What to do after a hit-and-run in Massachusetts

Although accidents can be scary enough by themselves, being involved in a hit and run is more frightening. Hit-and-run accidents are any accident in which the driver flees the accident scene before authorities arrive.

A AAA Foundation Survey of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that a hit-and run occurs in the United States every 43 seconds. 2016 saw 2,049 hit and run deaths, which was the most fatal year yet. Hit-and-run fatalities and accidents are on the rise. It is important to understand how they can impact you and your insurance.

Hit-and-runs are common in Massachusetts

Massachusetts criminalizes leaving the scene of an accident. This applies regardless of whether it caused property damage, injury, or death. The penalty for leaving an accident scene will vary depending on the situation. You may face severe penalties if you leave an accident scene after inflicting serious injury or death.

Massachusetts hit-and run laws

If you are found guilty in Massachusetts of causing a hit and run accident, you could face serious consequences, including:

  • Potential jail sentence of up to 2 years
  • Fines up to $200
  • License suspension for six months, or perhaps longer

You can be charged with a criminal offense if you leave an accident scene that caused injury.

  • Minimum six months imprisonment, maximum two years
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Suspend your license for one or more years
  • Payment of victim’s medical bills, and other expenses related to the accident

How do hit-and-runs affect car insurance rates in Massachusetts

Your auto insurance premiums could double if you are convicted of a Massachusetts hit-and-run.

The Massachusetts average full coverage premium is $1,223 annually. This is a lot less than the national average. However, the average rate increases significantly if there are injuries or you leave the scene. Below is a table that shows how much your annual full coverage premiums may rise if you are not at fault in an accident.

Three things to do following a Massachusetts hit-and-run

Although it can be stressful to be involved in a hit and run, there are steps you can take after an accident.

If necessary, call the police to get medical assistance

First, prioritize your safety and health if you have been involved in a hit-and run accident. You should immediately seek medical attention if you believe you have suffered injuries.

It may be helpful to call the police on the spot. You can help your insurance company remember what happened by filing a police report.

Photograph the damage and its surroundings

Photograph the accident as soon you can if possible. You may be able to provide valuable information later. Even if you don’t have a camera at your disposal, it can be useful to take notes.

Contact your insurance company

If you are deciding to file a claim after an incident, contact your insurance company to provide details about the hit-and run incident. You should be prepared to share photos and other documents from the incident, including a copy the police report. It is important to file the claim quickly after you have finished talking with the police or medical personnel.

Is insurance available to cover hit-and-runs?

Your own insurance policy may be able to pay the costs of your injuries and medical bills if you are involved in a hit-and run accident. To respond to a hit and run situation, your insurance policy must have sufficient coverage.

These coverages, some optional, could be used to help with expenses related to an accident.

  • Collision: If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, this optional coverage will pay for its repair or replacement. This coverage usually comes with a deductible, which is the amount that you will need to pay out-of-pocket for any damages.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily Injury: This coverage covers you and any passengers in your vehicle for medical expenses. Before you can use this coverage, your insurance company might ask for proof that the other driver is uninsured. This could include a denial of coverage from another insurer.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP: This coverage is required by law in Massachusetts. It covers medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy limit.

Talking to an agent is a good idea if you have any questions about your car insurance policy’s coverage for a hit-and run accident. It is possible to be prepared for a hit and run before it occurs. This will ensure that your finances are protected.

Questions frequently asked

Which is the best auto insurance company?

What you need and want from your car insurance company will determine the best one. Some people value financial strength or customer service. Others might prefer a company that offers specific coverage or discounts. You might find the coverage that you need by making a list and getting quotes from companies that match your requirements.

What is the cost of car insurance?

Car insurance costs depend on many factors. These include your age, ZIP code and driving record. The coverages you choose, the discounts that you are eligible for, as well as the car you drive. While your rate will be unique, the average American driver pays $565 annually for basic coverage and $1,674 for full coverage. Massachusetts drivers pay an average of $510 annually for minimum coverage, and $1,223 for full coverage.

What happens if I don’t have insurance in Massachusetts?

It is illegal to drive without insurance in Massachusetts. This could lead to fines, suspension of your license, reinstatement fees, and even jail time. You will be responsible for any injuries and damages that are caused by an accident if you don’t have insurance. This can lead to severe financial stress.