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What to Do After a Car Accident in Massachusetts
A car accident is everyone’s worst nightmare––wrecked automobiles and mangled lives. More than 4,500 people in Massachusetts are seriously injured or killed in car accidents every year.
A car accident can be an extremely traumatic experience for everyone involved––the drivers, passengers, and even witnesses. Especially when someone has been severely injured or killed.
In the immediate aftermath, you may be in shock, disoriented, and injured, and have no idea what to do next. To help, here is a list of 7 things you should always remember to do after a car accident in Massachusetts that will help keep you safe and protect your right to be compensated fully for your injuries and losses:
1. Stay Calm and Secure the Scene
First, no matter how bad the accident seems, stay calm. If you panic you won’t be able to think clearly, which could put you and others in greater danger.
Next, check to make sure that you and your passengers are OK. If everybody is OK, look at your surroundings and see if your vehicle is in a safe location.
If necessary, try and move your vehicle out of the road where the accident happened, so that you are not at risk of being struck again by other traffic. If you can’t move the car, then try and get others to help you secure the scene.
2. Call 911
Once you are sure that you and any others involved in the accident are out of harm’s way, call 911 to get police, fire, and EMS on the way to the scene. Sometimes, it can take a while for them to reach you.
When the police arrive, make sure that they make a report and obtain a copy. The police report of the accident will be very important to any injury claim you file later on.
Police are trained to record important information that can be very valuable to any related car accident claim you file. Be sure to tell them your version of how the accident occurred.
3. Document Evidence
Having documented evidence is also very important when seeking compensation for your injuries and losses after a car accident. One of the most important and useful tools for documenting evidence is your cell phone’s camera.
If you can, take as many photos of the vehicles and the scene surrounding the accident as possible. If possible, do this before moving the vehicles away from the scene of the accident.
Photos of the position of the vehicles immediately after the accident and the resulting damage can be very useful when determining liability and requesting property damages later on.
You also need to collect the identification of every other driver involved in the accident. Ask to see their driver’s license and their insurance card and take photos of both with your cell phone.
Also, take photos of their license plates, the damage to their vehicles, and anything else that looks important. That way you will have recorded the documentation needed to prove who the other drivers were, where their vehicles ended up, and some visual evidence of the resulting damage.
Between the photographs and any information you right down, be sure to collect the following information from all of the other drivers involved:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Insurance company
- Policy number
- License plate number
- A photo of their driver’s license
Many accident injury cases turn out to be he-said-she-said battles. In other words, it becomes your version against the other driver’s version of the accident.
Because of this, eyewitness accounts of the accident can be critically important to the success or failure of your case. So, it’s best to find out what the witnesses will testify to as soon as possible.
Be sure to record the identity of any witnesses at the scene of the accident, including their names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
5. Medical Treatment After a Car Accident in Massachusetts
If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured, it is important to call 911 and get an ambulance on the scene.
After being checked out by paramedics at the scene of the accident, you can then decide whether you want to go straight to the emergency room or go home and make an appointment with your regular doctor. But, never assume that any physical pain you have will simply go away.
If you are in any type of pain, you should not wait to seek medical attention. Not only will this delay your treatment and potentially compromise your ability to recover completely, but this delay may be used by the at-fault driver’s insurance company to contest and/or deny your injury claim.
Injuries don’t always fully manifest themselves at the scene of an accident. Often, due to the adrenaline rush and delayed onset of symptoms, you may not realize that you have been injured until a few days later.
If this happens to you, seek medical attention right away, both for your health and the viability of your car accident claim. Any delay or gaps in your medical treatment can create the impression that your injuries are unrelated to the accident, a can be the basis for the insurance company denying your claim.
6. Notify Your Own Insurance Provider
Be sure to report the accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. This is important to preserve benefits from your own insurance policy.
If you have full coverage on your car, you can rely first on your own insurance to cover your auto repairs, towing fees, and medical bills, as well as, to receive an uninsured motorist coverage if the other driver was not insured at the time of the accident.
7. Get the Right Lawyers Involved
Last but not least, you should engage an experienced car accident lawyer to represent you. Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be frustrating and complicated. To protect your right to be compensated for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, disability, and more, you need a knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyer working on your behalf.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Massachusetts, contact The Law Offices of Richard Mucci for a free consultation with an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer. Call us at 781-729-3999, or visit our contact page to complete our intake form.