How to Get a Police Report for an Accident in NYC
If you get into a car accident in NYC, you will likely need a police report for your insurance company or for a lawsuit. Lawyers and insurance companies use police reports as invaluable tools that show that the accident actually happened and to detail who was involved, where the accident took place, and other important information.
To get an accident report, you first need to report the accident to the police. Then, you can usually pick up a copy of the police report at the precinct that made the report or by using the online portal from either the NYPD or the DMV for accident reports.
Having an accident report is just one part of investigating the crash and developing a case. If you suffered serious injuries in a car crash, it is important to get help from our New York City car accident lawyers to get the compensation you need. Call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083 to set up a free case evaluation and learn more about filing an injury claim.
How to Retrieve an Accident Report for an NYC Car Crash
If you’ve already contacted the police about your accident and made sure that a report was filed in the first place, then you will want to know how to get a copy of that report. It is important to have a copy of the police report from your accident not only for your own records but also because lawyers and insurance companies are going to want access to the police report as part of your car accident case.
In-Person at the Police Precinct
Most police precincts of the NYPD keep copies of police reports for 30 days. That means that if the accident took place recently and near where you live (or in another precinct, you can easily visit in person), then you can go there and pick up a copy. This is usually free.
You’ll need to know the details of your case in order to have them retrieve a copy, such as when it took place, your driver’s license number, and the license plate number of your car. If you were a passenger, make sure to get this information from the driver.
Online Through the NYPD
If you were injured in the crash and going to a police precinct is not easy – or if you live out of state or in a different part of town – then you might want to use the NYPD’s online portal to request a copy of the report. You can get a copy of a police report online here. This should allow you access to a report from anywhere in the city. This portal is only available for people who live in New York, Connecticut, or Massachusetts, so if you were visiting from New Jersey or Pennsylvania when the accident happened, you’ll have to use another method.
Online Through the DMV
If you cannot use the online portal and cannot go in person, you may need to use the NY DMV’s online record search. Your Queens car accident lawyers or insurance company might also be able to get a copy of the report for you, but you will need to give them the information they need to find the report.
Is it Free to Get a Car Accident Report in NYC?
Understandably, NYC car accident victims may be shocked to learn that there might be a fee associated with getting a car accident report for a collision. Preparing for the potential cost is important, so you can successfully get a copy of the police report for your NYC car accident.
Getting a copy of a police report from the police should be free in many cases, but different methods may have fees. For example, the NYPD generally doesn’t charge victims a fee for in-person retrieval. That said, if photographs or videos are associated with your police report, there may be a printing fee. If you’re unsure whether or not you will have to pay a fee to get a copy of your report in person, ask your NYC car accident lawyer for clarification.
There is usually a fee of $22-25 to get an NYC car accident report through the DMV. If you wish to avoid paying this fee but still want a digital copy of your police report, you can visit the NYPD’s online portal for crash reports. If you’re having difficulty doing so, your attorney can assist you.
How to Report a Car Accident in NYC
If you were involved in a car accident, then you need to report the accident to the police in order to get an accident report made. Victims can either do this immediately after an accident, which is preferable, or within following ten days.
Under New York law, there is no need to report an accident that involved property damage only if the damage was less than $1,000. If the accident involved higher values of property damage or involved any physical injuries or deaths, you are legally required to report the accident to the police and the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
The New York DMV has a form on its website for filing an accident report, but in many cases, a police officer will file this report after being called to the scene. If a police offer does start this form, you can get information from them about how to retrieve a copy later. It is a legal requirement that this form is submitted for every qualifying accident within ten days of the crash, so if you did not report the crash or police did not respond to the accident scene, make sure to file this form.
While there is a pathway for victims to self-report a crash after the fact, it’s always best to call the police immediately after a car accident in NYC. That way, NYC law enforcement officials can create a report themselves, which is ideal. Calling the police after a crash allows victims to get the immediate medical care they need and establish an accident’s events right away. That said, if you didn’t call the police after your accident and now need to file a report yourself, don’t worry. You can talk to an Islip car accident lawyer if you have any concerns or questions about how to fill out the self-reporting crash form or whether it is required in your case.
Is There a Deadline for Requesting a Police Report for a NYC Car Accident?
If NYC police officers completed a crash report for your accident, you will be able to access it in various ways once it has been made available. That said, waiting too long to request a copy of a police report for a NYC car accident can create hurdles for victims.
Car accident reports are only held at NYPD precincts for 30 days after completion. That doesn’t mean 30 days after a crash, but from when a report is filed. If you don’t request a copy within that period, you will no longer be able to obtain a copy of your report in person at the precinct that completed it. Instead, you will have to go online to the NYPD’s digital portal or the New York DMV’s portal for crash reports. If you’re unsure whether or not your police report is still available at your local precinct, you or your attorney can call and ask. Once your report is available online, it will remain there.
It is also important for NYC car accident victims to learn how long they will have to wait for a crash report to be made available. Generally speaking, law enforcement officials can take several days to complete police reports. Remember, these reports are detailed documents containing crucial information about an accident’s events. Because of this, it’s important that police officers complete thorough, accurate reports. So, victims can expect to wait several days before their reports become available in person and online.
However, a significant delay in completing a police report can impact your access to damages. If it seems like it is taking too long for your crash report to be made available, reach out to your Rochester car accident lawyer. Your attorney can reach out to the necessary parties and inquire about the delay.
What to Do with a Police Report from a Car Accident in NYC
Obtaining a police report after a car accident in NYC is crucial. Although these reports aren’t considered evidence in an NYC car accident lawsuit, they can contain important details that ultimately help your attorney recover the compensatory damages you deserve.
Police reports are not usually admissible as evidence in court because they are considered “hearsay.” Still, the police report provides essential evidence of everything that happened in the crash: who was involved, where the crash took place, whether there were traffic lights at the intersection, who witnessed the crash, and more. NYC police officers may even include their own opinions of an accident’s cause in a crash report. Brooklyn Car accident lawyers on both sides will need this information, as will any insurance companies involved in the case, to start building their witness list and reconstructing the accident. So, make sure to get a copy and keep it safe with other records related to your crash.
Obtaining the police report for your accident is important. That said, these reports and their corresponding documents can be complex. So, don’t be surprised if you find your police report difficult to understand. NYC car accident reports can be confusing, as they designed to be understood by police officers, not victims. Instead of trying to decipher a car accident report yourself, turn to an experienced NYC attorney. Your skilled lawyer can analyze the police report for your NYC car accident and use it to strengthen your claim against a negligent driver.
What Should I Do if the Police Report is Incorrect?
The accuracy of your NYC car accident report is crucial so that your attorney can use it to bolster your case against a defendant. An inaccurate police report can harm your claim, so it’s important to have an attorney by your side to verify its contents.
Getting a copy of the police report for your NYC car accident is crucial. Not only can doing so provide you with important details regarding your crash, but it can also alert you to potential inaccuracies in the report. Suppose you do not obtain a copy of your report but a defendant does. If the report is inaccurate, it can greatly harm your case. While it’s true that police reports aren’t considered evidence in NYC car accident lawsuits, an inaccurate report can still be detrimental.
Inform your attorney immediately if you notice inaccuracies in the police report for your car accident. Your lawyer can then speak to law enforcement officials, who can amend a report once informed of an error. If police officers refuse to fix a mistake, your experienced Buffalo car accident lawyer can compile compelling evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, to discount any inaccuracies in a police report.
Call Our NYC Car Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Case
If you or a loved one was involved in a crash, call our Staten Island car accident lawyers for help. The Carrion Law Firm can help guide you through getting a police report so we can start investigating and building your case for compensation. For a free and confidential case evaluation regarding a potential injury lawsuit, call us at (718) 841-0083.