UNDERSTANDING POLICE REPORTS IN NEW YORK
When the police are called to the scene of a crash they are required to prepare a Police Accident Report (P.A.R.) also known in New York as an MV-104. The report is to be prepared as accurately as possible and describe the details surrounding the crash. Our experience has taught us that accurate and complete is not always the case.
If you were involved in a crash in New York City you can obtain a copy of the accident report from the police precinct from which the officer(s) responded. A link to locate the precincts in New York City is below. In Nassau and Suffolk Counties the police reports can usually be obtained from the department headquarters or sometimes directly from the precinct as well. The same process should be used in villages in New York who maintain their own Police Agencies. The reports are normally available within 24-48 hours after the crash. Most departments, including the N.Y.P.D. require a fee to be paid for obtaining the report. The reports in most cases remain available in the precincts for several weeks after a crash. If no longer available they can be obtained directly from the N.Y.S. Dept of Motor Vehicles. A link to the State Dept. of Motor Vehicles Accident Report Request page is here.
Police Accident Reports contain a vast amount of information regarding a crash and those involved. This includes the crash itself, the condition of the vehicles or bike, the weather, injuries, and other information surrounding the incident. More importantly, they help you identify the driver of the vehicle, its owner and their insurance company.
If you have been involved in a crash you may find it difficult to understand the report. The report contains numbered boxes to the left and to the right of the body of the report as well as the actual body of the accident report itself. The body of the accident report contains information on the drivers and registered owners, normally a sketch of how the crash occurred and the responding officers description of the incident. It also may contain statements made by the parties involved. The report is then signed and dated by the officer who prepared it. if the crash is severe enough the report will indicate whether the A.I.S. responded and investigated the crash and whether photos were taken. It will also indicate if a summons was issued or arrest made.
In order to understand the codes utilized in preparing the report you need a Police Report Overlay. A link to the overlay is here:
New York Police Report Overlay
Additional links to help you identify Precincts are here:
To Request an Accident Report from the N.Y.S. DMV
To Locate and Identify N.Y.P.D. Police Precincts Click Here
A List of New York City Police Precincts Phone Numbers and Address
For Other States, Click Here
If you have been involved in a bike or cycle crash and have additional questions about your rights to compensation as a result of your crash, contact us at 1-866-Flanzig(1-866-352-6944) or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All consultations are free.