Check for Injuries
Unless you are in immediate danger, this should always be the first step you take in the aftermath of a car accident. Be aware that adrenaline can prevent you from noticing injuries. Don’t assume you are unharmed simply because you are not in any major pain. Thoroughly check your entire body for any injuries you may have sustained, and address them accordingly. You must also check your passengers for injuries.
Get to Safety
Move to a safe spot away from traffic after checking for injuries and addressing them. Carefully but quickly decide upon the best way to get to safety.
After some car accidents, a motorist may still be able to drive their vehicle to the side of the road or another location where it will not be at risk of sustaining additional damage. However, if your accident involved multiple vehicles, it is likely your vehicle is not safe to operate. Unless you are absolutely certain you can drive it without risking further injury, it’s best to move to a safe spot on foot.
Check on Others Involved in the Accident
If you are relatively unharmed and therefore have the ability to check on the condition of others who may have been injured in the collision, do so promptly. Attend to any of their immediate medical needs if necessary.
It is imperative that you remain calm at this stage. Although you may be tempted to confront another driver if you strongly believe an accident occurred as a result of their actions or negligence, you must control your emotions right now. Additionally, it is best not to make statements to others regarding the accident while in pain or in a fragile state.
Call the Police
Don’t assume others involved in your multivehicle accident will call the police to report it. Even if you believe they are already doing so, err on the side of caution and call 911 yourself as well.
Exchange Contact and Insurance Information
As you wait for the police to arrive at the scene of the accident, get the names and contact information of other motorists involved in the accident. Get their insurance information as well.
Massachusetts is technically a no-fault state in regard to car accidents. In many other states, someone who was injured in a car accident can file a claim to collect from the insurance of the negligent party who caused it when seeking compensation for such losses as their medical bills and lost wages.
That’s not typically the case in Massachusetts. In our state, your own insurance is responsible for compensating you after a collision.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking this means you don’t need the insurance information of the other drivers. If your injuries and/or losses are particularly severe and meet a certain threshold, you might be able to recover additional compensation beyond that provided by your own insurance provider. You can do so by filing a separate claim or lawsuit against the negligent party who caused your accident. You will need their insurance information to properly take such legal action.