Our Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Explain Two Important Car Accident Reports That Drivers Must Complete After a Car Accident
If you were a driver involved in a car accident, there are two important car accident reports that you may be required to complete: one with your insurance company, and the other with the State of New York. Here are some important things you should know about these two reports.
1. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
If you were a driver involved in a car accident you are required to report the accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible. In addition, you are required to cooperate with any investigation conducted by your insurance company on your behalf. These are both important provisions of your contract of insurance. Your insurance company may take a written or recorded statement from you about the details of the accident, especially if there is a claim being made against you. Remember, your insurance policy is there to protect you in the event that someone sues you. If you fail to report the accident, or cooperate, the insurance company may disclaim or deny you insurance coverage. This will leave you in the dangerous position of not having any insurance coverage to protect you.
You should also know that the written or recorded statement you provide to your insurance company is not a matter of public record. In fact, insurance companies take great care to insure that the statements made by their insureds are not disclosed during litigation.
2. Report the Accident to New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
In addition, New York State has has specific reporting requirements for drivers who are involved in motor vehicle accidents. Specifically, drivers involved in car accidents must complete and file an accident report known as an MV104 Form if the accident:
- Results in property damage that exceeds $1,000; or
- Involves personal injury or wrongful death.
Each driver involved in the accident is required to fill out, sign and date an MV104. Additionally, the MV104 must be filed with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles “no more than 10 days after the accident”. The MV104 is not the same thing as a police accident report. In fact, a driver is required to complete an MV104 even though the police may have completed their own accident report. A driver’s failure to complete and file an MV104, when it is required, can result in suspension of the driver’s license.
Finally, MV104 reports are a matter of public record and are accessible by the parties involved in the lawsuit by simply requesting a copy of the report from the Department of Motor Vehicles. As a result any information written on the report, including the accident description, can be used to challenge your testimony in Court, if your testimony differs from the information contained in the report.
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