Step 1: Stop and get out of the road safely
Even if the accident was only minor, Massachusetts law requires you to stop at the scene of an accident.
If you're unhurt and your vehicle is still in running condition, getting off the road is still a wise idea. Getting out of the street helps avoid additional injury or being involved in a secondary accident. However, it's essential to check for damages before moving. Also, anyone suffering neck or back pain shouldn't move before medical help arrives at the scene.
Step 2: Call 911
Accidents must be reported if injury or death occurs or damages equal to more than $1,000. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to assess property injuries and damage during an accident's chaos. That's why it's essential to contact the police, no matter how small the accident seems. Take time to see if any injuries occurred and gather as much information as possible. If you, your passengers, or the party in the other vehicle have injuries, it's necessary to follow these steps for your protection and theirs.
Step 3: Get Medical Attention
Individuals injured in a car accident worry too much about the cost of treatment and avoid seeking medical attention for injuries, which is a big mistake. Most people don't notice at first, but injuries can worsen over time since injuries commonly sustained in car accidents like a concussion or back or neck injury often don't have any immediate symptoms. Additionally, increased adrenaline can mask symptoms of injury.
Besides putting your physical health at risk, waiting to report injuries could make it difficult to prove a personal injury claim. The longer you wait, the more difficult it is to prove your injuries resulted from the crash. If, for some reason, you can't see a doctor immediately, take photos of any visible damages.
Step 4: Exchange Insurance Information
Drivers are required by law to have auto insurance coverage. Failure to stop and provide your identification and insurance information in an accident that resulted in injury or damage to personal property could result in serious criminal charges. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in fines, imprisonment, or both. All parties must exchange the proper information with any other individuals involved. Share the following information:
- Your name
- Contact information
- Make and model of the car
- Driver's license number
- License plate number
- Insurance information
Step 5: Cooperate with Law Enforcement
Be polite to law enforcement officers and answer any questions about the accident. Avoid negative statements, reactions, or arguments with the opposing party or the officers. The accident report will be essential if the case goes to court, and the officers will record your actions. Also, ask for a copy of the accident report for your insurance claim.
Step 6: Take Photos
Once the accident scene is cleared, any evidence you see at the site will be gone. Use your device to take as many pictures as possible to help others visualize the accident scene. Take photos of the location, the scene, and other details surrounding the crash. Images provide an accurate way to show details like the placement of vehicles, weather conditions, debris, and vehicle damage. These photos will also help when you file your insurance claim and lawsuit.
Step 7: Contact Your Insurance Provider
Your insurance provider will need to know the details of your accident as quickly as possible. Additionally, your local independent insurance agent can advise you about the next steps you need to take. Failure to immediately notify your insurance company can result in difficulty filing a claim. Therefore, a statement that describes your accident and injuries should be sufficient information for your insurance agent.
Step 8: Contact Us at Castel & Hall
We at Castel & Hall can help with personal injury costs. For example, adequate medical care can be expensive and time-consuming after a crash, and a severe impact can even lead to injuries requiring physical therapy. By coming to us, we can help you receive compensation for your damages, whether it be physical or psychological. We can also help with the payment for your damaged vehicle that some insurance won't cover.