I was in a car accident. What should I do?

Updated March 7, 2023.

Call the Police If you have been involved in an auto, truck or motorcycle accident, your first call should always be to the police. Even if the accident seems minor, some insurance companies require a police accident report. Also, you may not realize you are injured and require medical attention until after the adrenaline wears off.
Collect information from the scene. If you are able to do so, write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. Many people assume that the police will gather this information if they are called to the scene, however this is not always the case.In addition, if you are able, and it is safe to do so, take photos of the vehicles at the scene.
Seek medical attention. If you are injured, seek medical treatment immediately. Accident victims do not always recognize their injuries, or the potential seriousness of an injury, immediately following an accident. Consequently, they may choose to delay seeking medical attention. This delay can jeopardize the effectiveness of any necessary medical treatment. Delaying medical treatment can also complicate a legal claim by calling into question whether or not an injury was in fact caused by the accident.
Notify your insurance company. After an accident you should notify your insurance company as soon as possible and provide all requested information. If you do not report the accident, the insurance company may deny payment of your claim for property damage, medical bills or lost wages.
File an MV-104 if required. An MV-104 must be filed with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of any accident occurring in New York State that causes a death, personal injury or damage of over $1,000 to the property of any one person. Failure to do so within 10 days is a misdemeanor. Your license and/or registration may be suspended until a report is filed even if you were not at fault in the accident. It is best to contact an attorney to assist you if you are not sure whether or not you need to file this report or if you need help filing the report.
Do Not speak to the other driver’s insurance company. They work for the other driver and any statement you make to them can be used against you.

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