Tips for Filing Auto Insurance Claims for Massachusetts Accidents

Tips for filing auto insurance claims for MA accidentsBeing involved in a car accident can be a confusing and stressful time. The series of events leading from the initial impact to the aftermath can often seem surreal. Did this really just happen? Is everyone ok? What do I need to do? Although you may feel shaky and disoriented, try to remain as calm as possible and focus your attention on the tasks at hand. It’s important that you determine if there are injuries, assess any vehicle damage, and document the scene. Here is a helpful list of steps to filing auto insurance claims for Massachusetts accidents.

Things You Should Do Immediately At the Scene

Injuries?

First and foremost, seek medical attention if necessary. Are you or any of your passengers hurt? Did the collision cause any injuries to the driver and/or passengers in the other vehicle? If so, call 911 immediately. Even if you determine that no one has been harmed, you will still need to…

Assess the Scene

Check to see if your vehicles are out of harm’s way and not posing any danger to other cars. The last thing you want is to cause another accident. If need be, move the cars to a safer location. However, the best-case scenario is to leave your vehicles in place so the accident scene is intact.

Call the police

Your next step is to contact authorities to file a police report. For insurance purposes, you will want to have the accident documented by the police. Don’t forget to request a copy of this police report!

Record Any Damage

Once you have determined that you are safe to move about, use your phone to take photos of the scene. Make sure you capture car placement, any skid marks or debris on the road, and the damage to the cars. If possible, take pictures that show the weather conditions. If it is not possible to capture the weather in a photo, make sure that you record the conditions in writing.
Exchange Information

Now is the time to gather each other’s information – including license plate numbers, driver’s license details, and insurance company specifics. You’ll need to have this info available for the responding police officer as well – as it will be included in the police report. Your insurance company will also need these details.

Post-incident Steps to Filing Auto Insurance Claims for Massachusetts Accidents

After you’ve left the scene and returned home, there are several follow-up steps that you will need to complete:

Report the Accident

Now is the time to complete a Motor Vehicle Crash Operators Report with the RMV (the police report alone will not suffice.) If damage exceeds $1,000 or anyone was injured or killed, this report MUST be filed within five days of the accident. You will also need to contact your insurance company to report the accident and open a claim. They will schedule a time to send out an adjuster to check your vehicle for damage and appraise the cost of repair.

Select an Auto Body Repair Shop

Once the adjuster has appraised the damage, you will need to find a location to have your car repaired.  Keep in mind that many auto shop fees may be higher than what your insurance will cover, so you will need to pay the difference. That’s why it is always best to consider using one of the shops approved by your insurance company – as they will be paying the bill directly to the auto body shop. If applicable, you will need to cover your insurance deductible.

While we try to avoid them, accidents happen. Having the proper insurance and the knowledge of how to handle the incident is key to reducing your stress and minimizing costly expenditures. That’s why it’s so important to learn the steps to filing auto insurance claims for Massachusetts accidents.

Please reach out with any questions regarding your insurance coverage or claims.