Staten Island has released a new police pilot program in march of 2019 where police will no longer respond to the scene of vehicle accidents as long as (1) No person or domestic animal is hurt. (2) The vehicles can move. (3) The owner of the vehicle is present at the scene.
Here is what you should know and do at the scene of the accident if police will not be responding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzeY0oiSIgw
- Both Drivers must exchange drivers licences, vehicle registrations and insurance information at the scene of the accident under state law. Take photos on your smart phone. Leaving the scene of an accident without exchanging information is illegal under state law.
- Immediately take scene photos to show how the accident happened. People have a habit of taking photos way to closely when trying to photograph an auto accident damage scene. So after an auto collision before cars are moved take enough steps back maybe 20 – 30 yards to get pictures of the entire scene. Showing all street signs, any corners or intersections where the accident happened. I would also take a photo of the person driving and the people in the car just so you have a record of who was there. Obviously be careful and stay safe during this entire process.
- Try to record on your smart phone the other person saying what happened in the accident so they can not change there story later about how the automotive vehicle collision happened.
- Unless you are 100% sure you were wrong I would not admit fault to an automobile accident. Many times people think they are wrong when they are not.
- Take a picture of the other vehicles licence plate. In case they end up leaving the accident scene the plate number will be what you need to get all their vehicle insurance information later.
- Get the other drivers telephone number.
- If a tow truck driver mysteriously shows up at the accident scene. Understand he is most likely an unscrupulous character, and was not just passing by as he said. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING with him and do not let the tow truck driver take your car. You most likely will have a very hard time getting your car out of his shop later. Most tow truck drivers get a 15% commission for bringing a car to their auto body collision shop. Don’t believe any promises he gives you either because they are most likely lies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr1X_4Ey1M8
- Go to an auto body collision facility you trust. Too many people make the mistake of calling their insurance company first when sometimes the damage didn’t even warrant them putting a claim through their insurance company. They also do not realize the extent of the damage to their vehicle when they report it and the insurance company can use that first report against them. You should go over the car with an expert right away so you can report a claim to your insurance company with a clear head. Making sure you report all of the damage done to your vehicle.
These are just some of the common mistakes we see here at Barry’s Auto Body with customers involved in automotive collision accidents. We are not lawyers and not trying to give legal advice here or even a full complete list of everything that must be done at an automotive collision accident but these are the most common issues we see from our customers.