If you took your eyes off the road for a few seconds and collided with a vehicle at an intersection, you may assume that you caused the car accident. What should you do next?
Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is a startling experience. When the crash was your fault, you may feel even more stressed. The skilled car accident lawyers at Kiley Law Group can help take some of the burden off of your shoulders.
The Massachusetts car accident lawyers at Kiley Law Group have over 40 years of experience handling car accident cases. We can guide you through the claims process, inform you of your legal rights, and ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to.
Contact us today to schedule a free case review. We are available 24/7 to take your call.
What You Should and Should Not Do Following a Massachusetts Car Accident
Immediately after a car accident, you want to take certain steps to ensure everyone is safe, obey the law, and get the insurance claims process started. Keep in mind that the actions you take after being involved in a collision can have an impact on your financial recovery.
The following are things that you should do after being involved in a car accident, even if it was your fault:
- Check yourself for injuries: If you are injured, call 911 and request an ambulance to come to the accident scene.
- Check on the well-being of your passengers: If your injuries allow, check on the other passengers in the vehicle. If anyone is injured, call 911 or ask a bystander to call.
- Move to safety: If the accident is minor and you are in the way of oncoming traffic, move to the side of the road or another safe location.
- Call 911: Whether the collision was minor or resulted in severe injuries, you should notify emergency services. The officers that respond will fill out an accident report and document the scene.
- Exchange information: Get the full names, phone numbers, addresses, and insurance information of everyone involved in the incident.
- Take photos: Photograph the damage to the vehicles involved, the other party’s license plate, your injuries, the weather and road conditions, and anything else that seems important.
- Make notes: The details of the accident can quickly fade in your memory over time. If possible, make a note on your phone to record comments made by other drivers, how the accident occurred, who were there as witnesses, and any other details you remember.
- Contact your insurance company: Whether you or another party were to blame, you should always contact your insurance company as soon as possible after a car accident.
- Consult with a lawyer: Most car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so you have nothing to lose by contacting them. They can inform you of your legal rights and help determine whether you have a claim to compensation.
Regardless of fault, these are things you should not do after a car accident:
- Do not leave the accident scene: Under Massachusetts Law, it is illegal to flee the scene of an accident. Call 911 and wait for the officers to arrive and fill out a report. Don’t aggravate your situation by turning it into a hit-and-run.
- Do not get angry: Your emotions will likely be running high after a car accident, but try not to lose your cool. Do not yell or accuse the driver of anything.
- Do not discuss the accident: Do not discuss the details of the accident with the other party, their attorney, or their insurance company. But you should be honest with the police and your attorney, providing them with accurate details of the accident.
- Do not post the accident on social media: Even innocent comments or details about the accident can be used against you when determining liability and recovering compensation.
- Do not accept a settlement without speaking to a lawyer: The insurance company may offer you a settlement that does not even fully cover your medical expenses and other losses. It is recommended to consult a car accident lawyer before accepting a settlement.
Massachusetts is a No-Fault State
Massachusetts is one of 12 no-fault states in the US. In no-fault states. Drivers must have their own car insurance and purchase personal injury protection (PIP) as part of their policy to cover their injuries and property damage after an accident.
Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, all parties involved must file a claim with their own insurers. This means personal injury victims don’t have to negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurance company. In most situations, it also prevents at-fault drivers from having car accident lawsuits filed against them.
Possible Penalties Following a Massachusetts Car Accident
Depending on the circumstances, following an accident, you may be subject to certain fines and penalties.
Penalties for driving without insurance
If you own a vehicle in Massachusetts, you are legally required to hold minimum liability insurance.
If the officers who arrive at the accident scene find out you do not have insurance coverage, you could face the following penalties:
- A fine up to $5,000
- An additional $500 payment or proof of an entire year of auto coverage
- Up to 1 year of jail time
Penalties for leaving the accident scene
In Massachusetts, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident where someone was injured or killed.
Those who are caught fleeing an accident scene could be subject to:
- Imprisonment for up to 2 years
- Fines ranging from $500 to $1,000
Penalties for causing a car accident
If you were at fault for a car accident you may be fined depending on the traffic laws you violated. You also may receive points on your license.
You may receive the following points after a car accident:
- 2 points: Speeding
- 3 points: Minor at-fault traffic accidents
- 4 points: Major at-fault traffic accidents
- 5 points: Leaving an accident scene where there is bodily injury or property damage
- 5 points: Manslaughter
- 5 points: Driving to endanger
In some situations, the driver who caused the car accident could face jail time. For instance, he or she could have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or with the intent to harm another person.
Our Massachusetts Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you were fully or partially at fault for a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. The knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Kiley Law Group are here to help. We can help determine whether or not you were truly at fault and prevent you from having to pay an unfair settlement to the other party.
At Kiley Law Group, we offer a risk-free consultation where we can review the circumstances of your accident and determine the legal options available to you. We offer our legal services on contingency, which means that we do not get paid unless you recover compensation.
There are many benefits to having a personal injury lawyer on your side following a car accident. Schedule a free consultation with a trusted member of our team today. Call us 24/7, at 888-435-1321 or fill out the contact form.