If you are contemplating legal action after a traffic accident, you probably need access to a Long Island accident report.
In Long Island, there are two kinds of accident reports.
One type is a police report filed by a party to the accident.
The other type is a Suffolk County, or Nassau County police report, generated by the police after the accident.
The second type is more common and most likely to be helpful to your claim.
Does an Accident Report Even Exist?
In New York, the parties to a traffic accident have to file a police report if they cause more than $1,000 in damages.
The police, however, do not have to file a police report unless the accident injures or kills somebody. The Long Island accident report you seek may not even exist unless someone was injured in the accident.
If someone was injured, however, the police must file a report from the scene of the accident.
How to Get a Long Island Police Report
Obtaining a Long Island police report on your own is difficult. It depends partly on which county the accident occurred in.
It also depends on whether the officer filed the report on paper or electronically and whether you receive the report electronically, by mail, or in person.
The accident report you seek could be in the New York DMV, a county police department, or one of about 30 local police departments on Long Island.
Each police department has its own rules. The Suffolk County Police Department, for example, will require you to obtain an electronic motor vehicle crash report from the website BuyCrash.com.
The Nassau County Police Department wants you to request an online motor vehicle accident report, and the site they direct you to requires you to set up an online account before you can access it.
How Long Does It Take?
Obtaining a report from the New York DMV can take 30 days or longer after the accident.
By contrast, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Officer can release an accident report as soon as 72 hours after the accident, and the Nassau County Police Department can have one ready within 48 hours after the accident.
How Much Does It Cost?
Applicable fees vary widely. The website of the New York DMV will charge you $7 for each search of their database.
This expense could add up if you need to conduct multiple searches. Once you find it, you also have to pay for a copy.
The Nassau County Police Department, by contrast, will charge you up to $27 for a copy of an accident report.
The Easy Way
The easy way through this bureaucratic jungle is to simply retain an experienced car accident attorney. Attorneys have access to special databases, and they can obtain a copy of the accident report you seek quickly and easily.
We Stand Ready to Fight for Your Rights
Your traffic accident claim will not enforce itself. You have to fight for it. And that is exactly what we do here at the Law Offices of Theodore Naima.
Call us at 516-280-7311 or contact us online for a free consultation.