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What to Do After a Car Accident in Worcester, MA

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Whether you were hit by a car on your way to Green Hill Park, in a crash on the WPI campus, or injured on a major highway like I-90 or I-290, it’s natural to be reeling after a car accident in Worcester. However, you need to keep your wits about you. What you do – and don’t do – immediately after an accident can have a profound impact on your future.

The most important step you can take after a crash in the Heart of the Commonwealth is to call a Worcester car accident lawyer. The sooner you get legal representation, the better. Your attorney can also guide you through the remaining steps you need to take. In addition, you can – and should – act proactively to protect your rights.

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Stay at the scene and call 911

In Massachusetts, leaving the scene of an accident that causes injury is a serious crime (unless you have to leave to get emergency medical attention). Call 911 and remain at the scene until the Worcester Police or the Massachusetts State Police arrive to investigate. The police will create an official accident report, which is a key piece of evidence in your case.

You also need to exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. (If you don’t feel safe doing so right away, it’s OK to wait until the police arrive and secure the scene.) You should get names and contact information for any witnesses as well. Keep your comments at the scene brief – don’t say anything about fault, and don’t apologize. You’re not in a position to understand why the accident happened yet. Leave that to your attorney to investigate.

If you can do so, start gathering evidence at the scene. Take pictures of the vehicles involved, the surrounding circumstances, any visible injuries, property damage, and other evidence such as skid marks. It’s critical that you preserve this evidence before it’s lost or destroyed.

See a doctor right away

Get checked out by emergency responders at the scene, then go to a medical facility as soon as possible. This is important even if you feel fine – some car accident injuries like whiplash and concussions can have delayed-onset symptoms, and you don’t want to let them get worse. You could even have life-threatening internal bleeding and not know it yet.

You can go to the emergency room at Saint Vincent or UMass Memorial Medical Center, or to a local urgent care center like AFC Urgent Care Worcester. If your primary care provider (PCP) has walk-in hours or can get you a same-day appointment, that’s an option as well. Either way, you should schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor.

When you see a doctor, tell them you were involved in a car crash and describe all your symptoms in as much detail as you can. This is important to help your doctor diagnose and treat your injuries, and it also protects your legal rights by creating documentation of those injuries.

Then, follow your doctor’s instructions. Go to your follow-up appointments with specialists and diagnostic tests. Take your medications as prescribed. Pay attention to your pain and symptoms, and don’t hesitate to go back to your doctor if something feels worse. Again, this is the best option for both your health and your legal rights.

Carefully notify your insurance company

To stay in compliance with your insurance policy, you do have to tell your insurance company promptly that you were in an accident. However, you don’t have to go into detail – and you shouldn’t. The last thing you need when dealing with an insurance company is to give them more ammunition to reduce or deny your claim. Stick to the facts of what happened, don’t talk about your injuries in detail, and don’t say anything about fault. If you’ve already hired an attorney, they can handle the notification to your insurance company on your behalf.

If an insurance company representing another driver or other involved party contacts you, don’t speak with them at all. Tell them to talk to your attorney.

Most importantly, never sign anything from an insurance company without reviewing it with your attorney first. Insurance companies are notorious for using misleadingly worded releases to get access to private records or offering “lowball” settlements that don’t come close to paying the full cost of your accident. Likewise, don’t give a formal statement about the accident without talking to your lawyer first.

Call a Worcester car accident lawyer

The single most important thing you can do after an accident – besides getting medical attention – is to talk to an attorney. The sooner you get a car accident lawyer involved, the more effectively they can investigate the crash and protect your legal rights. It’s never too early to call a lawyer, but it can be too late.

It costs nothing to talk to a lawyer, and you only have to pay if you win your case. Take action to protect your legal rights and give yourself peace of mind. Speak with an experienced, verified Worcester car accident attorney as soon as possible.

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