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 consultation 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?

Getting a copy of a police report from the police should be free in many cases, but different methods may have fees.  There is usually a fee of $22-25 to get a report through the DMV.

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.  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, you are legally required to report the accident.

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 10 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.  Talk to a lawyer if you have any concerns or questions about how to fill out the form or whether it is required in your case.

What to Do with a Police Report from a Car Accident in NYC

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.  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.  Make sure to get a copy and keep it safe with other records related to your crash.

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 legal consultation on a potential injury lawsuit, call us at (718) 841-0083.