unusual for your body to release adrenaline after an accident, and this adrenaline may mask the initial physical effects of the accident for 24-48 hours.
Secondly, some injuries that often result from car accidents may not manifest themselves immediately. That’s why you should go to the doctor and tell them about the accident and any discomfort (no matter how minor) you’re feeling.
Once you’ve done this step, contact your insurance company and let them know you’ve been involved in an accident. Give them a copy of your accident report, the information you’ve gathered about the other driver, and the circumstances surrounding your accident.
Call the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP After the Police don’t Respond
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP is here for you after you were hurt in a car crash. Whether the police responded to it or not, our attorneys can guide you through the next steps of the claims process. We will review your case for free and help you discover your options for compensation.
Get in touch with our firm today at (516) 358-6900 to get started. Our team won’t collect any fees unless and until we recover compensation for you.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.