According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred each year between 2006 and 2015. If you’re injured in a hit-and-run accident, recovering damages for your claim may be complicated – if you don’t know the at-fault driver’s identity, you may not be able to hold him or her responsible for your losses. Fortunately, Massachusetts is a no-fault state for car accidents. That means that you can file a claim with your auto insurance provider to recover compensation regardless of fault. To increase your chances of recovering compensation and protecting your rights, scroll down to learn what to do after a hit-and-run accident.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
After a hit-and-run accident, your adrenaline will likely be coursing through your veins, and the shock of the accident combined with the other driver leaving can be overwhelming. However, there are certain steps that you can take to help to preserve your rights and the likelihood of recovering compensation. Follow these steps if you’re wondering what to do after a hit-and-run accident:
Immediately Report the Accident
Do not wait to report a hit-and-run accident in Massachusetts. By promptly reporting the accident, you can increase the chances that the police will be able to locate the driver. If you wait to make a report, important evidence from the accident scene may be lost, which may make it difficult for you to hold the at-fault driver liable. Make sure to get a copy of the police officer’s report to provide to your insurance company, and keep a copy of all of the crash reports and documentation related to the accident and your injuries.
Under Massachusetts law, you have five days to file a report of an accident if it resulted in injuries, more than $1,000 in property damage, or deaths. To report your accident if you did not dial 911 from the scene, you must submit the accident report form to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the police. While you have five days to report the accident under the law, we encourage you to report the collision ASAP.
Document the Scene
If you can, take pictures and video of the accident scene. Photograph the damage to your vehicle and any injuries that you have suffered. If there are any witnesses, get their names and contact information. Ask if any of them got the license plate number, make, and model of the fleeing vehicle. In addition, encourage them to wait for the police so that they can give statements.
Seek Medical Help
You should always go to a doctor for a medical examination after an accident, even if you don’t have obvious injuries. Keep in mind that some types of injuries may not immediately show symptoms. Submitting to a medical examination can help to identify injuries that you have suffered in the accident and ensure that you receive the proper treatment. It can also help you demonstrate a clear link between your injuries and the accident. Once you have a diagnosis, follow your doctor’s orders and keep copies of all medical documentation.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Swiftly report the accident to your insurance company. This allows the company to begin its investigation and to potentially find the driver. Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state for car accidents, your insurance should pay for your injuries and property damage up to a certain amount. Since your policy is a contract between you and your insurance company, you are legally obligated to report the accident to the company and to help with its investigation. If the other driver or vehicle is found, you will likely be able to recover compensation under the insurance policy of the vehicle or driver.
Get Legal Help from Ellis & Associates
After a hit-and-run accident, work with an experienced attorney to ensure you secure the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Ellis & Associates have represented victims of motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts for more than six decades. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling 800-MR-ELLIS or sending an online message.