What To Do After A Car Accident
If you have ever been in a car accident, you know what a scary and upsetting experience it can be. Chances are you are going to feel shaken up, which may make it difficult to think straight about what you should do. It’s important, therefore, to know ahead of time what steps you should take following the incident. Knowing ahead of time will help you to stay calm and take the appropriate actions.
The following are some things to keep in mind if you are ever involved in a car accident.
Review the accident & obtain independent witnesses if possible
Provided that there is no medical emergency that needs to be dealt with first, review everything you can about the accident while you are still at the scene. Go over what happened in your mind and jot down what you recall happening; exchange your insurance information with the other parties involved; and take photos of any damage to your vehicle as well as to the other driver’s vehicle. Also try and track down independent bystanders who might have witnessed the crash. This could important in determining who was at-fault in the accident.
Contact your broker or insurer
Your broker is your advocate. Your broker will set up our claim and get the process started. He/she will guide you through the claim process which can be sometimes overwhelming to some.
When possible, do not accept a tow without consulting with your insurer first. Many tow truck operators have their own interests in mind and might try to persuade you to taking your vehicle to a body shop you they are affiliated with to satisfy their own financial interests. This will only add to the confusion and prolong the claim process.
Take your vehicle to the insurers preferred & recommended body shop
Of course, you can take your vehicle to any body shop you wish. However, all insurance companies have their own network of body shops (“preferred shops”) to whom they are affiliated with. A “preferred shop” typically has an agreement with the insurer to expedite the claim process and offer lifetime guarantees/warranties to their workmanship.
Be honest on your claim.
Don’t try to fudge the details when you make your accident claim. Even if the accident was your fault, it is important to be honest. Otherwise, it could result in your claim being denied.
Do I have to call the police?
Not all car accidents in Ontario require that you contact the police, but according to the York Regional Police if any of the following conditions are met, you must call them. (i)
Someone has been injured or killed.
One or more of the drivers involved is impaired.
A pedestrian or cyclist was involved in the accident.
There is damage to private or public property.
If you aren’t sure whether or not the police need to be called in a particular situation, it is best to err on the side of caution and call them to the scene of the accident.
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