When traveling on vacation or business you have a lot on your mind. Gary Falkowitz understands that the last thing on your mind is what should happen if you’re in an auto accident. When you’re at home you simply switch insurance information and head on your way. What is the protocol for getting in an accident while in NY? Should you wait to file with your insurance at home, or should you file while you are still in New York?
I’m from another state, what do I do?
The first question, after assessing your initial damages, is where do you file? You want to contact your insurance agency immediately and file in the state that you have your accident. So, in this case, you will be filing in New York. Every state has different laws and New York is a no-fault state, so you’ll need to file under your own insurance. Regardless of who caused the accident, your personal injury protection will determine how you are compensated for medical bills and other financial losses.
What is the statute of limitation on a car accident in New York?
There are two statutes of limitations that you should pay attention to after you have your accident. The first is the window of time that you have to file your accident with the DMV. If there is property damage to either driver, in the excess of 1,000 dollars, you need to file an MV-104 form within 10 days of your accident. If you want to file a lawsuit against the other party in your accident, you have up to 3 years to do this.
What does no-fault mean?
There are only 12 states that have an active no-fault statue. No matter who is at fault in the accident, as long as drugs or alcohol isn’t involved, your own insurance company is responsible for your coverage. Your insurance coverage will cover the policy limits and mandatory minimums of New York state. Thankfully, this means you don’t have to sure the other party’s insurance company to cover your injuries and expenses. You usually have to report your accident to your insurance company within 30 days, so we recommend contacting them as soon as possible.
Below we’ve listed the steps you should take the moment that you have an accident in New York:
Stop. Find a safe place and pull off the road.
Accidents can be stressful, so it’s easy to forget to get out of the way of oncoming traffic. Before you move yourself or your car, make sure that nobody is injured. If you can’t move your car, then you should get to the side of the road away from the accident. Once everyone involved in the accident is safe, you need to call the police.
Do you have to call the police?
Yes! No matter what state or city you are in, you should always call the police. You have been involved in an accident, so police are necessary to write reports and the cause of the accident. If you leave the scene of an accident without notifying the police you could have to pay a fine, be arrested, or both. You can also lose your driver’s license by leaving. So, make sure that the first thing you do, after making sure everyone is safe, is called the cops. They will fill out a report that you’ll need to provide to your insurance company.
What information should you collect at the scene?
Even though a police officer is going to write a report, we suggest that you go ahead and gather information from the other driver. You also need to prepare to give them your information as well: your name, driver’s license number, tag number, insurance company, address and phone number. Make sure that you collect all this information as well. Don’t forget to get the information of any passengers or witnesses that were on the scene of the accident. You could also make any notes of the weather and take pictures of the scene of the accident.
What will your insurance company ask for?
As we mentioned before, you’ll need to collect some information at the scene of your accident. Once you file a claim with your insurance company, you will be contacted by a claims adjuster. This person could ask you for: your police report, the other driver’s information, witness information, photographs of your car, a medical release form to review your records or even an estimate of the damage done to your car. You really don’t know what they will ask for, so you need to be prepared for anything.
What about a settlement?
This is an important part of an accident. Will you be paid enough to cover all of your losses.? Once you factor in your injuries, property damage, and lost wages you might have to go above your settlement. There is a maximum amount that the state requires to be paid out, and then you’ll have to file a personal lawsuit for the rest. It can be very frustrating trying to tie up all of these loose ends, especially when you live out of state. Having a lawyer can help you streamline this process so that you get the settlement that you deserve.
Do I need a lawyer?
Yes. When you are out of state and involved in an accident it can be a difficult process. You will need to travel back for depositions, make sure you meet your statute of limitations and have an advocate with your insurance company. We cover every aspect of your case to take the stress off of you. We know that accidents can be a frightening process, and we’re here to make the process go smoothly. Stop worrying about whether you are going to have enough money to cover your injuries and damages. Contact us today to set up an appointment to review your case. All of the above information is solely meant to educate our clients and none of this information should be used as legal advice. Only an interview in our office can provide you with legal advice specific to your case.