If you’ve been injured in a Massachusetts hit and run accident, follow these steps in the immediate aftermath.
Being injured in a car accident resulting from the actions or carelessness of another party is a frustrating experience. This is particularly true if a driver flees the scene of the accident.
Knowing what to do in these circumstances could play a major role in your ability to secure all the financial compensation for which you may be eligible. Keep reading to learn more.
Hurt in a Hit & Run Car Accident in Massachusetts? Essential Information About No-Fault Laws
Being injured in a car accident can have a significant impact on your finances. Odds are your injuries will require medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, the bills for said treatment could be costly.
Your injuries can also limit your ability to work during your recovery. If you can’t work, you can’t bring home a paycheck.
In many states, a victim in these circumstances might pursue financial compensation for their losses by filing a claim with the insurance of the driver who caused their accident. Securing the compensation they deserve would be challenging if the negligent driver fled the scene.
Luckily, Massachusetts is a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, a car accident victim’s own insurance is responsible for compensating them for losses like medical bills. This is the case even if an accident was someone else’s fault. That means you can receive compensation even if you don’t know the identity of the driver who struck your vehicle.
However, in Massachusetts, car accident victims also have the option to file additional claims against the negligent parties who caused their accidents if their injuries are severe enough to meet a certain threshold. If you’ve sustained serious injuries as a result of your accident and are thus considering filing a separate claim or lawsuit, but you were involved in a hit and run, follow the recommendations here:
Stay at the Scene
If you haven’t yet been involved in a hit and run, but you’re reading this to learn what you should do in case this ever happens, this is a critical piece of advice, if the nature of your injuries permit. Don’t make the mistake of attempting to pursue the driver who struck you. Doing so puts you at risk of incurring even graver injuries.
Get to a Safe Spot
Instead of pursuing the driver who caused your accident, check yourself for injuries, then move to a safe spot away from traffic.
Don’t operate your vehicle unless you’re thoroughly confident it’s safe to do so. You might be better off traveling on foot, if you are in a safe area for walking.
Call the Police
Call the police to report the accident. You don’t need to know the number of the local department with jurisdiction in your area. You can simply call 911. The dispatcher will send an officer from the relevant department.
The fact that a negligent driver fled the scene of your accident doesn’t mean said driver can’t be identified later. Details such as their appearance, the make and model of their vehicle, and their license plate number could all be used to track them down.
Make a note of any details you remember and be sure to share this information with the police right away when they arrive at the scene of the accident to investigate. Next, identify potential witnesses and get their contact information.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals distracted driving has become a more common cause of all types of motor vehicle accidents in recent years.
See a Doctor
Cooperate with the police while they conduct their investigation. When answering their questions, only provide answers when you’re confident in their accuracy. It’s okay to say “I don’t know” when the police ask you a question.
Once the police give you permission to leave the scene of the accident, see a doctor right away, even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured. It’s possible you’ve sustained injuries without realizing it.
For example, many accident victims don’t notice their injuries right away because adrenaline is preventing them from experiencing pain. It’s best to err on the side of caution and speak to a doctor immediately after a collision. Doing so can also help you establish a clear link between your injuries and your accident, which will make negotiating with the insurance company easier.
Contact Your Insurance Company and Contact an Attorney
Report your accident to your insurer, but be careful when doing so. Now is merely the time to let your insurer know an accident happened. You should not begin discussing your accident in substantial detail with an insurance company just yet.
Instead, schedule a consultation with a lawyer. At Swartz & Swartz, our Boston car accident attorneys will provide the representation you deserve, fighting for the full amount of compensation you may be eligible to collect. We might also be able to coordinate with police and investigate your accident to potentially identify the negligent party who caused your injuries. Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at (800) 545-3732 today.
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.