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What should I do if I am in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

By: Sarah Peel, Associate Lawyer

Do you know what to do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident? Do you know what information your insurer and/or lawyer will need if there is damage to vehicles or persons? No? You are not alone. Taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the following steps will help you be better prepared if you ever find yourself in this situation.

First things first, stay calm and take a moment to assess your injuries and ensure anyone else in your vehicle is ok. Call the police and an ambulance if you require one. It is important to call the police to report that an accident has taken place regardless.

Even if you do not think you are injured, always stop and exchange information with the other driver. Some injuries do not manifest immediately, and it is always better to have their information and not need it.

The advent of cell phones means that it is easier than ever to obtain all the information you need quickly and efficiently. Be sure to take photos of the accident scene, all vehicles involved and each driver’s information (including their driver license and insurance card).

If there were any witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their names and contact information as well.

Once police arrive at the scene, the investigating officer will typically provide you with a card stating their name and the police report number. Take a photo of this card as well just in case it becomes lost following the accident.

If you are experiencing any pain, be sure to go to the hospital.

Once you arrive home, take a minute to write down a few notes:

  • What time of day was it?

  • What was the weather like?

  • How much traffic was there?

  • Were there any traffic lights?

  • What were you doing just before impact?

  • How are you feeling?

  • Was there damage to your vehicle?

  • To the other vehicle?

  • What type of vehicle was the other party driving (make, model, colour)?

If you are a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, remember you will still need all of the above information. In particular, be sure to get a photo of the driver’s license and insurance. If you do not have a camera or camera phone handy, you will need to take down the driver’s license number, full name, date of birth, insurance policy number, and the name of their insurer.

Remember, if you are experiencing pain, go to the hospital or contact your family doctor as soon as possible!

DISCLAIMER: The publications on this website are intended to provide information of a general nature and not legal advice. The information contained in this publication is current to the date of the publication and may be subject to change following the publication date.

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