Should You Call the Cops for a Fender Bender in New York?
In New York City, fender benders happen often. Even if the accident seems small, it’s important to call the police and report it. This way, there’s an official record of what happened. Remember, New York law requires you to contact the police if someone is injured or passes away in an accident.
Automobile owners in New York are required to have auto liability coverage to pay for the damage they cause to other vehicles. They also must have Personal Injury Protection insurance to pay for their own medical bills. After a fender bender, each driver initially files a claim against their own Personal Injury Protection insurance to cover their medical expenses, regardless of who caused the crash. No-fault insurance does not pay for auto repairs, however. You would need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance to cover damage to your vehicle in a fender bender.
Having a police report documenting the accident can help with resolving the fender bender damage claim.
The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C. is here to help you navigate the accident claims process if you sustained injuries in a fender bender accident that wasn’t your fault. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Filing a Claim for a Fender Bender Accident
New York has “no-fault” laws for auto insurance policies. That means you must file your claim for medical expenses and certain other losses with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Although your PIP insurance will cover these costs up to your policy limits, you cannot receive compensation for non-monetary losses, such as pain and suffering or other emotional losses related to the fender bender accident.
If you are supposed to report an accident and you don’t, you might face penalties. Usually, the penalty is a fine, but it can be jail time if someone gets hurt. It’s always a good idea to report a fender bender, even if nothing seems damaged and no one looks hurt.
The damage to your vehicle should be covered by the at-fault driver’s auto liability insurance.
What Is a Fender Bender Accident?
A fender bender is a minor accident involving motor vehicles traveling at a slow speed in New York traffic. The vehicles involved may have only a crumpled bumper or fender and be driven from the scene. Because of the low-speed impact, accidents typically do not result in serious injuries.
Some examples of common fender-bender accidents are rear-ending another vehicle in slow-moving traffic or backing up into another vehicle in a parking lot. A fender bender may occur when a driver attempting to parallel park on the street hits a parked car.
Because the vehicle damage is minimal and no one appears injured, many drivers question whether they should call the police and report the accident.
Benefits of Filing a Police Report for a Minor Car Accident in Queens
The driver who caused your fender bender accident may try to talk you out of calling the police. But reporting a minor accident may help if you need to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance for vehicle repairs. When you notify the police of the accident, the New York police will create an official accident report. The police report will include information about the drivers, their insurance information, the circumstances of the accident, and statements of any witnesses or bystanders.
Whether you are filing a claim with your insurance company or initiating a claim against the other driver, a police report is an essential record of the crash. Without a police report documenting the accident, it will simply be your word against the other driver as to what happened and who caused the fender bender.
Difference Between Fender Bender vs. Serious Accident
Any accident can negatively affect your life, but there are significant differences between a fender bender and a serious accident. By examining the losses and injuries sustained in a collision, you can distinguish between what would be considered a minor accident and a major accident.
- Injuries– In a minor accident, there may be minimal or no injuries. In a major accident, the injuries are significant and may generate large medical bills.
- Property Damage– The vehicle damage in a fender bender is often minimal. The car is drivable with some dents. In a major accident, the vehicles involved may be damaged beyond repair and no longer operable.
- Other Losses– If you are temporarily or permanently disabled and have a substantial loss of income, the accident is more likely to be considered a major accident. If your injuries are serious, you may have a right to move beyond New York’s no-fault insurance system and file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recoup the costs of your medical bills and lost income
The experienced car accident attorneys at The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., know how to handle any type of accident claim. Let us help you get back on the road to recovery.
Common Minor Car Accident Injuries
The injuries that result from a seemingly minor car accident can worsen over time and even prove to be debilitating. Victims who felt fine after the crash may later experience soreness or headaches requiring treatment.
Some injuries that might occur in a minor accident include:
- Neck pain
- Limited motion in the neck
- Muscle stiffness
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
While some of these symptoms may resolve quickly, you should seek a medical evaluation after any accident, whether minor or major.
What To Do After a Fender Bender Accident
Remembering these helpful tips will make the process as smooth as possible.
- Stop and call the police– Stop your vehicle or pull off to the side of the road if necessary. Call the police and wait for them to respond to the scene of the accident and prepare a police report.
- Exchange information with the other driver– You should share your vehicle registration and insurance information with the other driver. Be sure to record the company name, policy number, and insurance company contact information.
- Take photos– You can use your cell phone camera to take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and the vehicles involved.
- Call your insurance company– You should call your insurance company and report the accident promptly. The company will likely open a claim and request additional information from you.
- Call a Queens car accident attorney– You should have an experienced attorney review your accident and discuss your legal options. If the accident is a fender bender with no injuries, you may be able to resolve the claim yourself.
Contact The Tadchiev Law Firm, P.C., today and learn more about how to seek the compensation you deserve after you were injured in a motor vehicle accident that wasn’t your fault. Our car accident attorneys will talk to you about your accident and advise you about your legal options.