Knowing what to do after an accident in New York is crucial if you want to stay protected in any subsequent legal action related to the collision.

First, stay calm and call for help. If you’re able, you need to contact the police once it’s safe to do so, to have them document your accident and write a report containing the most relevant facts. Then it’s time to seek medical attention for any injuries you sustained in the collision.

From there, the legal process can quickly become long-winded and frustrating. Hiring an NYC Car Accident Lawyer who deals with cases like yours every day is the best way to ensure that your rights and your financial future remain protected. At Tucker Lawyers PC, we know how traumatic a car accident can be, and we’re ready to help you in your time of need.

What to Do After an Accident in New York

We recommend steps to take after a car crash in New York that will benefit both your health and safety and your chances of success in the event of litigation.

Gathering Evidence

Gather as much evidence as you can. If possible, talk to witnesses, take pictures, and exchange information with the other parties involved. The more evidence we have at our disposal when we’re building your case, the more effectively we can enforce your rights in court or in negotiations.

Filing All Relevant Records

Save all receipts, bills, and other documents related to the accident. These will be necessary when it comes to the calculation of insurance compensation and general damages you’re owed.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

You need to make contact with your insurance provider as soon as possible after an accident. Answer any questions company agents ask truthfully, but stick to the facts. Don’t say more than you need to about the circumstances of the accident, and don’t speculate about its cause.

New York is a no-fault state. This means drivers must carry insurance that will provide compensation for their own losses arising from accidents, regardless of who was to blame. However, no-fault coverage pays for medical bills and lost earnings only up to a certain point; for expenses over and above that limit, particularly in cases like a truck accident lawsuit, you’ll need to file suit against the party who caused your accident.

What Not to Do After an Accident in New York

Knowing what to avoid doing after an NYC road accident is potentially as beneficial as knowing what positive actions to take.

Admitting Liability

Admitting any kind of responsibility for a crash at the scene is, for obvious reasons, a bad idea. If a court accepts your statements as evidence, they may harm your case and reduce your chances of emerging from it with the compensation you need to get your life back on track. It’s generally wise to avoid talking about your accident entirely when you’re at the scene, other than to swap necessary information with others there.

Leaving the Crash Scene Early

You should never leave the scene of an accident before police say that it is acceptable to do so. An officer will need various pieces of information regarding you and your vehicle to build their case reports, and leaving before providing it could negatively affect a lawsuit you decide to file later on.

Moving Your Vehicle

You may need to move your car to allow other vehicles on the road to progress. However, if it isn’t obstructing traffic, you should leave it where it stopped following your accident. Additionally, if you do have to move it, leave it as close as possible to where the collision occurred.

Experts may need to recreate the crash based on what they learn from the scene of your accident; if you fail to preserve this crucial evidence, you may deprive them of the chance to show how the collision was the defendant’s fault.

This advice applies equally to everyone involved in an accident. If another party to the collision attempts to move their vehicle unnecessarily, you should politely request that they refrain from doing so.


Often, a motorist will try and cut you a check at the scene of a crash, as they’d prefer to avoid involving insurance companies or engaging in any legal procedures. However, you won’t be able to accurately assess what you may be entitled to without seeking legal and medical advice. If you make a deal at the scene of the accident, you could end up settling for less than you deserve.

Also, you should never sign any document related to an accident, such as a waiver, without the supervision of an attorney. These are potentially complex legal arrangements, and you may accidentally sign away important rights and entitlements if you don’t seek expert legal advice before entering into an agreement.

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in NY?

The time frame and requirements for filing a police report after an accident in New York vary depending on the severity of the accident and the nature of the damages. However, it’s generally a good idea to file reports with the authorities as soon as you can after an accident, regardless of what the rules say.

If your accident results in any injuries or fatalities, you must report it to the police immediately. If the accident causes property damage exceeding $1,000, you must file a report with the police within 10 days. You will also need to complete and submit a Motor Vehicle Accident Report (Form MV-104) to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days.

When you call the police to the scene following your accident, officers at the scene will record what they see and draft a report for their department. You, and your legal team, will be able to access this later to build your case.

Contact Us

As you can see, there are many steps to take (and pitfalls to avoid) in the immediate aftermath of a road accident in the Big Apple. In all cases, however, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to hire a lawyer as soon as you can after a crash.

Tucker Lawyers PC can help you win the benefits to cover medical bills, replace lost wages, and compensate you for the other harms you suffered as a result of your accident. Your initial consultation is free, and you won’t have to pay any fees unless we win your case.

Contact us today: (516) 399-2364

john tucker

Managing Attorney John. J. Tucker, Esq.

John has personally handled thousands of clients who were victims of another’s negligence and fights relentlessly for their rights. John enjoys bringing closure to a client’s matter so that the injured party can move forward with their life. His background enables him to evaluate complex liability related claims and bring resolution to claims in a record time frame. [ Attorney Bio ]

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