What should you do after a car accident?

When you are involved in a car accident, there are certain steps one should take to protect their interests.  Sometimes after an accident, you are in a state of shock and perhaps not thinking clearly.  But, if you follow these simple steps, you will help yourself in the long run.

  1. Call the police.  Having the police come to the accident scene and take your statement as well as the statement of the other driver will preserve evidence.   This locks in the testimony of the at fault driver so that stories cannot be changed later.
  2. Complete a RMV crash report.  A crash report should be completed within five days of the accident in accordance with MGL c. 90, section 26.  This can be found at the RMV website www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms
  3. Do not communicate with the at fault driver’s insurance company.  They will try and obtain a recorded statement from you.  Without knowing what to say, you can say the wrong thing and diminish the value of your injury claim.
  4. If you are injured, seek medical attention immediately.  If you wait more than two weeks, the insurance company will discredit your treatment as not being related to the accident.
  5. If you have collision coverage, then use your own insurance to pay your auto claim.  Do not go through the at fault insurance to pay your auto damage claim.  They will not provide you with the same level of customer service.
  6. Take pictures of your damaged car and of any bruising you may have suffered during the accident.
  7. Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to assist you with completing paperwork and negotiate your path with the injury claim.