How Do I Get a Car Accident Report in Manhattan?

Car accident report in Manhattan

Unfortunately, car accidents happen daily, affecting many lives. NYPD officers from a nearby precinct typically respond to accident scenes and record various kinds of information. These officers give the involved drivers an Incident Report on the spot and later create an official accident report.

If you have a car accident in Manhattan, you will need to get a copy of your car accident report, both for insurance purposes and your personal records. Do you know how?

How Can You Get a Car Accident Report in Manhattan?

Whether you were a driver, passenger, or otherwise involved, you can obtain your accident report for Manhattan collisions in several ways. It may take officers a few days to finalize your Report of Motor Vehicle Accident, so you may not be able to get it immediately.

NYPD has a Request for Copy of Collision Record form available for download from its website. You can download and complete two copies to make your retrieval process easier.

1. NYPD Precinct

NYPD precincts usually keep accident reports in-house for 30 days. You can typically visit the precinct in person and ask for a copy of your report, which is usually free. You can also mail your completed Request form to that precinct.

Drivers will need to provide a copy of the Incident Report, the official request form or pertinent data, such as your name, license plate number and driver’s license number. Others involved in the accident will also need the driver’s information if they need a copy of the report.

2. Collision Report Retrieval Portal

Online access allows you to request a report for collisions that happened after September 30, 2016. Reports may not be available online until seven business days after your accident. After submitting details, you will receive a verification PIN via email.

3. New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

If you are unable to request your accident report from the precinct within 30 days, you will need to request your copy from the DMV using form MV-198C. You can purchase your report instantly or by using the Records Request Navigator and waiting for up to five business days. You can also mail your request form and payment.

The Records Request Navigator helps you determine which records you need, the best request method and make your request.

4. Allow Your Attorney To Request Your Report

When you hire a lawyer to help with your accident insurance claim, we can retrieve copies of your accident report on your behalf.

What If an NYPD Officer Didn’t Respond to the Accident Scene?

By law, you are required to file a Report of Motor Vehicle Accident yourself for certain kinds of accidents if an officer does not come to the site of your crash:

  • Any motor vehicle that causes injury or death
  • A bicycle accident that produces serious physical injury or death
  • A single person’s property damage is over $1,000

For motor vehicle accidents with injuries or fatalities, you must notify the police immediately. You have ten days after the incident to file your report for motor vehicle property damage collisions. Bicycle operators must file a report within ten days of learning that the accident caused serious injury or death.

Who May Need an Accident Report?

Drivers aren’t the only ones who might need a copy of the accident report; there are others who might need one:

  • Anyone injured in the collision
  • Anyone named in a lawsuit stemming from the crash
  • Authorized representatives
  • Certain government representatives who will use the data for research or statistics

You can request the official police report, but you can also request copies of motorist reports.

In January 2024, 1,171 motor vehicle collisions were reported in Manhattan, 409 of which injured people. These crashes involved 2,121 motorists, 137 passengers, 68 cyclists, and 149 pedestrians. All these people or their authorized representatives might need a copy of their accident report.

Why Might You Need an Accident Report?

You must submit a copy of your accident report to file an insurance claim after a car crash. If you hire an attorney, we will need a copy to use in our investigation of your collision.

Because the responding officer records vital data in the accident report, we can use it to help establish fault for who caused the crash.

What Is In a Car Accident Report?

An accident report is an official record that includes pertinent details about your collision, such as:

  • Date, time, location and weather conditions
  • Vehicle makes, models, license plate numbers and ownership
  • The names and contact information of all drivers, passengers, others involved and eyewitnesses
  • Auto insurance policy information
  • Property damage and injuries

Officers may also include additional information, such as any citations they issued. They might also attach photos from the accident scene or sketches that describe the vehicles involved, their direction of travel, placement after the collision and other relevant details.

Insurers and others who didn’t witness the accident or scene firsthand use the accident report as a summary of what happened, who was involved and who may be liable for causing the crash.

Why Is Fault Important Since New York Requires No-Fault Insurance?

Fault for causing a car accident determines who is ultimately responsible for paying damages to others involved in the collision and how much each at-fault party can receive. Although your personal injury protection insurance policy should cover medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages up to your policy limit, your PIP insurer may seek reimbursement for those payouts from the at-fault party’s insurance company.

New York’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law

There are often multiple parties who share fault for causing a car accident, and each of them receives an assigned degree of fault. With pure comparative negligence, you can seek damages from other at-fault parties even if you are 99% responsible for causing your collision. However, your percentage of fault affects how much compensation you can receive.

Suppose you are 30% at fault and have $100,000 in damages. The most you could receive is $70,000 because your percentage of fault reduces your compensation proportionately.

Liable insurance companies representing other drivers may try to assign more fault to you than you deserve to minimize the amounts they should pay. When you hire Cellino Law, we will not let that happen.

Won’t Insurance Companies Pay Fairly?

Unfortunately, although insurance companies know how much your claim is worth, they rarely offer reasonable settlements for valid claims. In fact, they may deny your claim to avoid paying anything.

Insurers have several tricks up their collective sleeves they use routinely to take advantage of claimants:

  • Intentionally offer low amounts, hoping you aren’t aware you can negotiate for more compensation
  • Try to trick you into admitting fault
  • Making offers very quickly or prolonging them unnecessarily

Your car accident lawyer from Cellino Law knows how to overcome these tactics. We will negotiate a reasonable settlement or take your case to trial.

Why Choose Cellino Law?

A Cellino Law firm has obtained more than $2 billion in settlements and millions more in recoveries for our clients in personal injury cases since 1958. We can help with your car accident claim, including getting a copy of your accident report so you don’t have to.

Contact us today to request your free case review. We don’t require any money up front, and you won’t pay us any fees unless we win compensation for you.



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