Involved in a car accident? Here’s what you need to do
The idea of an accident may send shivers down your spine, but it is important to know the steps you should take right away if you are in an accident. First and foremost make sure that you and anyone else involved are not hurt and are safe.
When to call 911 versus going to a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC)
The police will only attend to specific types of accidents or circumstances, including:
- Injury, ambulance is needed, or if there is a fatality.
- Suspected impaired driving or threat of violence.
- Unable to provide proof of insurance or a valid driver’s license.
- Accident involves a pedestrian or cyclist.
- Damage to a highway or public property.
If the accident does not require police attention, you are required to report your accident to a CRC within 24 hours if the damage is estimated to be more the $2,000.
At the scene of the accident
Assuming it is safe to do so…
- Move vehicles to a safe place out of the way of traffic.
- Take notes and pictures about where the collision took place.
- Record the license plate number and year, make, model and colour of the other vehicle.
When exchanging information with the other driver, record:
- Their driver’s license number and insurance policy information. Ask to see their information to ensure they are giving you accurate and full information.
- Full name, telephone numbers and addresses.
- If there are any witnesses, ask for their information as well.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada has a printable brochure to document everything. Keep a copy in your vehicle, just in case you need it. Accidents are stressful, so this will help make sure you collect everything you need.
Don’t discuss fault
Fault may be a big concern when you have had an accident, and it can even be tempting to take responsibility. Do not admit fault — in fact, do not even talk about it with the other driver. It does not help and can put you at risk.
Fault is determined by the insurance carriers. They will review the circumstances and road conditions, speed and weather. Your insurer will determine how much fault each driver shares using fault determination rules. Even if you are charged by police, you may not be considered fully at fault for the collision.
Having a broker on your side will provide you with peace of mind. At AGR Insurance, we are committed to making sure you have the proper coverage. Should you have an auto accident, you can speak to your broker and they will walk you through what you need to do. Following an accident, they can provide you with unbiased advice to help you determine if you would like to make a claim. Contact us at 1-800-668-0250 for a free, no-obligation quote or to review your existing policy to see if you are eligible for any added benefits.