All over the world, procedure and steps taken when one is involved in a car accident differ from one place to another, so it is helpful to find out what exactly you need to do after you are in a car accident in the city or country you are in.
If you are ever in a car accident in Canada, you can follow these steps to ensure that not only you can get the proper repairs for your vehicle, but are also able to pay for any other bills and expenses that arise out of this situation.
Note Down All Details and Check Damage
Directly after an accident, you might be disoriented, but you need to ensure that you stay focused and take down any details that are related to the accident that might come in handy in determining who was at fault for the collision. Unlike years ago, you can actually document the damage to your car and the point of collision by taking multiple pictures using your phone. Remember that sometimes, unfortunately, people can create scams that may make the accident seem like it was your fault. For example, they may be going at a normal speed in front of you and when you are very close to them, they suddenly stop so that you rear-end them. If this is the case, it is important to ask different witnesses that may have seen what occurred on the road to ensure that you do not get unfairly accused and found guilty for something you did not do.
Call Emergency Responders if There is Any Injury
If you or anyone around you, even if they are in the other car, gets an injury as a result of the collision between your vehicles, you need to immediately contact emergency responders, if they have not been called by a witness or passerby already. This is of the utmost importance because when someone is injured, there is no time to debate who is at fault. Before going into that discussion, you need to ensure that no one is at risk because of an injury they sustained. After calling emergency responders, or an ambulance, you can proceed with the other steps.
Talk to Other Drivers Involved in the Accident
This is something that cannot be avoided and is necessary if you want to have your insurance cover any amount of money for your car repair. You need to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident to ensure that you can easily reach them. Your insurance company will also require the names of the other drivers’ insurance companies to ensure that they can easily contact them during their claim investigation.
Contact the Police
This is where Canada kind of differs from other places around the world. In Canada, you need to call the police to report your accident only if the damage sustained by each of the vehicles involved seems to exceed two-thousand dollars. Calling in an accident when you can easily get the information you need from the other drivers and have your car repaired without doing so can seem unnecessary. But if you think about it, having a police report detailing and documenting the accident is going to ensure that none of the evidence showing who is really at fault is forgotten. A police report is going to solidify your claim exponentially.
Call Your Insurance Company
This is another step you cannot skip, especially since the other drivers’ insurance companies will be calling yours to find out if your account of the accident matches the other drivers’ accounts or there are inconsistencies between them. There is also the fact that if you do not notify your insurance company, then you cannot get the money needed to repair your car and you might have to cover the whole cost out of your pocket. You can get partial or full coverage of repair costs depending on what kind of insurance you have; as Jeff Preszler of the Preszler Law Firm in Halifax explains that every driver in Canada is required to have things like third-party liability coverage, but there are additional insurance options that you can purchase to increase your safety net. Basically, this means that although all drivers in Canada have basic insurance for their car you can take further measures to ensure that no matter the damage sustained; you can still get it fixed without having to pay out of your own pocket.
Filing A Complaint if You Disagree with the Conclusion Reached
Depending on the verdict of the investigation, some action will be taken by the insurance company that can affect the insurance policy you have in place. For example, if it is not the first time you’ve been in a car accident and you were found to be at fault, then you might be asked to pay more for your insurance plan. After you notify your insurance company and give them the information you gathered, they assign a person to investigate your claim and ensure that you meet all the standards they have in place before giving you part or all of the money you need for repair costs. Sometimes, the conclusion reached shows that you were the one at fault, even if you do not agree with that. If this occurs, you can easily file a complaint with the claim adjuster and maybe notify him or her with more details about the accident that may have gone unnoticed.
File for Accident Benefits
Lucky for you, in Canada, whether you are the one at fault for the accident or not, you can still apply for the accident benefits policy. This policy helps you cover different kinds of expenses that are not going to be paid for by your insurance. For example, if you had to miss work because of an injury sustained during an accident, or if you need an aide to help you while you recover, then it can be covered by the Accident Benefits Policy.
Being involved in a car accident is a terrifying and horrible experience, especially if the accident was serious enough that you or someone else got injured. Now you know exactly what you need to do if you are ever involved in a car accident in Canada. Remember that you always need to stay calm and ensure that anyone injured receives the medical attention they need before any other steps are taken.