This guide can help you understand New York’s driving and insurance laws, show you resources, and walk you through the aftermath of a car crash. No one plans on getting hurt, but it’s better to be prepared than to be left without any idea what to do.

Download the guide here.

Your Rights as an Out-of-State Driver

It can be confusing when you’re driving somewhere new. Even if you’re a New Yorker heading to NYC, you could be anxious if it’s not somewhere you’re accustomed to driving. For out-of-state drivers, there are some key points to understand in case you are in an accident.

  • Your Insurance Should Work in NY: Almost all insurance policies in the US will cover you in other states. If you’ve moved to a new state, you should update your coverage and registration, but your current policy will cover you if you’re traveling out of state.
  • You Can Sue for Damages: While your insurance should cover your injuries, you may be able to sue for anything beyond your policy’s coverage. Understanding where you can sue is key: you’ll probably need to file in the state the accident happened or the at-fault driver’s home state. If you’re hit by a New Yorker, file in New York. It gets complicated with multiple at-fault drivers, but an attorney can help.
  • You Can Work On Your Case Remotely: If you’re worried about filing a claim for an accident that happened while you were traveling, understand that you aren’t required to physically appear in court for everything. Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, they can be your stand-in. You may have to make a few appearances, but your attorney should be able to represent you.
  • You Can Hire a New York Attorney: When filing a third-party claim to cover damages that exceed your policy’s coverage, you can hire any attorney you’d like. However, your best chance of success is finding one who knows the laws in the state you’re filing and can legally practice there.

New York Laws to Consider

Each state has its own unique traffic laws. While many are standard no matter where you are, some state laws can impact who is deemed responsible for a car accident and to what degree they are liable should you file an insurance claim.

NY is a No-Fault Insurance State

No-Fault insurance was implemented in the 1970s so insurance companies would pay for injuries caused by a crash no matter who caused it. The policy was designed to expedite claims while keeping other crash-related costs down.

Basically, under no-fault insurance in New York, your “economic losses” are covered up to $50,000. That includes medical expenses and lost wages. It does not cover non-economic damages like pain and suffering. You can file a claim to cover those losses.

If your state doesn’t use no-fault insurance, don’t worry. You should be able to file a no-fault claim as a NY resident. Use Form NF-2 to apply for a no-fault claim within 30 days of the accident.

New York Car Accidents Have a Statute of Limitations

Like most states, New York has a personal injury statute of limitations, which is essentially a deadline for legal action. You have two years after the accident to file a claim. You only have 30 days to file a claim for no-fault coverage.

Recoverable Losses after a NY Crash

Under no-fault insurance, you can recover medical expenses and lost wages. That means doctors’ visits, appointments with specialists, prescription medication costs, and travel expenses for treatments. You’ll also receive up to $2,000 for lost wages if your injuries disrupt your ability to work.

With a third-party claim, you can also sue the at-fault driver for other damages. A civil action can recover things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or emotional distress.

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What Should You Do After a Car Crash in NYC?

You’ll probably be disoriented if you’re hurt in a crash while traveling. Who should you call? Where can you get medical treatment? This guide can answer your questions and prepare you for the worst.

Treat a New York Auto Accident like One in Your Home State

The procedure for handling a crash in NY is fairly standard. Try to remain calm and follow these steps:

  • Get Medical Attention: if the accident is severe enough, you’ll probably get emergency treatment or be taken to a hospital. You should seek treatment as soon as you can. Not only does this ensure your health, but a medical provider can support your claim.
  • Document Everything: you should take notes about your injuries and any treatment you receive as best as you’re able after a crash. File receipts and get copies of your medical records (available through HIPAA laws). Get the names of anyone who treats you and any facility you’re taken to if you’re from out of state. It’ll be easier to get that info while you’re in town.
  • Get Evidence at the Scene: photographs, videos, witness statements, or police reports are essential for insurance cases. If you or someone with you can get photos at the scene, get as many as possible. Document the condition of your car, your injuries, the state of the crash scene, weather conditions, etc. A police report can also provide details that can support your case.
  • Collect Contact Information: if there are eyewitnesses, do your best to talk to them. Some people may not feel they owe crash victims a statement, but their account could help your claim. If you’re returning home when you’re healthy enough, you need a way to stay in touch with witnesses so your lawyer can work with them.
  • Contact a Car Accident Lawyer: you should call a New York City car accident lawyer as soon as you can. Remember, while you have two years to file a lawsuit, you have 30 days to file a no-fault claim. A lawyer can help you work through the legal process and pursue compensation.

Resources for NYC Car Crash Victims

If you’re visiting New York, you should know where to get help if the worst happens. Better to have resources and not need them than be stuck without them.

Getting Medical Treatment in New York

New York comprises five boroughs, mini-cities within a large one: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. You can find medical care in each. Knowing which borough you’re in can help you direct medical or police assistance.

The Bronx

BronxCare Health System: 1650 Grand Concourse, The Bronx, NY 10457


Maimonides Midwood Community Hospital: 2525 Kings Highway at East 26th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11229


NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital: 5141 Broadway at 220th Street, New York, NY 10034


NewYork-Presbyterian Queens: 56-45 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355

Staten Island

Staten Island University Hospital – Northwell Health: 475 Seaview Ave, Staten Island, NY 10305

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Contact a New York Car Accident Lawyer for Help

Getting help after a car accident is critical. Understanding who you can rely on and who can support you if you’re not from New York can help you recover the compensation you’ve lost. The attorneys at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., have helped New York residents and out-of-state drivers pursue damages after a crash.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a crash, contact the New York City car accident lawyers with HKD. We know that car accidents are traumatic, and being in an unfamiliar area with little support can multiply that stress.

Call 212-490-5700 or use our online form to schedule your consultation.

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