It’s not the vacation experience any of us hopes for; you’re in New York City for what you hope will be an exciting and memorable visit, and your vehicle is involved in a crash. What should you do? Here is how to protect yourself if you are involved in a car crash while visiting New York City.
Is Anyone Injured?
New York City has implemented an almost city-wide 25 mph speed limit, so many crashes, fortunately, do not result in serious injuries. Whether or not anyone is injured, you are legally required to exchange vehicle and identity information with the other motorist (or motorists) involved in the crash. You should not leave the scene until you’ve done so.
Things change if there are injuries. You DO need to call the police if anyone in the vehicles or any pedestrian or cyclist is injured as a result of the crash, if any domestic animal has been injured or killed, or if a parked vehicle has been damaged and the owner can’t be located.
File an Accident Report
Where there is property damage to your vehicle that you intend to ask your insurance company to cover, it’s a good idea to file an official Report of Vehicle Accident with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. In any case, you’re required to do this within ten days of the crash if there was more than $1000 in damage to the property of any person involved.
Be Careful About Speaking with Insurance Investigators About the Crash
If you file a claim with your insurer about the crash, and even if you don’t, you may be contacted afterward by an insurance investigator who will ask you questions about the crash, the damage to your or other vehicles, and any injuries that you or others may have suffered in the crash. You need to be extremely careful about speaking with these investigators, as you may find yourself making statements that are not necessary and not in your best interests—especially in situations where there were serious injuries or large amounts of property damage. Having the advice of the experienced personal injury and motor vehicle accident attorneys at Campson & Campson can prove enormously helpful.
If You Were Injured, You May Be Entitled to Recover from the Other Driver
New York’s “no-fault” insurance laws mean that you’re generally only able to sue another driver for your injuries if they are “serious” under the law. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle crash while visiting New York City and are unsure whether your injuries qualify as “serious,” contact Campson & Campson for a personal consultation. We have years of experience handling vehicle crash cases in New York and can help you understand and protect your rights. Contact us at (212) 302-1180 or through our online form to learn more about how we can help.