If you have been involved in a motor accident, you will know how traumatic and devastating an event in can be. In the aftermath, it can be difficult to know where to turn for support and advice. In this article, we will explore the steps that must be taken immediately after a car accident, as well as in the days and weeks that follow.
- Do not leave the scene of an accident before you are permitted to do so
If you leave the scene of an accident, even if you are not at fault, you may become liable for hit-and-run charges. Wait for the police to arrive; they will give you clearance to leave, and will expedite this if you show signs of injury requiring emergency treatment.
- Communicate with other drivers and passengers
Check with all involved parties to establish if there are any injuries that may require emergency treatment. Always err on the sign of caution, and call for help if there is any possibility of serious injury.
- Call the emergency services
In the case of serious injury or significant damage to property, it is imperative to call 911.
Attending officers will complete a police report; this will be a useful document if you subsequently decide to take legal action, so make a note of the officers’ names and badge numbers. An ambulance will be required if any victims are seriously injured; remember that some internal injuries may not be clear in the immediate aftermath of an accident.
- Exchange details with other drivers
It is important to ensure you have the details of all other drivers involved in the accident. Collect at least a full name, address, telephone number, vehicle registration, driving license number, and insurance provider from each driver. Do not make any statements of guilt, or take action to escalate the situation. Remain polite and allow the police to take over if necessary.
- Talk to eyewitnesses
If possible, speak with witnesses to the accident and collect basic contact details, so that they may be contacted to provide information in the future.
- Gather photographic evidence
If it is possible to take photographs of the scene without causing distress to other victims, do so. It will help to support your insurance claim, and any legal action you might choose to take in the future.
- Notify your insurance company
As soon as you are able to, contact your insurance company. Always be honest and provide evidence promptly; failure to do so may result in your policy being cancelled.
- Track your expenses
If you require any treatment as a result of a car accident, including physiotherapy and psychological support, ensure that all associated expenses are tracked and copies of bills are kept. This will help you to determine how much compensation is required if you decide to pursue legal action, and relevant documentation will support your claim. Likewise, keep copies of receipts related to car repairs. If your vehicle is determined to be irreparable, request written confirmation from your mechanic.
- Consider legal action
If it is determined that you are not at fault, it may be worth pursuing legal action to compensate your medical and vehicle expenses, as well as associated distress and time away from work. Ensure that you work with a knowledgeable, experienced legal team. Pace Law supports victims of car accidents in Toronto. Visit pacelawfirm.com/areas-of-practice/personal-injury/car-accident-lawyers today, to learn how they can help you.