A man and women talk besides their cars involved in an auto accident.

What to Do After an Auto Accident in Massachusetts

Bad luck, bad weather, bad driving: sometimes car accidents happen. What matters is how you react. Know the steps to take after an accident, from making sure everyone is safe to the information you need to collect for insurance, and how an auto accident in Massachusetts requires different steps than you might be used to in other states.

After the Accident: Making Sure Everyone Is Safe

Immediately after an accident, you want to make sure everyone is safe. It can be tempting to fixate on the damage and let tempers flare, but it’s more important to gauge injuries and get everyone to safety.

  1. Check to see if you’re injured. If you cannot move, call 911 or ask someone else to do so and wait for emergency vehicles to arrive.
  2. Check on others. Start with your own passengers, making sure they are okay. If not, contact emergency services or ask a bystander to call for help.
  3. Get to safety. If your vehicle is safe to drive, move it to the side of the road. If you’re unsure, leave it there and get to the sidewalk or side of the street yourself. Check in with other people involved in the incident and ensure they are safe as well.

Once Safe: Get Help and Exchange Information

Once everyone is safe, it’s time to talk—both on the phone and in person. First, you’ll need to contact the police: in Massachusetts, if injury, death, or damage of over $1000 occurs, the accident must be reported. Leaving the scene of a car accident is a crime. The responding officers will fill out an accident report and document the scene—your insurer may want this information when you file a claim.

While waiting, turn on your hazard lights and deploy flares if safe to avoid additional accidents. Then it’s time to exchange information. You’ll want to exchange with other drivers:

  • Full name and phone number
  • Insurance company and policy number
  • Driver’s license and plate number
  • Make, model, and color of vehicle

With an Agent: Documentation and Notification

You will also want to document the accident. Make a note of the location of the accident and take photos of all involved vehicles, including from different angles. When the police arrive, get their names and badge numbers and ask for a copy of their report. If there are witnesses to the accident, ask for their names and contact info.

Once all the dust has settled, you’ll want to contact your insurance agent with all the information you’ve collected to start a claim. That might be a call while at the scene or using their mobile app, if possible. They will walk you through the claims process, including if the auto accident is covered under your insurance, and help you sort through all the documents you have. Lastly, you must notify the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) of your accident within five days. Learn more about it here.

At Safeside Insurance, we’re here if you want to talk: both about your existing coverage and in the event of an accident. We even do license plates if you’ve just moved here! Get an auto insurance quote in minutes and learn why, at Safeside, we believe in the right insurance at the right price. Need more help? Contact us directly or call us at (508) 753-8862 to get started!

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Worcester, MA 01604

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