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How to Report Your Accident to Your Insurance Company

Seth Harris

Last modified on December 7, 2022

Report car accident to Insurance CompanyThe shock of suffering injuries in an automobile accident can leave you with a lot of questions. You might wonder whether or not to hire a lawyer, how you will be able to afford medical treatment, and whether you will be able to earn money as you recover. Filing an injury claim with an insurance company allows you to seek compensation for your losses. Understanding how to report the accident to the insurance company is the first step toward recovering the compensation you deserve.

When Should I Report a Car Accident to My Insurance Company?

Generally, you should report most car accidents to your insurance company immediately. Doing so will help to protect you financially if you have received injuries or if your property has sustained damage.

You must report any accident that involves other vehicles, as well as accidents that cause injuries to anyone. The same is true for accidents that cause significant damage to your own car, other vehicles, or fixtures such as fences or light posts.

You might choose not to report an accident if your vehicle was the only one involved, especially if the damage is negligible and no injuries occurred. For example, if your car receives a scrape from your mailbox as you back out of your driveway, you might choose to pay for the repairs yourself. Doing so can help to keep your premium from rising.

How Do I Report an Accident?

After an accident with another vehicle, you should exchange insurance information with the drivers involved. In most cases, you will want to report the accident both to your own insurance company and to that of the other driver. You can do so via the company’s website or by calling their phone number. You will need to provide them with:

Your name and the names of any other drivers

  • The policy number to which you will be filing the claim (yours or the other driver’s)
  • License numbers of all drivers involved
  • Location of the accident
  • Time and date of the accident
  • A general description of what happened
  • Names and contact information of any witnesses
  • The police report from the responding officer

When you fill out the form or speak to the insurance adjuster, do not admit fault in any way. Even if you believe that you are partially to blame for the accident, do not apologize to anyone. In the heat of the moment, you may not have a clear sense of what actually occurred. Furthermore, insurance adjusters look for ways to get you to admit fault. Even your own insurance company will attempt to avoid paying a large sum of money. Do not give them a reason to devalue your claim.

Police officers, insurance companies, and attorneys will investigate the facts and circumstances of the accident in their own time. They may discover clear evidence that indicates that the other driver was behaving negligently. For now, you need only convey the simple facts of what happened without assuming any blame.

What Is a First-Party versus a Third-Party Claim?

Once you’ve reported the accident, you’ll need to file a claim with your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance company for any medical expenses you incur for your accident-related injuries. Because New York is a “no-fault” state, your PIP coverage will apply until the policy limits are reached. This is a “first-party” insurance claim.

If the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you must make a first-party claim with your own insurance company. First-party claims also become necessary in a hit-and-run accident where you cannot identify and locate the at-fault driver.

A third-party claim occurs when you seek compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. If you’ve used the entire amount of your PIP policy, you cannot file a third-party insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier unless you meet the serious injury threshold set out in NY law. If you meet that threshold, you are entitled to pursue compensation from the other driver’s policy.

Do I Need a Lawyer for an Insurance Claim?

Report car accident to Insurance CompanyInsurance companies will do everything they can to avoid paying out the compensation you deserve. Having an experienced lawyer on your side gives you the advantage of working with someone who knows how to communicate with insurance adjusters in a way that makes them take your case seriously.

Furthermore, a good lawyer will be prepared to take your claim to court if necessary. Because insurers generally want to avoid lawsuits, claimants with strong legal representation tend to receive greater compensation than those who attempt to file on their own.

What Type of Lawyer Handles Insurance Claims?

Personal injury lawyers, like the seasoned attorneys at [firm-name] have the experience, skills, and knowledge required to handle insurance claims. Our lawyers are exclusively dedicated to helping New Yorkers who were injured by the wrongdoing of others fight for the compensation they deserve.

Contact Us Today

If you suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident, contact [firm-name] today. We will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery.

Contact us online or call us at 800-PAIN-LAW for a free consultation today.

Over $500 Million in Verdicts and Settlements

Our track record showcases over $500 million won for our clients. Each victory underlines our commitment to justice and client care. Explore our impact, case by case.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Mr. Vargas $17.5 million for the City of New York’s violation of his civil rights for failing to provide him medical care while in custody. The jury found that the police officers involved failed to provide the necessary medical treatment and awarded $17.5 million to Mr. Vargas.



Harris Keenan & Goldfarb partners Seth Harris and Sheri Holland obtained a $4,730,398.00 jury verdict on behalf of our client who tripped and fell at a private apartment building in the Bronx, suffering a broken foot that developed a very painful, permanent neurological condition called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”).



A Bronx jury awarded John Doe over $12 million for an accident on a construction site. John Doe was working when a piece of scaffold weighing 35 pounds fell, striking John Doe in the lower back. John Doe suffered a herniated disc requiring surgical removal of a portion of the disc and permanent nerve damage.



A Bronx jury awarded $10.5 million to the mother of Malcolm Ferguson, who was wrongfully shot and killed by the New York City Police Department. The police officer, Louis Rivera, also a defendant in the case, was found to have used excessive force in violation of Malcolm Ferguson’s civil rights as protected under the United States Constitution.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff William Cardoza $4 million for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Mr. Cardoza was pepper-sprayed and repeatedly hit with a police nightstick. As a result, Mr. Cardoza sustained injuries to his hand and finger.



The firm’s client, a 33-year-old teacher’s assistant, was scalded by an espresso machine that exploded while the defendant’s employee was demonstrating how the machine worked. The client was a customer at the defendant’s coffee shop on the date of the accident and suffered first-degree burns to her right (dominant) hand.



The firm represented the mother- decedent and her infant son. During the decedent’s admission to the defendant hospital, the defendant dispensed anesthesia during an epidural to the decedent in an inadequate manner. The mother-decedent suffered personal injuries and wrongful death due to the defendant’s failure to properly administer epidural anesthesia.



Mr.Brennan fell from approximately 25 feet while working on a construction project. He suffered a shattered bone in his right leg requiring surgery and hardware placement. Mr. Brennan also suffered two fractures in his facial bones, and a dislocated finger requiring surgical repair.



The firm’s client was a child with cerebral palsy who was injured as a result of medical malpractice. The firm’s clients claimed improper management of pregnancy, labor, and delivery resulting in brain damage, and received a Brooklyn personal injury settlement.



The firm’s client, a 63-year-old mentally incompetent man, slipped and fell in his own urine while attempting to walk to the bathroom at the defendant’s senior citizen home. The client fractured his hip and as a result is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The client claimed that the staff of the home failed to properly care for him, and the jury awarded $1,677,835.



The firm’s client, a 47-year-old male, slipped and fell on a public sidewalk in the Bronx. It had snowed four to five days prior to the date of the accident, and the sidewalk was covered with ice. The client suffered a lumbar fracture and a herniated disc. The jury found the city liable and awarded the client a $2,995,000 personal injury settlement in the Bronx.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Luis Molina $2.61 million for injuries sustained when he fell down a subway station stairway. Mr. Molina was caused to slip and fall as a result of a plastic bag that had blown onto the steps from a street opening. As a result of the fall, Mr. Molina suffered a herniated disc and a tear of his right shoulder’s rotator cuff. The jury found that the NYC Transit Authority was liable for the accident.



A Bronx jury awarded Ms. Colon $2.25 million for a trip and fall accident. Ms. Colon was caused to fall when she moved to the right to allow another pedestrian to pass, and her foot rolled to the outside due to the sidewalk being unlevel with the adjoining grass. The jury found the defendant liable and awarded Ms. Colon $2,253,714.00 for her pain and suffering.



A Brooklyn jury awarded Arvella Floyd $1.9 million for a fractured wrist which required multiple surgeries, including an open-reduction internal fixation and a carpal tunnel release. Ms. Floyd was injured when the hot water knob of the shower fell off after numerous complaints to the superintendent, and scalding water spewed toward her, causing her to
fall and break her wrist.



A Bronx jury awarded plaintiff Juanita Young $1,350,000 for injuries caused by the use of excessive force during an arrest. During the arrest, Ms. Young, who is legally blind, was handcuffed from behind, with her children watching, and taken to the top of the stairs to exit the building. The officer proceeded to push her down the stairs multiple times.

What Our Clients Say About Us

00:47 22 Jun 24
I contacted Burns and Harris, this company which is renamed now, about two years ago about my injury. I even had an in person meeting with Stephen LaRocca.I had to chase him for a year just to sign something, in the end I just gave up. Pretty appalling company and even worse than people have written. I can only imagine the people who haven’t taken the time to write your review. Don’t bother with them.
Cole ColdwaterCole Coldwater
19:36 20 Jun 24
My experience with Harris Keenan and Goldfarb was wonderful. My legal representative, Steven LaRocca with Samantha Walton always made me feel well defended and cared for, in a way that went beyond professional representation and into the realm of caring about me on a personal level. Steven, Samantha and Seth Harris got me a great outcome and I can’t thank them enough!
Elizabeth SantosElizabeth Santos
00:32 20 Jun 24
If I could give them a zero Star I would 0
Jennifer RosarioJennifer Rosario
14:16 05 Jun 24
The best law firm I have ever went with thank you so much
Angelo Del GuercioAngelo Del Guercio
20:03 11 May 24
Horrible people. I lost complete confidence in this firm. Attorneys dragged their feet for 4 years and my mom died before a settlement could be reached. I advised them several times that my mom was sick to put fire under their feet but the effort was to no avail.
david Santiagodavid Santiago
18:05 21 Mar 24
Maria RoqueMaria Roque
20:49 15 Mar 24
Excellent person, very Professional, they assist you in any language, your call is always answered. I recommend you for any case of support you have, your refund is satisfactory. and fast
14:09 02 Mar 24
I am completely satisfied, and recommend Harris Keenan & Goldfarb as Attorneys to represent anyone. Their care for me physically, and overall helped me stay strong in spite of my injuries. Always available to answer questions, and inform.They got me Justice, and achieved a substantial outcome for my case.I am very impressed, and thankful for their outstanding performance on my behalf.I am very pleased, and significantly satisfied with their representation.‐-Sherylon Wilkins
Robert LennonRobert Lennon
15:26 21 Feb 24
Patient and diligence is how I describe the effort of HKG the work was thorough, honest and fair, I have no complaints. Special thanks to attorney Blake and his paralegal Thierry.
Gene Matos (fanboye)Gene Matos (fanboye)
18:48 15 Jan 24
I first crossed paths with Seth Harris when serving jury duty many years ago. He was so professional and personable, that when my mom was seeking legal counsel for medical malpractice, I told her she had to reach out to his firm. We had meetings with a few different firms, but Harris Keenan & Goldfarb was the only firm that did not try to get us to sign paperwork before even meeting. They took the time to listen and understand our situation before we signed anything, and they were transparent and responsive the whole time. I would like to give special thanks to Samantha Walton, Marla Stein, Val Wallace and Seth Harris for helping my mom through this tough time. They were honest and upfront, and even though Seth Harris wasn't personally on the case, he took the time to meet with us and give us his thoughts on it.
Solange IsaacSolange Isaac
17:52 08 Jan 24
I am pleased with the services provided by Ms Sheri on my case. The team at Harris, Keenan, & Goldfarb were very nice and explained everything to me. Everything that I had questions on they answered without frustration and were prompt and knowledgeable.6 years ago I had a slip and fall accident at my employers place of business. I reached out to them because I knew that I was being wrongfully treated. They took care of the case, restored my self confidence, and brought so much peace to my problem riddled life.I can recommend without a shadow of a doubt the services of Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb to anyone who is in need of someone who will have your back!
Brittany DempseyBrittany Dempsey
16:02 08 Jan 24
My mother had an accident with her ankle back in 2019. I immediately contacted Harris, Keenan & Goldfarb on the day of the accident. They were extremely prompt and helpful. They attended to my mother's case beautifully and she's been recovering well. I'd like to thank you for being so diligent, kind and above all professional. I'd recommend this law firm to anyone who are injured and in need of legal assistance. My mother, Andrea, and I thank you for everything.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions that prospective clients have about personal injury claims include:

  • Do I need an attorney?

    When you have suffered an injury, it can be difficult to know what to do next. If the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, filing a personal injury claim can be a complex and time-consuming process. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and fight for the maximum possible compensation.

  • How do I know I have a case?

  • When should I contact an attorney?

  • How do I determine which one to choose?

  • Once I hire an attorney, what should I expect?

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