Whether you’re visiting the country, or you are a Canadian citizen, this doesn’t make a car accident any easier. This can be a terrifying time, but there are plenty of options available to you to ensure you receive the right care and legal advice; you just need to be smart about it.
Of course, the health and wellbeing of everyone involved should be paramount; this is the first thing you must check after a car collision. Getting medical attention, ensuring everyone is safe and sound, and then dealing with the aftermath is key.
So, what should you do?
1. Get medical attention
If you or any of your passengers are injured, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, it’s still important to get checked out by a doctor. Many injuries aren’t immediately obvious and can take time to develop.
As previously mentioned, this is the most important step to take after a car accident. It does not matter who caused the crash, everyone should receive the same care and checks. You can’t put a price on your health, so don’t delay in seeking medical attention.
2. Gather information
In any accident, it’s important to gather as much information as possible. This will help with insurance claims and any legal proceedings that may follow. Here’s what you need to collect:
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident
- Name, address, and phone number of the driver’s insurance company
- Name, address, and phone number of the insurance company of the other driver, if known
- License plate number of all vehicles involved
- Make and model of all vehicles involved
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- Photos of the accident scene
3. Report the accident
If the accident happened in Canada, you must report it to the police. This is the law, and you could face criminal charges if you don’t report it.
When you report the accident, be sure to have the information gathered in step 2 ready. The police will need it to create an accident report. Eyewitness statements might also be necessary, but this is something you’ll have to discuss with the police.
4. Exchange insurance information
In any accident, it’s important to exchange insurance information with the other driver. This is so each driver can file a claim with their insurance company.
Be sure to have the following information ready:
- Name of the insurance company
- Policy number
- Contact information for the insurance company
5. Contact a lawyer
Whether or not you’re injured, you may need to contact a lawyer. They can help you file a personal injury claim and receive the compensation you deserve.
If the other driver was at fault in the accident, you may also want to contact a lawyer. They can help you file a lawsuit against the other driver and receive damages for your injuries. Of course, the lawyer available to you will depend on your location; if you are involved in a car collision in Red Deer or St Albert, then contacting a Calgary car accident lawyer would be the best move for you.
6. Cooperate with the police
When the police arrive at the accident scene, be sure to cooperate with them. This includes answering their questions and providing any information they need.
You might be shaken up after the accident, but it’s important to remember that the police are just doing their job. Everything you say to them can be used in an investigation or in court. So, be sure to speak with an attorney before you talk to the police.
7. Keep a record
Keep a record of everything that happens after the accident. This includes any medical appointments, expenses, and contact information for the insurance company.
If you need to take time off work, be sure to keep a record of those days as well. This will help you when it comes time to file a claim with the insurance company.
8. Don’t admit fault
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t admit fault after a car accident. Even if you think you’re at fault, it’s best to wait for the police to decide.
Admitting fault can have serious consequences, including criminal charges. So, don’t say anything to the other driver or the police until you’ve talked to an attorney.
9. Contact your insurance company
After a car accident, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They will need to know about the accident and will likely start an investigation.
Be sure to have the information gathered in step 2 ready, as the insurance company will need it. They will also want to know about any injuries you or your passengers sustained in the accident.
10. File a claim
If you’re injured as a result of the car accident, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company. This will help cover the costs of your medical bills and any other expenses you may have incurred.
The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you will receive compensation. So, be sure to contact the insurance company as soon as possible.