September 03, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario
Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer
The odds are that we will all be involved in at least one car accident in our lifetime. Unfortunate people will be in more than one. They are a fact of driving (at least until the promises of self-driving cars are fulfilled) and crashes can result from many factors.
Car accidents can occur due to weather factors, mechanical failure, driver error or animal strikes. They can result in anything from minor damage to life altering injuries or death. They may be due to your error, someone else’s error or negligence.
It is important to know exactly what to do in the event of an accident. It’s a frightening time after an accident even if there are no serious injuries or damage. The impact, the noise, the smells, injuries, tempers flaring, all of it can act to impair your judgement in the moment. Take a minute and get a small note pad at the store. Write 5 things on the first page of it:
- Exchange driver information and witness information
- Call the police if anyone is injured or you have vehicle damage, or you are feeling threatened, or the other driver seems impaired from drugs or alcohol
- Begin First Aid or Call an ambulance if anyone is injured
- Go to the doctor after the accident to get checked over
- Advise your insurer
- Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Now attach a pen to it and put it in your glove box. In the event of an accident you or your passenger can pull it out and see the things you need to do.
Exchange driver information and witness information - You must exchange information in the event of an accident. Get out your note pad or your cell phone and take an image of the other driver’s licence, their insurance, the car they are driving and the licence plate. If there are passengers note their names as well.
Get the information of any witnesses on the scene. The best is an image of their drivers licence, but name and phone number and a business card is also good. Most people are happy to provide this under the circumstances.
This information will all be required in the event of an insurance claim and for the police.
Call the police if anyone is injured or you have vehicle damage, or you are feeling threatened, or the other driver seems impaired from drugs or alcohol – Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured. The same holds true if you feel threatened by the other driver, or if they appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If there is immediate danger (car fire etc.) you should also call 911 immediately.
Begin First aid or Call an Ambulance – If anyone is injured you should begin first aid immediately and call 911. Do not move injured people if possible, and stay calm. Help is coming.
Get Checked after an accident – Phone your primary healthcare provided or proceed to the hospital and get checked over for any injuries. You may not be aware of concussion symptoms immediately, nor soft tissue injuries. It is important for insurance claims to have a record of exactly what happened in the accident. Future claims can depend on accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment of car accident injuries.
Advise your insurer – Call your insurance agent or broker and advise them of what’s happened. If you are injured ask your passengers of family members to do so. If you require a tow from the scene they may be able to help you arrange that. They also need to be advised immediately if you or anyone else is in your car is injured.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer – If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident you should call a personal injury lawyer to ensure that you are following the correct steps in the correct timeline in order to claim the medical and rehab benefits that you are entitled to.
Emergency Bag - Things to keep in your car in the event of you coming upon an accident
Emergency supplies for your car should include:
- a safety vest that you can pull on to increase your visibility while helping at the roadside
- flares or orange triangles
- a first aid kit with nitrile gloves
- an emergency blanket or towel
- a fire extinguisher