How to File a Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Report
Have you reported your car accident to police?
While we hope you are never involved in a crash, drivers can take a few minutes to familiarize themselves with the Massachusetts motor vehicle crash operator report. Reviewing it can be helpful should you ever be in a crash – or witness one.
You can find the Massachusetts motor vehicle crash operator report online. It is available on the state of Massachusetts website.
Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report – Driver Obligations
M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 26 states the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a crash must report the collision if anyone was killed, injured or if property damage resulted in an excess of $1,000 in damage. This damage may be to a vehicle involved in the crash or to another type of property, such as a fence or building.
All drivers involved in crashes must file a report with the Massachusetts police department which has jurisdiction, their auto insurance company and the state Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Drivers have five days to file a report. The exception is when a driver suffered serious injury and is unable to file a police report right away.
Police departments must accept motor vehicle crash reports from any driver who unlawfully left the scene of a hit and run accident, even when the property damage falls under $1,000.
When a driver operates someone else’s vehicle under the influence of alcohol and there is a crash, the vehicle’s owner is responsible for reporting. They have five days to report the crash, based on when they learned about the crash.
Filing a motor vehicle crash report is your responsibility as a driver, whether you were injured or at fault in the crash. Failure to fill out a motor vehicle crash report has consequences. Drivers can have their licenses suspended by the RMV. They may also face criminal penalties.
Motor vehicle crash operator reports are the first step if you need to have your car repaired, replaced or if you have been injured. Police will consider the crash report you submit as part of their investigation in determining who was at fault and whether to cite that person. A traffic citation or criminal charges can support your claim seeking financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
Filling Out The Report – What Drivers, Passengers and Others Should Know
If you are seriously injured, you cannot gather evidence and information at the accident scene. The investigation will largely fall to the police department which responds.
But if you can collect information, your cell phone is the best tool you have after a car crash. Take photos of everything, from your own vehicle to the roadway and the other vehicle.
This is where it becomes valuable to review the Massachusetts motor vehicle crash report before an accident. By doing so, you will have a better understanding what information to capture on the scene. As you can see, the report requests the other driver’s license and insurance information. It also asks drivers to report:
- Crash Location
- Vehicle You Were Driving
- You and Your Passengers
- Other Vehicles Involved in the Crash
- Non-Motorist(s) Involved
- Crash Conditions
- Crash Diagram
- Witness Information
- Property Damage Information
- Description of What Happened
Read the motor vehicle crash report for more information on each of these points. The report contains a section dealing with pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents.
When you have been injured, receive medical attention first. Then you can file a police report, consult a Boston car accident lawyer or contact your auto insurance company if you were operating a motor vehicle when the accident occurred. You should decide which order based on the severity of your injuries. We recommend consulting a lawyer first if you have been injured. Our lawyers can explain your legal rights, answer your questions and assist in handling all the important steps, including contact with the auto insurance companies and the police department.
We have represented clients in communities across Massachusetts, from Boston to the North Shore, South Shore, Cape Cod, the New Bedford area and Worcester.
Avoid all contact, whether by phone or email, with the other driver’s auto insurance company. It is also recommended that you and your family stay off social media. Do not confide in friends or co-workers about a car accident until you have spoken to a lawyer and made some progress in your physical recovery.
For additional tips, please visit Breakstone, White & Gluck’s website page, “What to Do When You Have a Car Accident.”
About Breakstone, White & Gluck – Massachusetts Car Accident Attorneys
With more than 100 years combined experience, Breakstone, White & Gluck represents individuals and families who have been injured by negligent drivers in Massachusetts. Clients turn to us for our experience and results in cases involving car accidents, truck crashes, bus accidents and pedestrian accidents.
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, learn your legal rights. Call 800-379-1244 or 617-723-7676 or use our contact form.