Car accidents can happen at any time and can be a traumatic experience for those involved. They are a common occurrence in Boston, Massachusetts. According to the US Department of Transportation, in the last decade, over 370,000 people have died in transportation incidents, out of which 350,000 died on the roads. 

With such a high number of accidents, it is crucial to know what to do in the aftermath of a car accident. One of the most important steps in this process is gathering information at the scene. In this post, we will discuss why gathering information at the scene of a car accident is crucial.

Gather Information at the Scene

Making Sure Everyone is Safe

After a car accident, the first step is to make sure everyone involved is safe. This includes checking for injuries and calling for medical assistance if needed. It is crucial to prioritize the safety of everyone involved in the accident before moving on to gathering information.

Gathering Information from Other Drivers

Once everyone is out of harm’s way, the next step is to gather information from the other drivers involved in the accident. This includes obtaining their names, phone numbers, and insurance information. It is important to exchange contact information with the other drivers involved to ensure that you have a way to contact them in the future.

Gathering Information from Witnesses

In addition to gathering information from other drivers, it is also essential to gather information from any witnesses present at the scene. Witnesses can provide valuable information about what happened during the accident and can help establish who was at fault. Be sure to exchange contact information with any witnesses and take note of their account of what happened.

Taking Photographs of the Accident

Photographs are one of the most essential pieces of evidence that can be used in legal proceedings. They provide visual evidence of the damages to the vehicles and injuries sustained during the accident. They can also help establish who was at fault in the accident. When taking photographs, it is important to capture the license plates of all vehicles involved.  The photographs should include images of all vehicles involved, from different angles, as well as any visible injuries. Photographs of the surrounding area, including traffic signals, signs, and road conditions, can also provide valuable context for what happened during the accident.

Police Reports

In Boston, if an accident results in property damage exceeding $1,000, injury, or death, it must be reported to the police. Even if an accident seems minor, it is still essential to file a police report. The report can provide valuable evidence in the event of a legal claim and help determine who was at fault in the accident. When filing a police report, provide as much information as possible, including the time and location of the accident, the names and contact information of all drivers involved, and any witnesses.

Medical Records

Even if you feel fine after an accident, it is important to seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as whiplash or internal injuries, may not show symptoms right away. Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident can help diagnose and treat injuries before they become more serious. Medical records can also provide valuable evidence in the event of a legal claim. Keep copies of all medical records, including diagnosis, treatment, and any follow-up appointments.

Insurance Claims

After an accident, it is important to notify your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the information you have gathered, including photographs, police reports, and medical records. Be sure to accurately report the details of the accident and provide all requested documentation. It is important to be truthful and cooperative with your insurance company throughout the claims process. However, as we will discuss below, it is important not to accept a settlement offered by the insurance company without first speaking to a car accident attorney.

Why Hiring an Attorney Can Help You After a Car Accident in Boston

After a car accident, documenting evidence is crucial. However, navigating the legal system and dealing with insurance companies can be overwhelming, especially when you are trying to recover from injuries sustained in the accident. Here is where an experienced attorney comes into play. There are several benefits of hiring a car accident attorney in Boston, including:

Navigating the Legal System

Dealing with the legal system can be a complex and confusing process. Hiring an attorney can help you navigate the legal system and ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages and injuries sustained in the accident. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and obligations and provide guidance on how to proceed with your case.

Communicating with Insurance Companies

Insurance companies are notorious for trying to settle claims for as little as possible. An attorney can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate a fair settlement. Your attorney can ensure that the insurance company is not taking advantage of you and that you are receiving the compensation you deserve.

Proving Fault

Proving fault is a critical part of any car accident case. An attorney can help gather evidence and establish who was at fault in the accident. Your attorney can also work with expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists, to provide additional evidence to support your case.

Calculating Damages

Calculating damages can be a complex process. An attorney can help you determine the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your attorney can also help you determine the value of any future damages, such as ongoing medical treatment and lost earning capacity.

Litigation

If your case goes to court, an attorney can represent you in court and ensure that your case is presented in the best possible light. Your attorney can also ensure that all legal procedures are followed correctly and that you receive a fair trial.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if the other driver does not have insurance?

Answer: If the other driver does not have insurance, you may have to file a claim with your own insurance company. In some cases, you may also be able to file a lawsuit against the other driver to recover damages.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a car accident in Boston?

Answer: In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is three years from the date of the accident. It is important to file a lawsuit before the deadline, or you may lose the right to seek compensation.

Can I still file a lawsuit if I was partially at fault for the accident?

Answer: Yes, Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that you can still recover damages even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

How do I choose the right attorney for my car accident case in Boston?

Answer: When choosing an attorney, look for someone with experience handling car accident cases in Boston. You should also consider their track record of success, their communication style, and their fees. It is important to choose an attorney who you feel comfortable working with and who will prioritize your best interests.

How much does it cost to hire an attorney for a car accident case in Boston?

Answer: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case. The fee is typically a percentage of the settlement or verdict, usually around 33% to 40%.

The Bottom Line

If you have been involved in a car accident in Boston, it is essential to know what to do in the aftermath. Documenting evidence can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for any damages and injuries sustained in the accident. 

Hiring an experienced car accident attorney in Boston can also be beneficial in navigating the legal system, communicating with insurance companies, establishing fault, calculating damages, and representing you in court. If you have been in a car accident, consider seeking the help of an attorney to protect your best interests and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Swartz & Swartz is a reputable law firm in Boston that has been serving clients for over 45 years. We specialize in personal injury cases, including car accidents, and have a track record of success in obtaining fair compensation for our clients. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing personalized attention and top-notch legal representation to their clients. If you have been in a car accident in Boston, contact Swartz & Swartz for a free consultation.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help. For more information, contact Swartz & Swartz, P.C. today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About the Author: James Swartz
Avatar
Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

Keep Reading

Want more? Here are some other blog posts you might be interested in.