Steps Following a Car Crash

When you are in a crash...


Everyone hates motor vehicle crashes; they are costly, troublesome, and above all dangerous. However, there are several very simple tips that can help make an unpleasant situation a little easier for everyone.

There is one major rule to always remember when in a crash, and that is safety is above all else. Nothing should ever be done at a crash if it could jeopardize anyone's safety. This includes drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other passing motorists. Below are some very simple pointers to remember if you are in a crash. 

Remain Calm: Do not panic, do not argue, this will only make matters worse.

Your Safety: Put your car in park and put your hazards on. Make sure you are not hurt. Make sure those in your vehicle are not hurt. If anyone is hurt, and if it is safe to do so, remain where you are, and call for help. Do not try to move an injured person, unless staying in the vehicle will cause further injury. For example, a car fire. 

Their Safety: If everyone is ok in your vehicle, check the other vehicle. Again, if anyone is hurt, do not try to move them, and call for help.

Public Safety: If it is a minor crash, and you are positive that there are no injuries, move your vehicle off to the side of the road. Leaving your vehicles in the middle of the road is not only dangerous for you, but may cause other crashes.

Notify the Police: Regardless of the size of the crash, it is always wise to notify the police. Police officers will respond to the scene and can assist with the exchange of paperwork, and act as a calming influence in an otherwise difficult situation. Remember, 9-1-1 phone calls placed from cellular phones are routed to the State Police Operations Center. Please make sure you state clearly where you are, including the town, so that the call may be dispatched appropriately. Police officers on scene will advise you how to proceed, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

File your Report: You must file your own "Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report" if you're the operator of a vehicle involved in a crash where the damage to any one vehicle or property is over $1,000, or if there is an injury to any person, even if a police officer was on the scene. These forms are used to tell your side of the story, and are complete with full instructions. These are standard forms, and are available at any police station throughout Massachusetts. Or, you can use the link below, and print out a copy of the form from the comfort of your home. Please be sure to read the instructions carefully, and remember to supply copies of your report to all the agencies listed in the instructions.

If you've had a motor vehicle crash and you need to file a report. You can pick up the forms at your local police station or download a printable form here. (You will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader to use this file. You can download it here.)

Once you have completed your report you must send a copy to The Registry of Motor Vehicles, the police department that has jurisdiction over the area where the crash happened, and your insurance company.