Being involved in a serious car accident is a horrible experience for everyone involved. Even though we as drivers know that we are never 100% safe while on the road, an accident still comes as a huge shock. To help you navigate the process with ease and peace of mind through this difficult experience, Rastin & Associates has put together a list of steps you need to take after being involved in a car accident.
1. Remain at the scene of the accident
Under the Highway Traffic Act, leaving the scene or what is known as “failure to remain”, can lead to a serious charge. The penalties of this charge include a fine of up to $2000.00, receiving seven demerit points, and even facing jail time. If you are able to, get to a safer location by either pulling over or carefully exiting your vehicle and getting to the side of the road or sidewalk.
2. Contact the police & paramedics
If there are injuries or suspected injuries to yourself and/or your passengers, call for an ambulance. It is imperative to have your injuries assessed, treated and receive diagnosis by a medical professional. Once you have called for medical assistance, it is a requirement to report an accident to the police if there is more than $1,000.00 in estimated property damage.
3. Report the collision to a Collision Reporting Centre
If there are no injuries due to the accident and the damage done to the vehicle looks to be under $2,000, you should contact a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours of accident. You can visit https://accsupport.com/ for a list of collision reporting centers. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario also provides tips on how to avoid Tow Truck and Storage scams.
4. Exchange information with the other driver(s)
After you are in a safe location and waiting for paramedics to arrive, exchange your contact and insurance information with the other driver(s). This information should include the other driver’s first and last name, contact information, their insurance company and policy number, their driver’s license information, the type and colour of their vehicle as well as the exact location of the accident.
5. Record information about the accident
It is important for not only insurance purposes but also for aiding in your potential motor vehicle case to record as much information as possible about the accident. Take pictures of the damage done to all vehicles involved, collect witness names and information about what they saw occur, as well as their contact information. In addition, it is important to get the name of the responding police officer(s) and ask for a copy, or where you can get a copy, of the police report.
6. Call your insurance company
As soon as it is possible, after your accident, call your insurance company and inform them of what happened and ask for information on the next steps in filing a claim. They will require the information you gathered when you exchanged information with the other driver(s) as well as the information you recorded about the accident.
7. If you have been seriously & permanently injured, call an injury lawyer
Contacting a lawyer is a very crucial step to take if you have been seriously and permanently injured as a result of your car accident. An injury lawyer will be able to assess your case and let you know if you are eligible for receiving compensation for pain and suffering. It is important to note that that there are limitation periods for claiming both ‘Accident Benefits’ and submitting a claim with the Courts.
If you have been involved in a serious car accident, call Rastin & Associates at 1-888-7088 for a free consultation.
To find out more about what constitutes as a serious and permanent injury, follow this link.