November 7, 2021
What Should You Do After a Vehicular Accident
According to Transport Canada, there are approximately 300,000 motor vehicle accidents each year in Canada. Over 100,000 of which result in injuries. While most people know the obvious steps to take after a car accident — help the injured, call the police, etc. —they, too, are often too distraught to consider many of the less obvious, yet important, measures.
When you’ve been in a car accident, there are a few things you should take to protect your safety. Here’s a guide on what to do if you get in a car accident to help make the claims process go more smoothly.
Things You Need to Do After a Vehicular Accident
Due to the overwhelming emotions and unavoidable injuries following an accident, many drivers commit mistakes that limit their ability to receive remuneration from insurance companies as well as other drivers. Know what to do in an accident, so you can protect your rights.
- Check if anyone is hurt, and call the police
The most important thing you can do is make sure everyone is safe. If anyone is hurt, call an ambulance. Never leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor. If able, try to move the vehicles out of the way of traffic, preferably to a sidewalk, to avoid another mishap. But if you can’t move your car, redirect the incoming traffic away from the scene.
Contact the police after you have secured the safety of your car and your passengers. They will make a formal record of the collision in the form of a police report to aid the insurance process.
- Keep A Detailed Record
Make sure to inform the investigating officer(s) of everything as accurately as you can. Don’t hesitate to tell the officer if you are unaware of certain facts. Avoid making assumptions, guesses, or misstatements at all costs.
If you are asked if you have been injured and are unsure, say “not sure” rather than “no”. Often, the pain and injuries caused by car accidents become apparent hours after the collision. You should also ensure that statements made by other people involved in the accident are correct.
- Take Pictures
Photos are especially important for accidents that occur in parking garages or on private land, where police may not be present. If you have a camera in your vehicle or a cell phone with a camera, take pictures or videos of the accident. Do so without interfering with the ongoing police investigation. If you are unable to snap photographs at the scene of the accident, do so as soon as possible afterward. It’s best if you can take as many images as possible. You can always sort them out later.
If possible, take pictures of the following:
- Your car and the damage it acquired
- Other cars involved the damage to those
- Any vehicle components, glass, and other debris that may have fallen into the road
- The location of the accident, such as intersections, highways, parking lots, etc.
- The surroundings and weather conditions
- Any visible injuries to you, your passengers, and other parties
- Exchange Information
In cases where the police do not arrive at the scene, you should get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of everyone involved in the accident, including the drivers and passengers. If there are any witnesses, you should acquire their contact information so that you or your lawyer can contact them later.
Also, keep track of injuries, road conditions, and everything else you think may have played a role in the collision. Note-taking applications or insurance company mobile apps can be useful in documenting accident facts on your mobile device.
For insurance claims, you should collect this information.
- Name and contact information
- Insurance company and policy number
- Driver’s license and plate number
- Location of the accident
- Type, colour, and model of vehicle
- Call Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent. Let your insurance company know the details of the accident so that they can begin preparing a claim on your behalf.
They may even send an agent to the area to begin assessing the situation. This is important for your security. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, the other drivers may decide to seek legal action against you.
If you haven’t told your insurance company about it, you may be denied coverage.
- Seek Medical Attention
Motor vehicle accidents can result in injuries that are not immediately visible.
Symptoms may appear a day or two after the incident. You should seek medical assistance at your local emergency room or see your regular physician. Even in minor collisions, your spinal cord can be seriously injured. You may also sustain a concussion or closed head injury, especially if you experienced unconsciousness or disorientation for a significant amount of time after the impact. If left untreated, this might lead to cognitive and behavioral problems.
- Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
After your insurance company, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Even if you think the incident was negligible, no one can predict what consequences may arise, so make sure you’re protected. If the insurance company appears to be willing to compensate for your losses, you will also need a personal injury lawyer. Keep in mind that insurance companies often want to compromise compensation.
A lawyer can assist you in ensuring that your rights and interests are protected in this situation.
Things that Can Hurt Your Case
After a car accident, you are entitled to compensation, but you might not get what you deserve if you do certain things. Here are some things that you should NOT do:
- Failing to Follow up With Doctors as Recommended
Emergency doctors will always advise you to see your primary care physician. Your primary care physician will then most likely refer you to specialists, physical therapists, or other experts. It’s critical to keep track of these orders.
If you don’t follow your doctor’s directions, the insurance company may conclude that your injuries aren’t as serious as they seem or that you won’t require any more treatment.
- Failing To Seek Emergency Medical Treatment
It is important that you can prove and document your injuries from the crash as soon as possible. The insurance company may question the severity of your injuries or even whether the crash was the reason if there is a long delay between when you were harmed and when you received medical treatment.
- Posting too Much on Social Media
After a car accident, you should be cautious about what you post on social media. The insurance company has access to everything you post, and they can use it against you if they see discrepancies between your claims and your posts.
To avoid this issue in the first place, simply do not post about your car accident on social media. Instead, simply call friends and relatives and provide them with verbal updates. Tell them that you are being treated by a doctor, but never state you’re “fine” or “all right” if you are not.
- Signing Insurance Documents
You should not sign anything until you have spoken with a lawyer, who can go over all of the documents the insurance company sends you. Also, make sure you don’t sign anything that gives them more information than they need.
- Failing to Consult a Lawyer Right Away
You might be putting off seeing a lawyer because you’re not sure if you truly need one or can’t figure out how to pay for one. But, if you have a personal injury claim against an insurance company, you will need a lawyer.
Accidents can happen in a split second, yet their consequences can linger for a long time. You should act quickly to ensure that you reduce all of your risks. Remember that while you can’t control what other people do on the road, knowing what to do after a car accident can help you avoid more harm.
If you’ve been in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident and need a personal injury lawyer in Toronto, turn to Michelle Linka Law. We can help you get all of the benefits and compensation that you’re entitled to following an accident. Let’s keep in touch at 416-477-7288.