Massachusetts Hit-and-Run Laws
Aggressive Help When You Have Been Hurt in a Massachusetts Accident. Offices in Quincy & Attleboro
Hit-and-run accidents often complicate and create obstacles for plaintiffs pursuing a personal injury claim. However, Massachusetts is a no-fault state meaning compensation should be available through the injured party’s own auto insurance policy or the driver’s policy of the car in which they were a passenger.
At a minimum, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) offers up to $8,000.00 in coverage for individuals injured in a car accident regardless of fault and is required on all Massachusetts auto insurance policies. Despite the requirement, PIP coverage is not extended to motorcyclists in Massachusetts.
What is a hit-and-run in Massachusetts?
According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 24, a hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver knowingly involved in a motor vehicle accident causing injury or property damage fails to stop and provide his/her name and contact information, auto insurance information, license plate number, and driver’s license number.
Failing to remain at the scene of an accident may result in criminal charges of leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage or leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury.
What do I do if I’ve been in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts?
Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 90, s. 26, every person operating a motor vehicle involved in an accident resulting in death, injury, or damage exceeding $1,000 to any one vehicle or property must report the accident to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) within five (5) days of the accident by completing and submitting a Motor Vehicle Operator Crash Report Form.
A copy of the Motor Vehicle Crash Report Form must also be provided to the police department in the city or town where the accident occurred.
Penalties for Leaving the Scene in Massachusetts
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Property Damage
Leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Massachusetts but still carries the potential for jail time. Under M.G.L. c. 90 §24(2)(a), the potential penalties upon a conviction include:
- Imprisonment for not less than 2 weeks and not more than 2 years
- Fines ranging from $20-$200
- Imprisonment and fine
- 60-day driver’s license suspension
Leaving the Scene of Accident Involving Personal Injury
Leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury is also a misdemeanor in Massachusetts but carries the potential for significant penalties. Upon a guilty finding, M.G.L. c.90 §24(2) (a ½ ) (1) imposes the following potential penalties:
- Minimum six (6) months imprisonment
- Up to two (2) years incarceration
- Fines ranging from $500 – $1,000
- Jail and fine
- 1-year license suspension
Leaving the Scene of Accident Resulting in Death
Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death is a felony in Massachusetts punishable by anywhere from 2 ½ – 10 years state prison or 1 – 2 ½ years in the house of correction. See M.G.L. c. 90 §24(2)(a½)(2). The nature and circumstances of the accident largely dictate the sentence, including whether the case is prosecuted in district or superior court.
A conviction for this charge carries a mandatory minimum one year jail/prison sentence that must be served before becoming eligible for parole, early release, or work release. Additional penalties include a minimum 3-year license suspension.
Contact an experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether you are facing criminal charges related to leaving the scene of an accident or were injured in a hit-and-run accident in Massachusetts, hiring the right lawyer is a critical decision. Riccio Law is a reputable Massachusetts Personal Injury and Criminal Defense law firm that fights aggressively for its clients whether representing a defendant on criminal charges or a plaintiff on a personal injury claim.
With offices in Quincy and Attleboro, Riccio Law represents individuals all throughout Massachusetts. Contact our offices today at (508) 226-4500 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services.