Cars Vehicles

What Happens When You Get in a Car Crash in New York?

In the city of New York, there are 3.6 million licensed drivers on the streets and highways. And the state has a notorious reputation for the way its residents drive.

Getting into a collision, especially in such a busy city, can be extremely stressful. In New York, the law requires everyone to take certain steps in the event of a vehicle crash. Otherwise, insurance companies have a right to reject your claim.

If you get into a vehicle collision in New York, here’s what you need to know.

1. Always Call the Police

State law requires you to notify the police in the case of any accident, regardless of how small or large it may be. This includes any mishaps that lead to property damage as well. 

After you check to make sure that no passenger involved in the accident, as well as yourself, is in any immediate medical danger, exit the vehicle and call the police, if the car can be moved safely, you should shift it out of the way of traffic to avoid any further collisions from occurring. 

2. Notify 911 Immediately

In the case of an accident, people usually call 911. Sometimes they only call the local authorities, though.

If anyone is severely injured, it’s best to call 911 so they can dispatch an emergency medical team to the scene.

3. Exchange Information

When you file the insurance claim, you’ll be expected to provide them with the contact, vehicle, and insurance information of the other driver(s) involved in the incident. Make sure to obtain:

  • Driver’s full name, phone number, and email address
  • A photo of their license or their license number
  • The driver’s insurance company name, phone number, and policy number
  • The vehicle year, make, model, color, and license plate number
  • Contact details for anyone else in the vehicle

All of this information is critically important. If you should have to hire a personal injury lawyer in New York, your legal representative(s) will need full details to defend your case in both courts as well as about your insurance company.

4. Document the Scene

Any evidence you can gather could help your case when you file the claim. Because New York is a no-fault state, it relies on the insurance company to determine fault and proper compensation for any damages.

Take photos and videos of as much of the car damage and circumstances of the incident as possible. Get multiple angles of not just your car but the other vehicles involved. If there is any separate property damage, obtain photos of that as well.

5. Collect Witness Statements

Additional worthwhile evidence may come from witness statements from anyone willing to corroborate your story. Get a written statement or a voice recording along with the person’s name and contact details.

This again may be helpful to ensure the insurance company awards you the highest compensation possible after determining fault.

6. Get a Copy of the Police Report

Every insurance claim is required to have an accompanying police report. Make sure to obtain a copy of that report, as well as the name of the officer who filed it and the police report number.

As we mentioned earlier, the law requires you to notify the authorities of any car collision that takes place. The report will provide proof that you abided by the law.

7. Contact Your Insurance Company

In New York, you have only 30 days to file a car accident claim with your insurance company. These companies may choose to dismiss your claim if it gets filed beyond the deadline set by the statute of limitations.

We recommend you contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the incident. This will get the process started toward the desired result of you receiving the compensation you deserve.

Also, your insurance carrier may provide you with a rental car, depending on your policy or the severity of the damage from the crash.


There is nothing wonderful about being involved in a vehicle collision. What’s essential is how you handle the situation when it happens.

Make sure you do your part to collect the necessary information and submit it to your insurance company as soon as possible. When in doubt, contact a local attorney for a car accident consultation. That person can help you navigate the legal process your case will entail.

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