It’s five o’ clock on a Friday and you’re heading home after an exhausting week of work. You’re practically on auto-pilot with the thought of the impending weekend being the only fuel guiding you home, and then BAM-it happens. You find yourself in a car accident. Everyone understands when you get behind the wheel you run the risk of finding yourself in a surprise collision, yet we never think about the odds of it actually happening to us, and even worse we don’t know the steps to take to protect ourselves in the event of an automobile accident adapted from the Massachusetts DMV site.
- First and foremost, you must never leave the scene of an accident. It seems obvious and trite, but flight is a guttural reaction to stimuli. You must remain as calm and reposed as you can, given the circumstance. Find a safe place to pull over your car, staying as reasonably close to the vehicle, or property you collided with without obstructing traffic. Be aware of your surroundings and any other potential dangers, such as fire, or a downed electrical wire.
- To your best ability provide any assistance you can to any injured drivers, passengers, pedestrians involved in the accident. If you yourself were injured it’s again very important to try to remain as calm as you can. If you’re physically able call emergency services at 911. Also inform local Massachusetts police, highway patrol, or sheriff of your accident. Once everyone’s safety is established as best as can be it’s time to exchange information.
- The exchange of information is an integral step in insuring your own protection going forward, as well as being an important information tool for you and all others involved in the accident will consistently rely upon. The following bullets are the information you should prioritize exchanging with other drivers before leaving. If a police officer responds to the accident the officer may exchange this information for you.
- Name, address and contact details.
- Driver license number.
- License plate number of the vehicles involved.
- Auto insuranceinformation for the motorists involved.
- Also make a point to take photographs of the scene of the accident. If the vehicle that was involved in the collision was unattended an effort must be made to contact or locate the driver of the vehicle. If the driver cannot be found leave a note describing the accident and your contact information.
- For most accidents you are required to report the collision to the RMV on a so-called crash report. Note the following bullet points taken from the Massachusetts DMV for the types of accidents that require you file a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator report within five days to the RMV
- The accident caused injury or death.
- Damage to any one person’s property or vehicle as a result of the accident exceeded $1,000.
- This reporting must be carried out regardless of whether a police report has been filed. If you fail to report an accident to the Massachusetts RMV, you may have your license suspended. In the event that another driver offers to pay for damages and asks you not to report an accident, you are still required to file the report in any of the situations outlined above.
- Your report must include detailed and current information regarding your insurance coverage. The RMV will cross-check this information with the insurance company shown on the report. If you did not have liability insurancewhen the accident occurred, your driving privileges may be suspended.
- A copy of the completed form must be sent to you insurance company, the local police department of the city or town where the accident occurred and to the Registry of Motor Vehicles. You can mail a copy to the RMV.
- Notify your insurance company of the car accident, provide any necessary information, including a copy of your RMV crash report
- If you were injured in a car accident, keep copies of all medical bills and treatment records and contact a consider contacting a personal injury attorney.
If you, or a loved one who has been injured in an automobile accident, you may have options for obtaining compensation. Plymouth County personal injury law attorney Michael S. Mehrmann has spent many years helping people from across Plymouth County, including in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury, deal with their legal needs. To find out more about how we can assist you, call (781) 585-3911 or contact us online.