How Soon After an Accident Must it Be Reported to Insurance in New York?

After a car accident, you could find yourself with medical expenses and vehicle repair costs that could put a huge strain on you financially.  For some, the expenses might be too much, and you’ll need to file either an insurance claim or a lawsuit to get the compensation you need.  This means you’ll need to report the accident to your insurance company in some cases, which might have a deadline attached.

Your insurance policy will dictate any deadlines for your insurance company, and New York State gives people 3 years to file lawsuits for car accidents.  However, in most cases, you will need to act much quicker – often within 10 days or within the first 24 hours after your accident.

For help with a car accident claim, call The Carrion Law Firm today.  Our New York car accident attorneys help victims in the aftermath of a crash get the evidence they need to put on a strong claim, and we help throughout the process to fight for financial compensation.  For a free legal consultation, call us at (718) 841-0083.

How Quickly Do I Need to Report a Car Crash to My Insurance in New York?

Ultimately, every insurance policy tells you how long you have to report an accident.  Often, the policy is not specific and simply says to report it soon after the crash.  Sometimes the policy will have a specific timeframe, so check your policy for details.  Additionally, New York’s statute of limitations on car accidents gives you 3 years to file a claim in court through a lawsuit if that option is available to you.  However, these outside legal limits are not the most important deadlines to follow.

First, New York State law also requires you to report an accident within 10 days if it involved property damage over $1,000 or injuries.  If you were hurt, you should call 9-1-1 after the accident to report the crash and get an ambulance.  At this time, police can also begin filling out a report, which will likely satisfy this reporting requirement.

When to Talk to a Lawyer After a New York Car Accident

While you might have as much as 10 days to file a report, 30 days to file with your insurance, and 3 years to file in court, it is important that you begin working on your case much sooner than that.  Call a lawyer as soon as you can after the crash to set up a legal consultation and start going over the facts of the case.

In many cases, a Queens car accident lawyer will want to take pictures of the crash scene immediately after the accident so that the photos accurately represent what the area looked like on the day of the crash.  Further, if there were any cameras that caught the accident on film, it is important to send letters to have that video preserved for trial.  Most security cameras and dash cameras are wiped and overwritten within only a few days, so you may lose this evidence by waiting to talk to someone about your case.

Furthermore, a police report might contain information about who saw the crash and how to contact them.  It is important to get witness statements on the record and begin interviewing witnesses to get information about what happened and who is at fault.  Getting information soon after the crash helps guarantee it is fresh and that witnesses haven’t started to forget what happened over time.

How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

In many cases, drivers in New York will rely on car accident claims through their own insurance company.  New York is a “no-fault” car insurance state, which means that your own insurance covers your injuries and vehicle damage after a crash.  If you sustained serious injuries or your case meets a certain value, you can often go after the at-fault driver’s insurance instead or file a lawsuit.

If you are dealing with your insurance company, you should file your claim as soon as you can.  However, it is important to talk to a lawyer before you discuss the accident with your insurance company.  In some cases, making an insurance claim and relying on those damages can mean losing your opportunity to sue in court.  It could also mean that your insurance company will seek reimbursement for your damages if your case goes to court, potentially meaning you will miss out on damages.

If you are able to file a lawsuit for serious injuries, it may be better for your case if you do not file an insurance claim.  However, you may still need to report the accident to your insurance company or follow other requirements under the terms of your insurance policy.  It is important to work with an attorney from the beginning to make sure you do not miss any technicalities that might put you at a disadvantage or hurt your chances of seeking compensation.  In many cases, insurance claims require you to pay deductibles, and they block or limit claims for pain and suffering damages, lowering how much you can claim in damages overall.

It is important to keep track of damages and expenses you suffer because of the accident, even before you start working with a lawyer.  Keep all medical records and bills together so that you can bring them to your attorney and provide any evidence necessary to take your case away from the insurance companies and file it in court.

Call Our New York Car Accident Lawyers for Help After a Crash

If you were involved in a car accident, there are reporting requirements and deadlines you may have to follow, but you should speak with a Brooklyn car accident lawyer before disclosing anything to insurance companies.  Call The Carrion Law Firm’s attorneys at (718) 841-0083.