How to Get an Accident Report
When you are in a car accident, police on the scene will create an accident report detailing their observations and opinions on what caused the accident. This report is filed with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Once filed, maintaining and securing a copy for insurance or legal purposes is your responsibility. In most cases, your accident report is used for legal proceedings and as the most immediate record of what happened written by an impartial party.
This report is often considered as the basis for determining fault. You can and should file your own accident report if the police were not called to the scene. However, you are always better off calling law enforcement officers after an accident so you have a non-biased report documenting the incident.
Beyond that, knowing how to get an accident report is just a matter of following the proper steps.
Wait for the Report to Be Processed
Different reports take different lengths of time to process. Those filed concerning accidents that occurred in one of the boroughs of New York City take about 120 days to process.
Reports filed outside of New York City generally take about thirty days to process.
If the report was filed by someone involved in the accident rather than a police officer, the report should be processed within sixty days.
If you are having difficulty getting a copy of your report, our attorneys can help figure out why and ensure you get the information you need.
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
You can acquire an accident report at a local DMV, but you can also get it online. Many people prefer to get the report online because it can be both easier and faster, especially if you are also dealing with injuries after your accident.
There are a couple of different ways to search for a report. One way is to pay a seven dollar fee and search by case number, the drivers license number of an involved party, or the plate number of one of the cars involved in the accident. The fee applies whether you keep the report or not.
Another method is to search for free by date and county. Once you locate your accident report, you can purchase a copy for fifteen dollars.
Our Lawyers Can Help
If you have been in a car accident and need a copy of your accident report, our attorneys can help you acquire it. Car accidents can be overwhelming and stressful, and getting an accident report is just one of the challenges you may face afterward.
If you need help navigating the process, the attorneys of Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP can help. Call 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) as soon as possible to get started.