Getting into a car accident, even a minor fender–bender, can be a stressful and overwhelming experience! Many drivers, especially those who have never been involved in a car accident before, are left wondering what to do next.
This guide is designed to walk you through the most important steps you should take after a car accident. It is a good idea to carry some details with you in the glove box of your car to guide you through the process; if you don’t already have one, contact your broker to Request a Free Accident Report Form to keep in your car with your liability certificate.
Try to stay calm.
Car accidents are shocking events that can send you into an emotional and panicked state; take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Do not admit fault! Once a claim is filed, insurance adjusters will determine who was at-fault in the accident.
Check your car and anyone else involved in the accident for injuries only if it is safe to do so. If anyone appears to be injured, do not attempt to move them; call 911 immediately to request an ambulance. Don’t take any chances, if you are unsure it is a good idea to call for help. For minor accidents where there are no injuries, both vehicles are drivable and damage is under $2000, you may be instructed to go directly to the nearest Collision Reporting Centre.
Take lots of pictures.
If possible, use your cell phone to take pictures of the scene before moving your vehicle. Try to get a few angles to illustrate the positioning of the vehicles involved and any landmarks or other important details. Be careful, and pay attention to the traffic around you.
Turn your hazard lights on and move your car.
If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle to the side of the road. Make sure you turn your hazard lights on to alert other drivers.
Record your statement of what happened.
Use your cell phone to record as much audio as you can and document your account of what happened. When it comes time to report the accident, you can refer back to your recording to make sure you do not forget anything. Make sure you include the date, time, location, weather conditions, injuries and a detailed description of exactly what happened.
Swap information with other driver.
Gather all of the following information:
Vehicle Owner’s Name
Year and Make
License Plate #
Insurance Policy #
Get passenger and/or witness information.
If there were any passengers or witnesses to the accident, be sure to record their name, address, and phone number.
Get the Police Officer’s details.
Write down the Police Officer’s name, badge#, and division for your records.
Call your broker. (Not the insurance company)
We recommend you call your broker first before submitting a claim to your insurance company. In many cases, your broker will be able to review your insurance coverage and options, offer you advice and counseling, and help simplify the process if you do decide to file an insurance claim. We can even help you locate the nearest Collision Reporting Centre, arrange a tow truck, or find the closest repair facility.