How Does Massachusetts Handle Hit and Run Car Accidents?
Hit and run accidents occur when a driver involved in a collision flees the scene without stopping to exchange information or offer assistance. These incidents are particularly challenging for victims because they often leave them without essential details about the at-fault party, making it difficult to pursue legal action or seek compensation.
Massachusetts handles hit and run car accidents by imposing strict legal obligations on all parties involved in motor vehicle collisions. Drivers are required by law to stop, exchange information, and render aid to injured individuals. If you suffered a hit and run, then you should report the incident to local law enforcement and seek medical attention as soon as you can. Also, you should seek guidance from the team at our law firm. We can guide you through the legal process, help explore potential compensation options, and assist in identifying the responsible party if possible.
Get help from our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by calling (617) 925-6407.
Hit and Run Car Accidents in Massachusetts
The aftermath of a hit and run accident can be highly confusing for the victim. There are several important concepts to keep in mind when deciding how to proceed.
Legal Obligations in Hit and Run Accidents
Massachusetts law places a significant emphasis on the responsibilities of all parties involved in motor vehicle accidents. Drivers are legally required to stop their vehicles and exchange specific information with other parties affected by their crashes. This information includes names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and insurance details. Failure to adhere to these legal obligations can lead to criminal charges and civil liability.
Reporting the Hit and Run Incident
If you suffer a hit and run, it is important to promptly report the incident to local law enforcement authorities. Reporting the incident not only helps document the event but also aids in launching an investigation to identify the responsible party. Law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts have dedicated resources and protocols for handling hit and run cases, including collecting evidence, interviewing witnesses, and utilizing available surveillance footage. By reporting the incident, you can help bring the responsible party to justice.
Seeking Medical Attention
You should seek immediate medical treatment for any injuries sustained in your hit and run accident. If you do not address your injuries in a timely manner, then they may begin to worsen. Further, you must have a doctor document your injuries in order to obtain payment for the damages you incurred. Our legal team can help when locating the right physicians for you.
One of the challenges victims of hit and run accidents face is the inability to identify or locate the at-fault party. Massachusetts has recognized this issue and, as a result, requires all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage (UM). UM coverage serves as a safety net for victims in hit and run accidents or accidents involving uninsured or underinsured drivers. This type of insurance can provide compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and other losses that result from the accident. Therefore, even when the responsible party cannot be identified, victims may still have avenues for seeking payment through their own insurance policies.
The Role of Our Attorneys
Facing the aftermath of a hit and run accident can be overwhelming, both emotionally and legally. This is where the expertise of our Wakefield car accident attorneys becomes highly beneficial. We will help navigate the legal process, ensuring that your rights are protected.
Also, we can assist when pursuing compensation through various channels. If law enforcement officers successfully identify the at-fault motorist, then we will evaluate the strength of your potential car accident lawsuit.
What Are the Consequences for Drivers Who Commit Hit and Runs in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, drivers who commit hit and run accidents face significant consequences, both legally and financially. When a driver fails to stop and fulfill their legal obligations after an accident, they can be charged with a criminal offense. Hit and run offenses can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on factors such as the extent of injuries, property damage, and whether the driver has previous convictions.
Penalties for hit and run convictions typically include fines, license suspension, and potential incarceration. In cases involving serious injuries or fatalities, the consequences can be especially severe, with lengthy prison sentences as a possibility. Moreover, the driver may be held financially responsible for the damages caused in the accident, including medical bills, property repair costs, and other related expenses. These legal and financial consequences underscore the severity with which Massachusetts treats hit and run accidents.
Why Do People Commit Hit and Run Accidents in Massachusetts?
There are many reasons why a motorist may flee the scene of a crash. For instance, hit and run may be related to any of the following:
Fear of Legal Consequences
One primary cause of hit and run accidents is the fear of facing legal consequences for one’s actions. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, lack proper insurance, have a suspended license, or are engaged in illegal activities may flee the scene to avoid being identified and held accountable. This fear is often rooted in the knowledge that Massachusetts imposes strict penalties for hit and run offenses.
Unawareness of an Accident
In some cases, hit and run accidents occur because the at-fault driver may not be fully aware of the collision. This can happen when a driver is distracted by a phone, radio, or passengers, and they may not realize they’ve struck another vehicle or pedestrian. However, it is crucial to note that failing to remain at the scene and assess the situation is still a violation of Massachusetts law, even if the driver claims unawareness.
Hit and run accidents may occur when stolen vehicles are involved. Perpetrators may abandon the stolen car after an accident to avoid detection. Victims and witnesses should promptly report stolen vehicles to law enforcement agencies to aid in their recovery and the resolution of any related hit and run cases.
Call Our Car Accident Lawyers for Assistance with Your Case in Massachusetts
Get help from our Boston car accident lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.