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Understanding New York’s Motor Vehicle Accident Report

Posted on 01/07/24

If you have been involved in a vehicle accident, then understanding your New York State Department of Motor Vehicles Police Accident Report is going to be vital as you move forward with the process of filing an insurance claim. The accident report can significantly alter this process, specifically how much compensation you receive after the accident. Every word in the accident report matters, and you need to understand what every code, abbreviation, and symbol on the report means.

Identification Section

This part of the report contains basic information such as the date, time, and location of the accident. It also includes the identification numbers of the cars involved, the names and addresses of the drivers, the insurance companies, and policy numbers.

Narrative and Diagram Section

This section is where the investigating officer describes the accident. The narrative should provide a clear and concise description of how the accident occurred. The diagram complements the narrative by visually representing the position and movement of the vehicles involved.

Injury and Damage Section

Here, the report outlines the extent of injuries to the people involved and damage to the vehicles. Understanding the severity of the injuries as recorded can be critical, especially if a personal injury claim is being considered.

Contributing Factors and Vehicle Movements

This part includes codes that identify contributing factors to the crash, such as speeding, impaired driving, failure to yield, or distracted driving. Additionally, it details the movements of the vehicles involved before, during, and after the collision.

Violation and Criminal Charges Section

If any traffic laws were violated or if there were any criminal charges, this information would be included in this section. It can certainly impact the determination of fault and liability in the accident.

Witness Information

The report may also contain information about witnesses, including their statements. Witness accounts can be crucial in cases where the details of the accident are disputed.

Police Officer’s Information

The name, badge number, and precinct of the responding officer are listed. This information is useful if you need to contact the officer for further details or clarification.

Understanding the details in your New York Auto Accident Report is essential for several reasons:

  • Filing insurance claims. Insurance companies rely heavily on this report to determine fault and the extent of damages. A clear understanding of the report can aid in ensuring that your insurance claim is accurately processed.
  • Legal proceedings. Should the accident lead to legal action, the accident report will be a key piece of evidence. Understanding its contents is crucial for your attorney to build a strong case.
  • Personal record. Keeping a copy of the report for your records is advised. It serves as an official document of the accident and can be referenced in future dealings related to the incident.

Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help You?

You do not necessarily need an attorney to help finalize every aspect of your car accident claim, but if you are struggling to recover compensation from the insurance carrier or an at-fault party, we encourage you to seek legal assistance. A Buffalo car accident lawyer can handle every aspect of your claim, including conducting an investigation into the incident and communicating with the insurance carriers or other parties involved.