Make sure that anyone who is hurt is being taken care of and the appropriate emergency personnel have been contacted. Refusing ambulatory care or not seeking immediate medical attention will often open the door insurance company speculation that your injuries suffered in the accident were not severe in nature, or that they have been concocted for personal gain.
Avoid moving people that may have suffered a head or spinal injury. Try to keep victims of shock covered in a warm blanket if available.
In Ontario if anyone is injured in the accident or if it appears that more than $1000 worth of total damage has occurred, you are required to contact the police (Call 911 and follow the instructions of the emergency operator). You should also contact the police if you suspect any of the other drivers may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Provide and exchange contact and insurance information to any drivers or passengers that involved in the collision. Gather the contact information of any witnesses.
Contact your insurance company within seven days and inform them that you have been involved in a car accident, regardless of who is a fault. Failing to report an accident within a reasonable period of time may result in a denial of your claim.
Provide details of the accident as accurately as you can, such as the number of passengers involved, the day, time and location of the incident etc.
Witness reports, police reports (investigating officer and badge numbers) and pictures you can take of damage or injuries can help to document the collision and ensure that your rights are protected. It is always wise to read over your Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP 1). It provides specific details about your insurance coverages, your rights and your responsibilities under the contract.
After a car accident there will be many matters requiring your attention.
- As soon as possible, take or have someone take photos for you of the accident scene . These photos should include: damages to the vehicles involved, road conditions, debris and any other physical evidence such as skid marks, snow banks etc. This information can be extremely valuable in proving the car accident’s fault and severity. Take numerous photos of the same objects from various angles. Look to capture as many relevant details as possible. You should also look to document the day and time each photo was taken.
- Memories do not get better with time. Write down as much as you can about what happened, including the date, time, what was said and where you were going and doing at the time of the accident. The stress of an accident can make it difficult to retain details at a later date. Insurance companies may look to exploit contradicting statements through out the car accident injury claims process.
- Document any medical bills, missed work, other expenses associated with the accident.
- If you feel the insurance company’s valuation of the damages or replacement cost is low then you can have your own estimates done or talk to a dealer to get an idea of the replacement value of the vehicle (better to talk to at least 2 to get comparative values).
- Exercise caution when discussing the incident with anyone other than your personal injury lawyer. Never discuss the details of the accident with the other driver or his insurance company.
- Be cautious of early settlement offers, sometimes injuries won’t be apparent until days or even weeks after the accident.
- Make sure that you consult with an experienced car accident lawyer before signing any documents.
For any questions regarding your rights following a car accident please contact one of the Kahler Law Firm’s highly trained car accident lawyers at 1-866-739-7702.
The Kahler Car Accident Lawyers in Toronto offer free consultations and no fees are collected until we win your case.