If you are involved in a car accident, your first step should be to contact an attorney. With a possible new law in the state of Massachusetts, car crashes in the state may only increase.
A Change in the Speed Limit?
Per this article from the Georgetown Wicked Local, the Massachusetts State Legislature is considering raising the speed limit from 65 mph to 70 mph on certain highways. The current debate revolves around whether increasing the state speed limit would increase the likelihood of dangerous situations for drivers. As State Representative Shawn Dooley mentions in the article, there is a natural inclination for drivers to feel that they have the right to drive a little bit faster than the posted speed limit, so a speed limit of 70 miles per hour could signify that drivers are actually travelling at speeds near 75 to 80 miles per hour. He also states that in northeastern states like New Hampshire and Maine, where the speed limit has been increased, the highways are less crowded than in Massachusetts due to the amount of vehicles that utilize the roads.
Such speeds may pose a risk to drivers because an increased speed limit translates to more car accidents and more deaths. Russ Rader, the senior vice president of communications for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, also stated his reservations to the possible legislation because studies have shown that increasing speeds means a greater risk of car accidents and that when the federal government and the insurance industry test for crash protection, those accidents are usually at 35 to 40 mph. It means that there are much greater risks for tragic events because of less reaction time when traveling at greater speeds.
What should I know about car accidents in Massachusetts?
If you are in a car accident, you should be aware of the following information:
You should get the names, addresses, and contact information for all parties and witnesses involved in the car accident; and
You should also obtain the driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, vehicle descriptions, and insurance information.
Even if a police officer arrives at the scene of an accident, you still have a duty to file a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report. In general, a person has to file a Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report within five days. A person must file this report when a vehicle is involved in a crash in which there is an injury or a death or there were damages that totaled more than $1,000.
Additionally, it is obvious that a person should never leave the scene of a car accident before all persons involved, and perhaps even the authorities, are able to obtain necessary information. If a person leaves the scene of the accident before dealing with the required procedures, it means that a person can obtain a “hit and run” charge.
If you are in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts, your first step should be to contact the Sheehan Law Firm. We can advise you of all the requisite procedures and expectations that you must handle when in a crash. Our attorneys have a strong reputation in auto accidents and can assist you with your problems.