Most of us have heard the crunch, felt the jolt and had the sinking feeling after being in an accident. Car accidents can be terrible, life changing incidents. Even when they are not, they are still a shock to the system and a nuisance to deal with. What can you do to make your life easier after an accident?
1. First and foremost and under all circumstances, STOP after being in an accident. It is Canadian law and it is a very serious offense to drive away. Leaving the scene of an accident will only make the problem worse in the long run.
2. Call the police. It’s important to report accidents to the police if anyone in the accident sustains injuries or the damages are north of $1000. It’s important to be safe while doing this, so pull over to a safe location before calling the police or exiting the vehicle. Generally, if you aren’t sure whether to call the police or not, it’s best to call. Better safe than sorry.
3. Try to find a calm place. Car accidents aren’t fun and they can cause a lot of emotions. If no one has been injured, try to take a step back and realize it’s just stuff. Yes, very important stuff, but just stuff none the less. Keeping yourself in a good mental place will help you deal with the other driver and probably save you headaches in the long run.
4. Info Exchange. Be sure to exchange insurance information and all other applicable information to the accident down and exchange it with the police officer. If you have trouble exchanging information for whatever reason, wait for or call the police if you haven’t already.
5. Document the accident with pictures. This is important because it creates actual images of what happened rather than just witness accounts. I know this seems obvious, but it’s a very important part of the process.
6. Call your insurance company. The law says you must report it within a reasonable amount of time. Which, with most insurance companies is about a week. But you should probably call them right away if the accident is at all serious.