The last thing any driver wants to think about is getting into a car accident. However, in 2013 there were over 122,000 collisions in Canada . These accidents can range from fender benders to serious collisions. It is important to know what steps you can take to protect yourself if you ever were to find yourself in such a situation.
1. Make Sure Everyone is OK.
After a collision, it is important to first check to see if everyone in the car is okay. If you are in the middle of traffic, it is best to remove yourself from oncoming traffic as soon and as safely as possible. If a person is unresponsive or has any pain in the neck or back do not move them until medical personnel have had a chance to assess them.
2. Call the Police.
Call the police if there is significant property damage or serious injury to anyone involved in the accident. If you are speaking with a police officer at the scene only tell them what you know. If you do not know how the accident happened, just say so. Do not guess or speculate.
3. Do Not Leave the Scene.
Even if the collision is minor, you are required to remain at the scene until you have had the chance to exchange information.
4. Obtain the Other Driver’s Information.
If it is safe and you are able to do so, get out of your vehicle and talk to the other party involved in the collision. It is important that you exchange specific details such as:
- Full Name
- Contact Phone Number
- Insurance Provider
- Insurance Plan Number
- Driver’s License Information
- Vehicle Information (License Plate, Make/Model, etc.)
5. Talk to Witnesses.
If there are any witnesses try to get their contact information.
6. Take Photos.
If possible, take photos of the damage to any vehicles involved in the collision.
7. Seek Immediate Medical Attention.
If the collision was not serious enough for an ambulance to arrive and transport any involved parties to the hospital, you should see your doctor immediately following the accident and seek medical treatment if prescribed.
8. Inform Your Insurance Company as Soon as Possible.
Report the accident to your insurance company. Be truthful about what happened in the accident and the injuries sustained. Only tell them the facts you know; do not guess or speculate.
9. Consider Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Even if you are unsure whether or not you want to pursue a claim, it can be helpful to discuss your accident with a lawyer. The lawyer will have a better idea on what your rights are with the other party’s insurance company and whether or not there would be much benefit in pursuing a claim further. What most people don’t know is that there are laws in place which limit the time in which you can make a claim against another party. These are called limitation periods. It is important to discuss these issues with a lawyer so you are able to fully protect yourself and your rights.
10. Keep Records.
Whether you decide to start a claim through the legal process or you take some time to think things through, keep records of visits with doctors, specialists and any discussions with insurers. If at any time you decide to proceed with your claim within the applicable limitation period, these records will help expedite the process and keep your lawyer up to speed on what has been happening.
Connect with a member of our team today to schedule your free consultation. To contact a member of our Personal Injury team call us at 902-469-9500 or 1-866-339-3400.