A Guide to Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit Against Non-New York Residents

If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to a non-New York resident’s negligence, you have two options. The first is to file a lawsuit in the place where the defendant currently resides or does business. The second is to file within the state where the accident took place, in this case, New York.

It doesn’t end there. After successfully filing a lawsuit, the summons and complaint must now be served to the defendant. However, under New York law, concerned parties are not allowed to serve their own legal documents. If you’re already working with an attorney, they may recommend that you hire a licensed process server.

Service of Process for Car Accident Lawsuits

Under Section 253 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the following steps must be followed when serving a process to a non-New York resident:

  1. A copy of the Summons and Complaint should either be mailed to the Secretary of State in Albany or hand-delivered to a local office of the Secretary of State. Before sending the documents, the plaintiff must contact the Secretary of State to get the correct address and determine which payment methods are offered. The service fee of $10.00 must also be paid.
  2. The plaintiff or their legal representative may mail the copy of the Summons and Complaint as well as the Notice of the Service of the Summons and Complaint on the Secretary of State to the defendant. Another option is to have either a New York resident over the age of 18 who is not related to the case or a professional process server personally deliver the documents.
  3. Within 30 days, the plaintiff must submit either an Affidavit of Compliance or an Affidavit of Service to the clerk.
  4. For an Affidavit of Compliance: The 30-day countdown begins when the plaintiff receives the certified mail return receipt, a notice from the post office that receipt was declined, or a notice from the post office that the mail was unclaimed.
  5. For an Affidavit of Service: It must indicate that the legal papers were successfully delivered to the defendant by the process server or the party authorized by the plaintiff to serve the documents.

The service of process is complete once the Affidavit of Compliance or Service has been successfully filed in court.


Why Work with a Reputable Process Server in NYC

Filing claims and serving legal documents are time-consuming and laborious. At Serve Index LLC, we streamline the whole process and ensure that your legal documents are filed and served in an efficient and timely manner.

We can assist you with in-person court filing—from picking up the necessary paperwork to filing them in the appropriate New York court. If you need an index number, we will purchase one for you and forward the papers to the court clerk.

We also offer electronic filing of papers. However, this is subject to local guidelines as some counties still prefer in-person filing.

Our licensed processed servers for personal injury cases are well-versed in laws governing the service of process to non-New York residents. We follow the timelines, and we properly document our serves.

By choosing us, you will get:

  • Real-time updates on service progress
  • Photo logs
  • Three delivery attempts
  • Status notifications via email
  • GPS tracking system
  • A soft copy of the affidavit prior to mailing

For quick and seamless filing and delivery of legal documents, contact us at 1-888-994-6339 (toll-free), or send us a message here. We’ll answer any questions you may have and provide you with a quote.

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