Report a Car Accident in Massachusetts

If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts, you may be required to file a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report form with the RMV if any of the following occurred:

  • Someone was injured
  • A person was killed
  • The accident resulted in property damage of more than $1,000 to any involved vehicle or to any other property

The form can be found at Mass.gov and is required to be filed within 5-days of the accident although the time is extended if you were incapacitated.  Should you be the one filing the report, you must also file it with the police department that investigated your accident or was within the jurisdiction where it occurred.  At Burns & Jain, we recommend that you have your attorney file this report.   

In the event you were the vehicle’s operator but not the owner and were incapacitated in the accident, then the vehicle owner must file the report within the 5 day period.  If the accident was a hit-and-run, file a report with the appropriate police department, which is obligated to accept the report even if the property damage was below $1000.  Again, at Burns & Jain, we recommend that you have your attorney file this report.   

Failure to file a report can result in the RMV suspending your license.  If you were injured in the accident, retain an experienced car accident attorney who can also file the report on your behalf. 

What to Do if Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident

Getting injured in an auto accident can mean being incapacitated for a time with time lost from work, incurring thousands of dollars in medical expenses, and possibly a permanent impairment or disfigurement.  If your accident was caused by the negligent action of another party, then you may be entitled to certain compensation for the damages you suffered. 

There are certain steps to take to protect your right to compensation and avoid any missteps that may jeopardize your claim:

  • If you or your vehicle is impeding traffic and presents a danger to you, then move your vehicle to a safe location off the roadway
  • Check for injuries to any passengers
  • Immediately call 911 if there are injuries 
  • Exchange information with the other involved driver if possible or wait for police to arrive if unable to do so
  • Do not discuss how the accident occurred with anyone other than with police, do not engage in any argument with the other party, and do not admit to possible liability
  • If injured at all, do not refuse medical attention. Your body may be in slight shock and your symptoms masked by the adrenaline generated by the collision. Failure to get treatment until days later might seriously jeopardize your claim for injuries
  • Take photos of the accident scene and damage to all involved vehicles
  • Get contact information from any witnesses
  • Contact your own insurer who may require you to make a statement about the accident and any injuries you sustained, but do not give any statement to the other driver’s insurer or representative
  • File the Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report form with the RMV and with the police department that was on the scene or is the department in that jurisdiction where the accident occurred
  • Consult with and retain an experienced car accident attorney

If police were on the scene, then you can obtain a traffic accident report from them that typically costs $20. This report is only available to persons involved in the accident or to your representative such as your car accident attorney who can also obtain it for you. The report contains valuable information including:

  • Names and addresses of the parties and witnesses
  • Description of the vehicles with license plate numbers and insurance information
  • Description of the accident scene, traffic control devices, roadway defects, obstructions, lanes, and weather
  • Summary or quotes from the involved parties and eyewitnesses on how the accident occurred
  • Possible photographs taken by police
  • Measurements of relevant details such as skid marks
  • Description of injuries and if treatment was rendered and by whom
  • If a party was suspected of drug or alcohol impairment
  • Conclusion on liability and if traffic citations were issued

Damages in Motor Vehicle Accident Claim

Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, you are entitled to collect PIP benefits of up to $8,000 from your own insurer or from that of the involved driver if a pedestrian or passenger regardless of fault.  If your injuries were serious or you incurred medical expenses of at least $2000, then you may bring a claim for additional compensation including pain and suffering from the defendant driver’s insurer.  Damages can include:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future loss of income
  • Emotional distress
  • Permanent impairment or disfigurement
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life 
  • Pain and suffering
  • Spousal claim for loss of consortium

Proving damages by providing sufficient documentation and credible testimony from witnesses and professionals such as medical providers, economists, rehab specialists, and accident reconstruction experts can be difficult and complicated. It is highly recommended that you contact a car accident attorney to represent you at the earliest possible time.

Retain a Car Accident Attorney from Burns and Jain 

Any injury accident claim can address unexpected denials of liability or allegations that you contributed to the accident or were fully liable.  Also, your injuries may be questioned as well as the nature and extent of your injuries and your care.  Do not hesitate to call for a free consultation with a car accident attorney from Burns and Jain at (617) 227-7423.

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