April 9, 2014

Transportation Law Update, Volume 15, Number 2

NEW YORK: Accident in New York State Requires Filing of MV-104 Form
by Gary N. Stewart

The State of New York has a MANDATORY requirement that a state-issued form be prepared and signed by the driver and submitted to the state within ten (10) days of just about any accident that occurs in the State of New York.  The failure to do so may result in the suspension of your license and/or registration AND IS A MISDEMEANOR.

Specifically, the only type of accident where this form is not required to be submitted is where there is property damage of $1,000 or less. If there is more than $1,000 damage, any personal injury or death, the form must be filed.

All too often, we have seen a case assigned where the driver or insured did not complete and file the form.  If the form has not been filed in a timely manner, refer to the police report for additional information and file it as soon as possible.

Thereafter, in most cases, the plaintiff’s attorney will request a copy of the document in discovery.  Obviously, the defense should be requesting that the plaintiff’s form be produced as well.

Since the form is signed by the driver—whether the plaintiff or the defendant—it will be admissible, and the information contained therein can be very persuasive to a fact finder.  If the form was prepared and filed within the mandatory ten days after the accident, then the argument could be made that the facts and circumstances sworn to as true could be more accurate than any information originating months or years later, since they were made closer in time to the accident.

For these reasons, we recommend that counsel assist with the process and that the diagrams, descriptions, and codes that are part of the form be utilized accurately. This can be done as part of the initial driver interview.

Refer to: http://dmv.ny.gov/org/more-info/accident-reports for additional information.

Gary N. Stewart is a partner in the CMV Section in our Harrisburg office. Gary is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Rhode Island as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, the District of Massachusetts, the District of Rhode Island, the District of Connecticut and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First and Third Circuits.

Gary can be reached at (717) 234-7730; gstewart@rawle.com


David R. Chludzinski has joined the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association (PMTA) Southwest Chapter.  David is an associate in our Pittsburgh office.  He concentrates his practice on the defense of commercial motor vehicles and their insurers. David earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law at Penn State University.  He earned his B.A., cum laude, from Boston College.  David is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle, and Western Districts of Pennsylvania.  David was selected as a “Pennsylvania Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and Law & Politics Magazine in 2012 and 2013. Rising Stars are the top 2.5 percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania who are 40 years old and younger or have been in practice for 10 years or less.

David can be reached at (412) 261-5738; dchludzinski@rawle.com


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