When it comes to Massachusetts, people with vehicles involved in a car accident must file a crash report if the accident results in at least one of three things:
- Someone is killed.
- Someone is injured.
- Property damage costing more than $1000 is sustained.
If authorities don’t immediately arrive on the scene, you must alert them to the accident within five days. Failure to do so can create various consequences, including fees, suspension of your license, or even criminal penalties.
Thus, after you receive medical attention, it is always best to inform the police department that has jurisdiction in the area. This will also allow the police officer to conduct a full investigation at the scene where the crash occurred.
If there was a death or any serious injury, the police officer will be able to collect and file the necessary evidence, which will be needed to make sure that the injuries were an accident and no one’s fault.
If there was any property damage, the local police department should also be able to collect and file evidence on the extent of the damage, as well as who should be deemed responsible for the crash.
Why Is It Important to Get a Copy of a Crash Report?
In car crashes, there’s almost always damage of some kind – whether it’s damage to a motor vehicle or injury to the other driver.
This can make things tricky, especially when it comes to figuring out who is at fault for the accident.
However, because of the immense detail involved in a crash report file, it can assist you when it comes to dealing with the insurance company of the other driver.
Therefore, if you’re trying to navigate issues of liability and compensation, we highly recommend you get your own report.
This is especially true if the insurance company of the other driver refuses to give you compensation for injuries, or if you believe you need to hire a lawyer to take legal action. The more detailed information you have on the crash, the better you’ll be able to support your case.
What Information Is in a Massachusetts Accident Report?
So what do you actually get from a Massachusetts accident police report?
A Massachusetts accident police report should have several important details, including:
- The location and condition of the scene
- The names of all the drivers and passengers involved in the crash
- Details of each motor vehicle involved
- Descriptions of any injuries
- Descriptions of any property damage
- Statements from witnesses
- Statements from everyone involved in the crash
- The reporting officer’s opinion on what caused the accident
This should provide your lawyer with enough details on the crash to defend your case well.
How to Get a Massachusetts Car Accident Report?
Getting a Massachusetts accident police report or crash report is actually quite simple.
All you need is to go to the Request a Crash Report page on the Massachusetts Government website.
To summarize the page, here’s the information you need to request a crash report from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV):
- The name of at least one driver involved in the crash (if there were several drivers involved)
- Details of at least one motor vehicle involved in the crash
- Your name
- Your mailing address
- Your email address
After you complete the form, you will need to pay a Crash Report Search Fee, which costs $20 per copy of the crash report. The RMV offers standard and certified copies of the police report, but the fee remains the same for either version.
As for how long it takes to receive the police report, the RMV says it can take up to four weeks to process your order.
If you just happened to order the police report early (before it’s even available in the RMV’s system), the RMV guarantees it will search for the requested report until ninety days after the crash.
However, if it’s particularly urgent, you can contact the RMV through their online Contact Form.
How to Proceed After Getting the Report?
After you get the report, there are a few basic things you will need to do, including documenting the damage to your vehicle, taking pictures of any of your injuries, and hiring a personal injury lawyer.
Document the Damage to Your Vehicle
First, you will need to take pictures of your motor vehicle. This is so that you can document how it was damaged by the incident.
Be sure to get pictures from all angles, with shots of the entire vehicle but also close-up shots of the damaged parts.
When it comes to claiming insurance, this can be a huge help since an expert can analyze the damage patterns and help determine if it was you or the other vehicle that was primarily at fault.
Take Pictures of Your Injuries
If you were injured, you should also take pictures of yourself. This is so that you can document how badly you were injured.
You should also note down details such as what treatment you have to undergo, how long it takes for you to fully recover, and how much it all costs.
You may be eligible for compensation if the incident is deemed the fault of the other drivers, so getting everything down is important.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Finally, you may need to hire an attorney if you want to take legal action against the other drivers.
If so, you will want to hire a personal injury attorney with experience in motor vehicle accident cases. They will be able to help you estimate how much you deserve in compensation, and they can be the ones to deal with the insurance companies.
Car accidents can be a messy ordeal, and can easily get blown out of proportion. This can put you, your assets, and your entire future in danger. But there is still something you can do to prevent that from happening.
Having the right documents and a signed car accident report is key in protecting yourself and your assets. A detailed car accident report is also an excellent way to a plea for a lighter punishment or work out an agreement with the other party if you are the one at fault.
Waiting for your police report to arrive takes about 4 weeks at most, so be sure to begin filing for your crash report as soon as you are able to. Yes, it sounds like a hassle, and we understand that you dislike long waits, but failing to provide documentation of your accident will lead to serious repercussions.
- Take photos of your injuries
- Take photos of the damages to your vehicle
- Take photos of the location of the accident
- Take photos of the property damage
- Collect your dashcam footage if available
- Write down any detail you remember from the crash
- Speak to a lawyer before making any drastic decisions
Make sure to keep the data in a secure folder, whether these are printed hard copies, saved in a flash drive, or uploaded in the Cloud.
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