How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident to My Insurance Company?

New york car accident lawyer

If you’re involved in a car accident, you must report the accident to your insurance agent as soon as possible. It’s recommended to report a car accident to your insurance company within 24 hours, but it’s understandable if you need some time to deal with the emotional aftermath of the crash. 

However, remember not to delay reporting less severe accidents for more than 72 hours (3 days), as failing to do so could lead to complications in the future. In some cases, your insurance provider may even refuse to cover the damages if you fail to report the accident on time.

How Long Do I Have to File an Insurance Claim?

Every insurance company has different deadlines for car accident insurance claims, typically around 30 days. If you miss the deadline, your claim may be rejected. Therefore, checking the timeline with your insurance provider and filing the claim timely to avoid any inconvenience is vital.

If you’ve been in a severe accident, some damages or injuries may take a while to become apparent. In such situations, it’s best to wait to file an insurance claim until you have recovered and have calculated the extent of damages. Obtaining accurate medical records and solid evidence can help strengthen your claim and decrease the chances of insurance claim denial.

If you have any questions, a Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, lawyer can guide you through each step or file a claim on your behalf. Remember to act promptly to recover the losses you have suffered.

Should You Report a Car Accident to the Insurance Company?

If you cause a car accident, you must report it. You are liable for any damages sustained by the other party. However, there may be circumstances where you choose not to report the accident, such as when you accidentally scrape your car door against a wall and the cost of repairing the damage is equal to or less than your insurance deductible.

Moroever, avoiding reporting minor accidents with a prior claims history can help prevent your insurance rates from increasing. However, even low-speed collisions with minor vehicle damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix.

On the other hand, some insurance policies mandate you to report any accidents and cooperate with your insurance provider in case of any claims against you by third parties. This is done to maintain your insurance coverage. As a result, if the other party may file a claim against you, you must report the accident and work alongside your insurance carrier to settle the accident.

What You Should Know Before Contacting Your Insurance Provider?

Understanding the information required by your insurance company in the case of an accident can save you from paying out of your pocket. Don’t just settle with the other driver. Instead, report the accident to your insurance company. Make sure you provide them with all the necessary details, such as:

  • Provide the location, date, and time of the accident.
  • Share your insurance policy number.
  • Describe how the accident happened.
  • Include information on medical expenses and lost wages due to severe injuries.
  • Provide details about the other driver, including their name, license plate number, vehicle registration, driver’s license, insurance information, and address.
  • Specify details about police involvement, including the name of the police officer and the police report number if filed.

Once you report the accident to your insurance company, their claims adjuster starts the investigation. The process includes determining the details of the accident and whether you are entitled to damages.

How Long Do I Have to File a Police Report?

Reporting an accident is a legal requirement in many states. In New York, you must report an accident to the police within ten days if it causes physical injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. The police report may require you to provide information that police would ask at the accident scene, such as the other driver’s license, vehicle tag number, and insurance information. You will also have to tell your version of the accident.

Failure to report an accident to the DMV when required can result in consequences such as fines, suspension of your driver’s license, or even criminal charges. Even if your state doesn’t require you to report an accident to the DMV, your insurance company may still require it as part of your policy agreement.

If you are unsure about the reporting requirements in your state or what your insurance policy requires, you should reach out to your local DMV or a car accident attorney for guidance. Uptown Injury Lawyers can assist you in navigating the process of reporting the accident to the police and handling any legal matters that may arise due to the accident.

What Not to Say to Your Insurance Company After an Accident?

Understanding how to respond to the insurer when your car insurance claim is under investigation is vital. To seek the compensation you deserve, remember the following tips:

  1. Don’t Diagnose Yourself

If you’ve suffered bodily injury from a vehicle accident, only inform your insurer that you suffered an injury. Avoid giving specifics until you’ve seen a doctor or visited the emergency room. Remember, insurance companies are not your friends. Their goal is to minimize the settlement check, so don’t give them any reason to deny your car accident claim by downplaying your damages or injuries sustained.

  1. Stick to the Facts

When speaking to your insurance company, only focus on the accident details. Don’t provide any additional information that’s not required. Also, strictly avoid mentioning any potential negligence on your part.

  1. Only Answer What’s Asked

If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. Don’t offer any information that the insurance provider does not request.

  1. Don’t Make Recorded Statements

When the insurance adjuster asks for a recorded statement, politely decline. Your statement can be used against you if the circumstances of the case change. 

  1. Don’t Accept a Quick Settlement

Many insurance companies save money by settling car insurance claims quickly. Don’t fall for it. Speak to a car accident attorney before signing anything. Your lawyer will help you understand the extent of your losses and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

  1. Stay Calm

The insurance provider may pressure you to settle quickly. Don’t let them get to you. Be polite but firm. Emotions can only complicate matters.

Remember, you have rights after an auto accident. By following these tips, you can protect yourself from rejecting your claim and get the maximum compensation you deserve.

How Long Should You Wait to File an Accident Claim?

If you’ve been in an accident, act quickly and file a claim immediately. Waiting too long can make it hard to collect evidence and impact the outcome of your case. Try filing the claim ASAP or within 24 hours after the damage or accident. Make sure to gather necessary information, such as the driver’s information, a police report, and witness statements. Once you have this information, you can submit your claim to the appropriate insurance company. 

To ensure that you make your personal injury claim timely, it’s essential to be aware of the statute of limitations in your state. These deadlines can vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to research and understand your area’s specific filing requirements. By filing your claim promptly, you can get fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.

What Are NYC Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims?

If you are involved in a car crash in New York, you must follow the statute of limitations, which sets out the time frame for legal action. These laws specify strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. You generally have a three-year window from the accident date to file claims for injuries and property damage (liability claims).

However, the statute of limitations may vary under certain circumstances. For instance, if you are a minor during the accident, the above deadlines will not be applicable until you turn 18. You have more time as a minor than the three years mentioned above.

Deadlines For No-Fault Insurance Claims in New York

Adhering to specific deadlines is crucial to receiving no-fault benefits in New York after a motor vehicle accident. You must file the no-fault claim within 30 days of the accident and submit medical claims within 45 days of treatment. For loss of earnings and other necessary expenses, you must submit the claim within 90 days of the incurred expenses.

What Are No-Fault Benefits?

As a policyholder, you can receive no-fault benefits from your insurer regardless of who was at fault for the accident. These benefits of up to $50,000 can cover expenses related to medical care, lost income, and other relevant costs. It’s important to note that no-fault insurance won’t cover any claims for pain and suffering. Also, you are not eligible for a claim if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or engaged in any criminal activities before the accident.

In certain states, you can choose between full tort and limited tort insurance. With full tort insurance, you can sue for pain and suffering damages, whereas limited tort insurance doesn’t allow you to recover those damages. However, it’s important to note that New York City does have these insurance options.

Accidents Involving Government Property

In case a car accident involves a government property, such as a police car or a U.S. Postal Office vehicle, the timelines for filing a lawsuit could be much shorter. For instance, if it’s a city or county vehicle in New York, you only have 90 days to file the claim notice, whereas if it’s a state vehicle, you have only one year and 90 days.However, if it was a federal government vehicle, you must first file an administrative claim with the government department within two years of the accident. If the claim is denied, you have another six months to file a car accident lawsuit. It is crucial to know the limitations in such cases and act promptly, especially in New York, where the deadlines are particularly short.

car accident vehicles after collision

Can My Insurance Company Deny My Claim?

Your insurance company can deny your claim on the basis of valid reasons. For instance, they may argue that you were at fault for the accident or that the damage to your vehicle was pre-existing. In such cases, the insurance company has the right to deny your claim.

It’s worth noting that your insurance policy may not cover the damage, which is another reason why your claim may be denied. That’s why reviewing your policy can help you understand what is and isn’t covered before making a claim.

Additionally, the cost of collision or comprehensive damage to your vehicle may be less than your policy’s deductible, making it a minor accident. In such cases, it may not be worthwhile to file a claim.

However, as a policyholder, you have the right to challenge the denial of your claim. You can appeal to your insurance company or seek legal assistance. It’s crucial to provide as much evidence as possible to support your claim, such as photos of the accident scene, witness statements, and medical records.

Remember that insurance companies are obligated to act in good faith and pay valid claims. Therefore, you can take legal action if your claim is denied without a valid reason. Don’t give up on your claim. You can get legal help from Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, to get your deserved compensation.

Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?

If you find yourself involved in an accident, it’s essential to consider hiring a lawyer. You should contact your personal lawyer as soon as possible. This is because most insurers will do everything they can to pay you less than you deserve. Insurance adjusters are experts in finding loopholes and convincing you to settle early for less money than you deserve.

Your lawyer can help you in such cases, as they can act as your advocate and ensure you receive what you’re entitled to. After an accident, you may be in shock or not feeling your best, particularly if you have suffered injuries. In some cases, if the police don’t investigate the accident, you may only have five days to file a report. 

Therefore, by hiring an expert car accident lawyer, you can be sure that all paperwork is filed on time, the insurance companies don’t take advantage of you, and you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact Uptown Injury NY Lawyers for Your Car Accident Case!

Experiencing a car accident can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, is here to help you through the process and ensure you secure the compensation you rightfully deserve. Our expert legal team will protect your rights and fight for your best interests.

Why Choose Us?

  1. Experienced Car Accident Lawyers: Our team specializes in car accident cases with a strong track record of success.
  2. Maximize Your Compensation: We’ll work diligently to ensure you receive the fair compensation you deserve.
  3. Free Consultation: Get a free consultation to discuss your case and explore your options.

Don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you. Reach out today, and let us handle your car accident case while you focus on your recovery. Contact us online or call 917-540-8728 to schedule a free consultation.


How Do You File a Claim With the Auto Insurance Company?

Filing an auto insurance claim involves contacting the insurance adjuster. You’ll need to provide details about the incident, such as the date, time, location, and a description of what happened. They will guide you through the claims process and review the police report, medical costs, and other bills resulting from the accident.

Should You Contact the Other Driver’s Insurance Company After an Accident?

Yes, you should contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to inform them about the accident. However, be cautious when discussing details and avoid admitting fault. Let your car accident attorney handle communication on your behalf.

Can a Claim be Filed for a Minor Accident With No Injuries?

Yes, you can file a claim even for minor accidents in which you were not injured. Insurance companies handle claims for various types of accidents. If you were safe in the accident, but the vehicle had minor damage, your insurance claim can cover the repair costs.

What Should You Do if the Accident Occurs on a Private Property?

If an accident occurs in a private area, you should still exchange insurance information and document the incident. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may or may not need to involve the police, but it’s advisable to report it to your insurance company.

Is There a Strict Time Limit for Filing a Car Insurance Claim in a No-Fault State?

Yes, there are often strict time limits for filing insurance claims in no-fault states. New York is a no-fault state, and the deadline to file your insurance claim is 30 days. Therefore, knowing and adhering to these time limits is crucial to processing your claim.

Should You Report Accidents to the Police Immediately?

Yes, report an accident to the police immediately if it occurred due to negligence and resulted in property damage and injuries. The formal police report ensures that the injured party receives prompt assistance. Police reports can prove helpful when filing a personal injury lawsuit after auto accidents.

What Should You Do if the Other Driver Doesn’t Give His Insurance Details?

If the other driver doesn’t provide insurance details, document as much information as possible, including their license plate number and driver’s license details. Report the incident to the police and your insurance company. You should communicate with your lawyer to assist you in gathering the necessary evidence for a successful case.

Who Is Liable if the Accident Involved Multiple Motor Vehicles?

Determining liability in accidents involving multiple motor vehicles depends on the circumstances of the incident. Typically, investigators consider traffic laws, eyewitness accounts, and available evidence to assign responsibility. However, states use negligence rules to determine the shared liability. These rules are pure comparative negligence rules, contributory negligence rules, etc.


Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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