What To Do If You Get Into A Car Accident In Ontario
Car accidents are a common occurrence across Canada. In 2016, there were 35,972 accidents in Ontario alone. Three-quarters of those accidents happened in urban areas during the summer months.
If you are driving around the trillium province and you get into a collision, here are some steps to follow:
Stop and assess the damage
First things first: Stop.
Failing to stop when getting into a collision can result in a criminal prosecution in Ontario.
If you’re unhurt from the collision and can safely exit your vehicle, proceed to do so while paying attention to any moving traffic around you.
If anyone on the scene requires medical attention, dial 9-1-1 right away.
Once personal injuries are addressed, assess the damage to the vehicles involved. If you estimate the damages to be more than $2,000, or if you believe someone involved in the collision is guilty of a Criminal Code offence (e.g. driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), you need to call the police.
Should the damage to the vehicles be less than $2,000 and the parties involved are not guilty of a Criminal Code offence, the police don’t need to be called. If that’s the case, be sure to call or go to a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours.
Fill in the accident worksheet
The Ontario government created an accident worksheet that you can keep in your glove box should you get into a collision.
The worksheet will help you write down all the relevant information about the accident, ensuring all details of the incident are covered.
If you are without your worksheet, it’s recommended you use your phone to take photos of any damage and record as many details as possible.
Call your insurance company
After you’ve made sure no one is critically injured, dialled 9-1-1 (if necessary), assessed whether or not the damages are over or under $2,000, and filled out the accident worksheet, your next step is to call your insurance company.
Prior to your call, make sure you have the necessary information to file a claim.
Information needed to file a claim
As per the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, here is what you’ll need:
- the name of the registered owner’s insurance company and their auto insurance policy number
- the make, model, year, registration and licence plate number of the vehicle
- details regarding the accident, including:
- the driver’s name and driver’s licence number (if the driver is not the registered owner)
- the date, time, and location of the accident
- the extent of any injuries
- the number of passengers involved, if any
- the extent of damage to the vehicle
- your description of the accident
- the names and driver’s licence numbers of the other drivers, as well as the names of their insurance companies and their auto insurance policy numbers
- the licence plate and vehicle identification numbers of the other vehicles
- the name and badge number of the investigating police officer, if the accident was reported to the police
Build an emergency kit for your vehicle
Collisions can happen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and in all weather conditions. This is why it’s important that you are ready for an emergency whenever and wherever it occurs.
Here are the necessary items to have in your vehicle:
- pen/pencil and a notebook
- the Accident Worksheet
- basic first aid kit
- a disposable camera
- emergency road flares, warning triangles or cones
- a fire extinguisher
- a flashlight and extra batteries
- bottled water
- booster cables
- a tire repair kit and pump
- a small tool kit
- a towel
- a pair of work gloves
- some type of non-perishable food
- hand wipes
- a thermal blanket
Remember to stay calm
Staying calm is easier said than done, but it’s so important to control your breathing and any anger you may have towards yourself, your passengers, or another driver.
Everyone’s stress levels rise dramatically after a car accident and that’s when further mistakes are made.
Once you’ve calmed yourself, write detailed notes about the incident and wait for the police to arrive so you can provide an accurate statement to them.
If you need to replace any auto parts after a collision, Logel’s is here to help. Get in touch.