Filing a Car Accident Insurance Claim Without a Police Report in New York

Low angle view of two police officers discussing report against blue sky

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, especially if you’re hurt. There are doctor bills, therapy and treatment, the pain of recovery, and the stress that comes with the chaos a crash can throw your life into. You might know that you are supposed to call the police after certain car accidents, but what happens if in the confusion of the moment neither driver thinks to call the cops, or the other driver convinces you not to get the police involved? Will this affect your ability to pursue a claim for compensation from your no-fault insurance or the at-fault driver if you suffered a serious injury? Read on for a discussion about what to do if you don’t have a police report. For help recovering compensation after a car accident in the Bronx, call the Kohn Law Firm to talk to a skilled and experienced New York personal injury lawyer.

When Is a Police Report Required After a Car Accident in New York?

Calling the police is a good idea in any but the most minor traffic accidents. Not only is it generally required by law, but it can be an important component of your insurance claim. In New York, a police report (MV-104) is generally required in the following situations:

  1. Injuries or Fatalities: If the accident results in physical injuries or death, a police report is mandatory.

  2. Significant Property Damage: New York law requires a police report if the damage to any one vehicle or property exceeds $1,000.

  3. Hit-and-Run Incidents: If one of the parties leaves the scene of the accident without providing the necessary information, you must notify the police.

  4. Impaired Driving: Accidents involving impaired or intoxicated drivers should always be reported to the police.

If your car accident doesn’t fall into these categories, you might not be legally required to file a police report. However, having a police report can strengthen your insurance claim and protect you from potential liability as well.

How to Obtain a Police Report for an Insurance Claim

If you’ve been involved in an accident where a police report is required or beneficial, here’s how to obtain one:

  1. At the Scene: If possible, call the police to the scene of the accident. They will gather information and create a report.

  2. After the Incident: If the police didn’t come to the scene or our injuries prevented you from calling them, you can visit your local precinct to file a report.

  3. Online Access: Accident reports are accessible online through the New York State DMV website 30 days after the accident and for four years after the crash. Before then, you can obtain a copy from your local precinct or the State Troopers, depending on where the accident happened.

  4. Written Request: You can also send a written request to the precinct where the report was filed to obtain a copy. After 30 days, however, they will forward the report to the DMV.

Can You File an Insurance Claim Without a Police Report?

The simple answer is, yes, you can file an insurance claim without a police report. However, doing so may complicate the process. Insurance companies generally prefer to have a police report to assess the claims accurately. The report provides an impartial third-party account of the incident, helping to expedite claim processing.

What to Do If You Don’t Have a Police Report

If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have a police report, you can maximize the value and success of your claim by taking the following steps:

  1. Gather Evidence: Collect as much evidence as possible from the accident scene. This includes photographs, contact information of the parties involved and witnesses, and any relevant traffic camera footage.

  2. Notify Your Insurance Company: Even without a police report, you should notify your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible.

  3. Consult a Bronx Personal Injury Law Firm: Given the complexities involved in filing an insurance claim without a police report, consider consulting a personal injury law firm like Kohn Law Firm in The Bronx. They can guide you through the claims process and help ensure that your rights are protected.

While a police report is a valuable asset in an insurance claim, it’s not always mandatory. If you’re in a situation where you don’t have one or don’t know what to do, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you to know your options and rights under New York law. With the right information and legal guidance, you can navigate the claims process successfully. After an injury accident in The Bronx, call the Kohn Law Firm at 718-409-1200 for a free consultation.

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