Car Accident? 10 Essential Things To Do Right After!

abumurad By abumurad, 15th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Cars

Getting advice from a competent financial adviser is very important. Visit your accountant to determine current and future liabilities and plan your position .

Car Accident!

Oh dear! You’ve hit a car! Wait, didn’t that automobile race out from nowhere right into the middle of the street while you had the green light? Now you're in a car accident! What are you supposed to do? Well with over 380,000 motor vehicle accident every year in Canada, you're bound to be in one. Whatever your accident scenario though, be it a major or minor car collision, when you find yourself involved in a car crash, it’s best to know in advance what to do right after to avoid potentially harmful and expensive mistakes, and to safe-guard your car accident claims. Knowing what to do in that auto accident can also lessen your fear, stress and confusion about the situation and help to keep you focused.

After you've read this information, you may want to print out this page and keep a copy of it in your glove box so that you have it easily at hand just in case of an accident. Here's what you need to know:

1) Stop -Arrêt

If you are involved in a driving accident, STOP your vehicle! Do not drive away! By Canadian laws (the Highway Traffic Act & Criminal Code), it is illegal to drive away from an auto accident, no matter how minor. Leaving the accident scene may lead to criminal actions against you, a hefty fine and demerit points.

Furthermore, any driving convictions you incur, like leaving the scene of a car accident, could affect your insurance ratings and car accident claim.

2) Remain Calm

Everyone always tells you to do this, but it can be very difficult to do, what with the surprise, confusion and adrenaline rush of an accident. Still, it is very important that you stay calm so that you can better handle the situation. Accidents happen, so just focus on dealing amicably with all others involved in the car accident and determining your next steps to take. Avoid arguing with others at all cost. Let the police deal with any agitated drivers or passengers.

3) Do NOT Claim Fault

This cannot be stressed enough! Even if you believe you’re at fault, DO NOT say you are at fault, nor voluntarily accept responsibility for the vehicle accident, nor assume liability for anything, nor sign any papers at the scene, nor agree to pay for any damages when speaking with others at the auto accident; even when speaking with any investigating police officer. What's more, tell your version (without claiming fault of course) of what you believe happened and what your actions were only to the police officer at the scene and to your insurance company agent.

For example, if your car insurance adjuster, some time later, is finding it difficult to decide based on their assessment practices who is at fault or at a higher percentage of fault, and you had told everyone at the scene that it was your fault, who do you think they will asses as being most at fault?

Don't claim liability at the auto accident scene, just wait for your insurance company to asses the accident information and make their determination. Their decision of who is at fault is what will affect your accident claim and future insurance rates.

5) Check For Injuries and Substance Influence

Once you have called the police, check to see If there are injuries. Check yourself to see if you have obtained any injuries, and check if the other people involved have sustained any. You may not feel or notice any injuries immediately, because of the excitement of the accident, but you may feel differently over the next 48 hours. If you have any injuries and are mobile now, go to a hospital, clinic or your family doctor after the police have given you the go-ahead to leave.

Check the accident scene also for drunkenness or any appearance of substance influence. Remember, if injuries exist, do not move anyone because moving that injured person may exacerbate their wounds; wait for the police and ambulance to arrive.

4) Call The Police - 911

When safe to do so, exit your vehicle and move yourself to a safer location (usually that means locating yourself the farthest away from on-coming traffic). if your location is not safe enough for you to exit your car, stay in the car with your seat belt buckled, and call the police or 911.

By law, the police must be called if there are any serious car accident injury or car damages over $1000.

Whether you're in a single or multiple car collision, look around and see if there are any injuries or damages to the car(s). If your car damage is less than $1000, and you had called the police, they may opt not to travel to your accident scene.

If the police do go to your accident, they will usually check to see if there are any injuries, call an ambulance if necessary, re-route traffic away from the collision, ask questions about the accident of everyone, write an accident report, determine in their opinion who is at fault, and give you follow-up instructions. Note that sometimes the police will not make an accident report for very minor accidents.

If the police do not go to your accident, you will have to take your car to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre (CRC) or police station to file a car accident report with the police yourself, and have your vehicle inspected and any damage to it photographed. By the way, you MUST go to a Collision Reporting Centre within twenty-four hours of your accident, and remember to bring all you automobile documentation with you.

- Driver Motor Vehicle Accident Report from the Ontario Ministry Of Health And Long-Term Care's
- A thorough accident report form to keep in your glove box.
- Collision Industry Information Assistance - Automobile Accident Reporting Form
- Another very good accident reporting form to keep in your glove box.

7) Exchange Information



Write down all the details concerning the accident like

- the date and time
- location of the accident (city/town)
- road surface
- weather conditions
- street names
- posted speed limit
- amount of traffic
- the investigating police officer's name and badge number (if any police attended at the accident)
- contact information (full names/addresses/ telephone number) of any witnesses
- contact information of all passengers in your car, and passengers in the other car at the time of the accident
- your thoughts on what happened to cause the car accident

Plus, write down all the usual accident information concerning the other driver including:

- the other driver's full name
- contact information (telephone number / address)
- driver’s licence number
-insurance company
-insurance policy number
-the full name and contact information of the registered owner of the other driver's car if it is different
-the other car's licence plate numbers, and
-the vehicle information (year/make/model/colour/VIN) of the other car.

Once that's done, give your vehicle information to the other driver. Sometimes, exchanging information is near impossible to do because the other driver is irate or refuses to give you their information. At times like these, it is better to call the police or if already called, to wait for the police to arrive and have them deal with the situation.

6) Take A Picture

Usually it is your word against the other driver’s. A picture is worth a thousand words. A picture could help to prove your point or show the accident in the correct light.

Hopefully you read my article Car Emergency Kit: Every Driver Should Have One, and made yourself an emergency car kit, so that now you have may survival items in your car including a camera in your glove box along with copies of this story and accident report forms. Now get out that camera, or phone camera, and take lots of pictures of everything!

Consider taking pictures of the location of all the vehicles from different angles, the street name(s), all damages (if any) to the car(s), the surrounding accident area in relation to where all the vehicles are located including the location of the sidewalk, traffic lights, road condition, etc. Also discretely take pictures of the other driver(s) involved, any passengers, witnesses, and any others' injuries.

8) Move Your Car To The Side

Once you’ve done the above steps, and if you are in a minor fender bender, and if it is safe to do so, steer your car to the shoulder of the road, so that you do not block traffic nor potentially cause any new auto accident. Turn on your hazard lights also to notify oncoming traffic.

If you are in a more serious automobile collision, wait until the police have arrived and have gone over the accident scene before moving your car. Once you have the police go-ahead, and if your car is in a drive-able condition, move it to the side. Should your car be too damaged thus unable to be driven, turn on the hazard lights and put out warning triangles (if you have any) around the car to warn on-coming traffic.

If your vehicle is badly damaged and can't be moved, a tow truck will eventually arrive to take it to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre. Watch out for unscrupulous tow-truck operators who may tow your vehicle elsewhere (ex. a repair shop) than to a Collision Reporting Centre. By law, tow trucks must tow your vehicle to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre or if that's too far away, the nearest police compound. Your car does not have to be towed to a repair shop first.

9) Do NOT Repair Your Car Until...

Wait until you have been given the go-ahead by your insurance company, or directed to do so by the police before making any repairs on your car. Until then, only do what is minimally necessary at the time of the accident to move the car safely off to the roadside (like changing to the spare tire) or to move it to the police Collision Reporting Centre .

10) Call Your Insurance Company

As soon as possible after the accident, report the car collision to your insurance company. According to law, you must report your accident within a reasonable time.

According to your insurance policy, you have up to seven (7) days after the car accident within which to call your insurance agent and report it to them, but this time frame may be set aside due to extenuating circumstances like your being wounded in the accident.

Tags

Accident, Accidents, Automobile Insurance, Car Accident, Injuries, Insurance Company, Passengers Insurance Coverage

Meet the author

author avatar abumurad
I am freelance writer specializing in financial topics and political commentary, gardening and ecology, psychology, and paranormal and New Age topics. My non-writing professional experience includes s

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