Massachusetts Hit-and-Run

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Massachusetts, you must report the crime to the police and file an insurance claim.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 13, 2023
A hit-and-run in Massachusetts can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This serious offense can lead to fines up to $5,000, imprisonment up to ten years, and permanent license suspension. 
If you are ever the victim of a hit-and-run in Massachusetts, stay at the scene of the crash, call the police immediately, and file an insurance claim within five days.
In every state, it is illegal to leave an accident site without providing appropriate information to the other driver or property owner. Punishments vary from state to state. 
In this article,
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What is a hit-and-run?

According to Massachusetts law, a driver who gets into an accident with another vehicle or stationary object that causes injury or property damage must stop to exchange information—including name, address, and vehicle registration number. Failing to do so makes you guilty of a hit-and-run in Massachusetts. 
You would be considered the victim of a hit-and-run in Massachusetts even if the driver initially stopped but left before they gave you their information or provided aid to anyone injured in the crash. The other driver can also be charged with a hit-and-run for providing a false name at the scene of the accident.

What happens if you commit a hit-and-run in Massachusetts?

If you commit a hit-and-run in Massachusetts, you could end up with serious criminal charges and strict penalties, including fines, jail time, and a possible permanent license suspension.
It is best to avoid this charge altogether by staying at the accident scene. Fleeing the scene has severe legal and financial ramifications.

Is a hit-and-run a felony in Massachusetts? 

A hit-and-run can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony in Massachusetts, depending on whether anyone was hurt or killed.
If the collision caused property damage only, it would be tried as a misdemeanor. If the collision caused injury or death, it would be tried as a felony

What is the punishment for a hit-and-run in Massachusetts? 

The penalties for committing a hit-and-run in Massachusetts range in severity—again, depending on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony and whether the accident caused injury or death.
Result of accident
Possible punishment
Property damage only
Fine up to $100
License suspension
Fine up to $1,000
License suspension or revocation
Fine up to $5,000
License suspension or revocation

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

If you are involved in a collision with another driver or stationary object—like a parked car, mailbox, or fence—here’s what you can do to avoid a hit-and-run charge:
  • Move your car to a safe place near the accident site away from the flow of traffic.
  • Locate the vehicle’s driver or owner of the property struck. If there are injuries or fatalities, alert the police immediately and request medical help.
  • Exchange personal and insurance information—including your name, address, policy number, and vehicle identification number. 
  • If you’re unable to locate the owner of the damaged property, leave a detailed note with the above information.

What should I do if I experience a hit-and-run in Massachusetts? 

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run in Massachusetts, it’s important to stay calm and remain at the scene of the crash until you have called the police and gathered as much evidence as you can. 

At the scene

Never attempt to follow the car that hit you. Leaving the accident scene before filing a police report is not advised, as this makes it more difficult for police to verify your claims.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, follow these steps:
  • Move your car to a safe place near the accident site if possible.
  • Call 911 and summon a police officer to the scene.
  • Begin collecting evidence: take photos of the damage to your vehicle and talk to any witnesses at the scene. Ask witnesses to stay with you until the police arrive so their testimony can be added to the police report.
  • Before you leave, confirm that the police officer on duty has filed a police report. This report will be vital in filing an insurance claim. 
The following information is helpful to include in the police report if possible:
  • License plate number of the other driver if seen
  • Appearance of the driver
  • Any unique identifying details of their car
  • Circumstances of the crash
Key Takeaway Always call 911 in the case of a hit-and-run and file a police report. This report will prove necessary in making an insurance claim.

After you leave the scene

Immediately report the incident to your insurance company. You technically have five days from the day of the collision to file a claim. That said, it’s usually best to do it as soon as possible, as some insurance companies may use a delay in reporting as grounds for denying your claim.

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Massachusetts is one of 12
no-fault states
. In these states, you will file a claim with your insurance company for car repairs or medical bills regardless of whether you're at fault for the accident.
In the case of a hit-and-run, this means that you would file a claim through your own insurance company, which will then compensate you for damage to your vehicle or medical expenses.
Massachusetts requires drivers to carry
Personal injury protection
insurance to cover the cost of medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and lost wages, so it’s likely that your medical expenses will be covered if you're the victim of a hit-and-run.
If you have
collision insurance
, damage to your vehicle should be covered—although you will likely have to pay a deductible. 

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more 

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