After a Long Island car accident, you can obtain a copy of the accident report – if it exists – from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV). You may also obtain a copy from the local police department if the municipality makes those available.
The attorneys at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you obtain a copy of the police report about your accident as well as advise you on how to pursue a claim for damages from the responsible party. Call us today at 631-600-0000.
Understanding Long Island Police Report and Accident Reports
In New York, all parties involved in an accident must file a police report if they cause $1,000 or more in property damage. In that case, however, the statutes do not require the police to file a statement.
If any person sustained injuries or died in a car accident, however, both the surviving party(ies) and the police must file an accident report immediately, at the scene of the crash.
Consequently, whenever you seek a copy of the official law enforcement account for a Long Island car accident, you will only find one if the accident involved an injury or fatality.
When Are Long Island Car Accident Reports Available?
The availability of a car accident report depends on when the reporting party filed their statement. It also depends on the Long Island law enforcement agency with which they made the report, as well as how you make your request.
For example, if you request an accident report copy from the NYDMV, its website advises waiting for 30 days after the date of the accident if the reporting party filed the report on a paper form. If they reported using the electronic option to file, you might find it posted as soon as 14 days after the date of the accident.
If you want to request a report from the Nassau County Police Department, its website will direct you to the LexisNexis legal document database. You must set up an account before you can search and request report copies.
If you wish to order from the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office, its site will direct you to an online crash document database that claims to make report copies available within 72 hours after the accident occurred.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Car Accident Report Copy?
The cost for getting a police report copy from the NYDMV depends on whether you must pay a search fee. For every search you perform using an accident report number, license plate number, or driver’s license number, the site charges you a $7 search fee. You must also pay $15 for each report copy you order.
If, however, you can locate the report you want using only the county location and date of the incident, you may avoid paying the search fee.
If you request a report copy in writing from the NYDMV, you must pay $10 for each report and $15 for each report copy you request.
The cost for obtaining a report from Nassau County depends on where the reporting party filed the report. Obtaining a report copy from Suffolk County will cost $5.
What Is the Easiest Way to Get a Long Island Car Accident Report?
In addition to NYDMV, Suffolk County, and Nassau County, the police may have filed their statement with one of the many (almost 30) village police departments on Long Island.
You may struggle to find a copy of the report you seek, especially if you do not have the details or if you are not sure how to search a legal forms or reports database.
Alternatively, you may need to obtain a copy sooner than the long waiting periods some agencies require to make the reports available.
In that case, consider contacting a car accident lawyer. Attorneys have access to the various databases and know how to obtain a copy of virtually any report you need, quickly and easily.
Let a Car Accident Lawyer Help You Obtain a Report
The car accident lawyers of Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can assist you with this or any other aspect of pursuing a personal injury claim for a car accident. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule your free claim review.