Have you ever been involved in a car accident?
If you have, this is the blog for you, and if you have not, this blog is even more for YOU! As a driver you try avoiding accidents, but they wouldn't be called accidents if they were not just that, an accident. If it's your first car accident or your 5th one, right after the impact, you may feel stunned with adrenaline running through your body, so prepping to file a claim is not always in your first thoughts. I would like to give you some helpful tips in the event of an accident in the state of Massachusetts and/or New Hampshire.
Right after a car accident, STOP your vehicle and if possible, do not move the vehicle until the police arrives. Call the police station and explain what occurred; the dispatcher will send someone right away to clear out the scene. If you are able to do so in a safe area, you may exit your vehicle.
*Try to remain calm and do not argue with the other driver and/or law enforcement*
*Do not admit fault*
While waiting for the police officer to arrive, try gathering as much details about the accident as you can, even if you think the police officer will obtain all information for you. Information to gather would be:
- License and registration of the other party (if possible)
- Images of the vehicle damages
- Images of the scene
- Known injuries
When the police officer arrives, he will separate both parties to gather each side of the story as well as gather vehicle and license information to complete what is called a Police Report. The police report is not needed to file a claim with your insurance company, but is available after 24 hours and will aide in completing your crash report. A crash report is the report you complete to send to your insurance carrier, the police station in the city the incident occurred, and the RMV records in Boston for Massachusetts residents or Concord for New Hampshire residents.
*Massachusetts residents are required to complete a Crash Operator Report within 5 days after an accident in which any person is killed, injured, or the damage exceeds $1,000.00*
*New Hampshire residents are required to complete a Crash Operator Report within 15 days after an accident in which any person is killed, injured, or the damage exceeds $1,000.00*
New Hampshire residents are required to have a NH Insurance Card with them when entering Massachusetts, but are not required to carry insurance while driving in New Hampshire. If you are a Massachusetts resident and are involved in a vehicle accident with a New Hampshire resident who does not carry insurance on their vehicle or simply does not have the NH Insurance card, take a picture/write down the license information and registration/plate of vehicle. You may need to go through small claims court if you do not carry full coverage on your insurance yourself.
After you have left the scene of the accident, contact your agent or insurance carrier as soon as possible. Your agent or carrier will help you get your claim set up. Any questions you have going forward will be answered by the adjuster assigned to your claim. For those of you who prefer the online route, some carriers now have apps you can download directly to your phone! Your services can get even better because you can now receive texts alerts to keep you most informed if your carrier provides the service. If you would like to find out if your carrier provides apps or other services claim related, please contact your agent/ carrier for more information.