How Long do You Have to Report a Car Accident?

by William Mattar | June 18th, 2020

How Long do you have to Report a Car AccidentA car accident can leave you confused and stressed, wondering what your next step should be. One of the first steps you should take after a car accident is to report the incident. You should look at the Vehicle and Traffic Law to see what your obligations are.

When to Report a Car Accident

Under New York law, you must file an accident report if you are involved in an accident where there is damage to the property of one individual (including yourself) that is more than $1,000.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • If the accident caused just property damage you have to exchange information concerning your license, insurance, and registration;
  • If a  property, such as a parked car, is damaged or if a domestic animal is injured, you have to locate the owner or contact the police; and
  • If the property damage of any person is $1,000 or more, the drivers must file an MV-104 form with the DMV within 10 days of the collision.
  • If a person is injured or killed, you must immediately notify the police. All the involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. Leaving the scene of an accident causing injury to someone is a crime.

Penalties for not Filing an Accident Report

Failure to file an accident report can have serious consequences. Punishment can range from a criminal charge to monetary fines depending on the circumstances. It is not worth risking fines, suspensions, or even jail time, so make sure you find the time to file the report.

We all know that car accidents can be scary and stressful. There is a lot to handle after a car crash. However, it is important to understand that you must take certain actions depending on the circumstances. Not doing so may lead to more stress, aggravation, and problems. While you may have some time to take care of these tasks, it probably makes sense to do them as soon as possible.

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