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Should you call the police after a car accident in New York?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Car accidents

You may be unsure whether to call the police after a crash or handle the matter yourself with the other driver. It is a decision that can have far-reaching legal and financial implications, depending on the circumstances of the crash.

In New York, you are not required to call the police if an accident results in minor property damage. All you have to do is exchange the necessary information, like your driver’s license, vehicle registration and insurance details with the other driver or motorist involved in the crash.

However, there are instances where you must call the police after an accident, as explained below.

What the law says

Under New York law, you must remain at the scene of the accident and contact the police immediately if a person or domestic animal is killed or injured. The same applies if a collision results in property damage, regardless of the extent, and the owner cannot be located.

Fleeing the scene of such an accident or driving off without exchanging details with the other motorists when applicable is a criminal offense.

Protect your interests after a car crash

If you are uncertain if you should call the police or not after an accident, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Do it to avoid the potential risks of failing to do so. Besides, a police report can provide valuable evidence which can be helpful to your car accident claim.

It is equally prudent to reach out for legal assistance as soon as possible to help safeguard your interests. Your words and actions in the aftermath of an crash can have a significant impact on your claim, which is why it helps to have informed guidance.