What should I do first? Ask if everyone is alright. Call 911 to alert the police to the accident and let them know if you need an ambulance. Then, identify yourself to the other driver(s) and exchange driver’s license, insurance company and registration information with each other. This information also must be shared with the police if they are present. It is also advisable to write down the details of the accident as soon as possible and take photos of the scene if you have a camera.
Do I have to file a police report? T.A.C.S. always recommends having a police report filed even with the smallest accidents. This makes it easier for insurance companies to determine who was at fault.
What am I required to do by law? If you are in an accident, you are required by the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to stop and exchange information with the involved driver(s). This information includes your drivers license, insurance information, registration, and contact information. TACS suggests always calling the police when you are involved in an accident. The police officer can help facilitate this exchange of information if need be.
If the accident caused property damage only, then you still should exchange information (driver license, insurance, and registration) with the individual(s) involved.. If a parked vehicle or other property was damaged, or if a domestic animal was injured, you must locate the owner or contact the police.