It happens to the best of us. Regardless of your ability as a driver, we are sharing the road with countless others. We are in a hurry, stress levels are up, and we experience a myriad of distractions. Unfortunately, an accident can take just seconds, yet the consequences may last a lifetime.
Injuries sustained from an accident can be life changing. Your insurance company is not always your best advocate at these times. Often, your best recourse is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
After an accident, you are often bewildered about what to do next. Here are some tips.
Think safety! Is everyone in your car okay? Is everyone in the other cars okay? If anyone requires medical attention, your first responsibility is to call 911.
Call the police. In Canada, it is the law to call the police after an accident if there are injuries, a pedestrian or bicyclist is involved, any property has been damaged, or you suspect that more than $2,000 in damages have occurred.
Collect information from the other drivers and witnesses. Chronicle the make, model and license plate numbers and ask the other drivers for their names, driver’s license numbers and insurance information. Do the same for witnesses. Do not apologize for the accident. As much as you may be sorry it occurred, this can be used as an admission of guilt at a later time.
Document the scene as accurately as possible. Take photos with your phone. Not only are photos of the accident valuable, but also take photos of the road conditions which may be significant.
Move your car if it is in the midst of traffic. This can be a safety issue and present a danger to yourself and others.Turn off the ignition and engage your hazard lights.
Do not say you are not hurt. Often the shock and adrenaline of being in a crash will detract from feeling any pain or injury you may have sustained. Some injuries are not immediately visible or detectable and will show up later. Saying you aren’t hurt has the potential to hurt any claim you may have if you are indeed injured but are unaware of it at the moment.
Contact your insurance company. No matter how much damage is or isn’t done, advising your insurance company is important in case the other party decides to file a claim against you. If you do this immediately, recollection of the event is fresh in your mind and you can provide the most accurate depiction to your insurance company.
Go to a doctor if you suspect any injuries. Even if you think they are minor, you should check in with a doctor in case you find yourself needing to file an insurance claim and you need medical records from a doctor that treated you.
Call a personal injury lawyer. If you were injured as a result of this accident, you could be entitled to accident benefits or an accident settlement. You may need to have an advocate for your rights after an injury.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, consider a call to B & P Injury Law Office. We have been advocating for victims’ rights in Collingwood, North Bay, Sarnia and the surrounding area for years. We will set up a free consultation to discuss your rights.