In Massachusetts, if you are involved in an accident and there is any evidence of property damage or personal injury, you are responsible for making your identity known to the other parties.
In most cases, what that involves is stopping, exhanging your telephone numbers, license information, and insurance information, then contacting your insurance company. But what do you do if it is not a typical accident situation?
In many cases, a person will strike an object such as a telephone pole, a building, curbing, a fence, a parked car or something similar. There isn’t any identifying markers saying “If you hit me please call.” If it is a parked car, some people will leave a note with contact information. That isn’t a viable option in cases of a pole or a fence.
If you are involved in an accident with an object, call 911 and immediately report the matter to the police. They will come, fill out an accident report, and you will be on your way. If you do not, you risk being cited with leaving the scene of property damage, which is a criminal matter. You can expect to receive a summons from the police for an arraignment or show cause level hearing.
If you hit a car with passengers and you do not stop to exchange information, you are subject to being charged with leaving the scene of personal injury. Because there are victims that are physically hurt, rather than property that was damaged, these cases are treated very seriously. If you leave the scene of a person that was injured without exchanging information or calling the police, you can expect to be charged under this statute.
If you are charged with leaving the scene of property damage or personal injury, you should contact an attorney immediately. Make sure your insurance company is aware so that any damage can be covered as soon as possible.
Contact Broadbent & Taylor if you have been charged with these crimes. Broadbent & Taylor represents clients across Massachusetts in motor vehicle matters.
THIS BLOG IS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT. IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE.