Don’t make these mistakes after an accident - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Don’t make these mistakes after an accident

#AskStephanieSlavens

Waiting until being involved in a car accident to think about what needs to be done is a mistake many people make. What they do not understand is that more almost 170,000 people are injured and nearly 1,900 are killed in vehicle collisions each year. Accidents are traumatic, unnerving experiences that happen in a matter of seconds. It is difficult when you are dazed and confused and suffering from an injury to know what you need to do to comply with the law and to ensure that your right to sue the negligent party responsible for causing the accident for compensation is preserved. Here are a few of the most common mistakes people make following an accident.

Leaving the scene of the accident

Never leave the scene of an accident no matter how minor it might be. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offence under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. You are not only required to remain with your vehicle, but you must also render assistance and exchange information with drivers of other vehicles involved in the accident.

Apologizing to the other driver

The first thought most people have in the moments after the impact of a collision between two vehicles is wondering what just happened. You might think you were at fault, but until witnesses are interviewed and an investigation is completed, it is impossible to tell right away what happened.

The scene of an accident is not the time or the place to apologize to the other driver or to witnesses. Let the police investigate and keep the apologies to yourself because an apology can be used in court by the party your lawyer is suing to obtain compensation for your injuries. The negligent party could use it to prove you were at fault.

Making statements at the scene about how you feel

Whiplash is a debilitating injury that could keep you out of work for weeks or months, but the symptoms might not develop and be apparent to you for hours or even days following a collision. Do tell people at the scene of the accident that you are feeling alright or that you were not injured.

If you have been in a serious accident, seek a medical evaluation as soon after the collision as possible. Let a physician determine if you have suffered an injury and recommend a course of treatment.

Failing to report an accident

Call 911 if anyone is injured in an accident. You must report accidents to the police in which someone is injured or there is property damage in excess of $2,000. When there is only property damage of less than $2,000 without any bodily injuries, you have up to 24 hours to report the accident.

Relying upon police reports to help you recall facts about the accident

You should take notes, including a sketch of the accident scene, to help you to later recall exactly what occurred. Include in the sketch the position of each of the vehicles. Include in your notes the weather conditions and any other details about the accident that could be used by your attorney.

Use your cellphone to take pictures of the position of each of the vehicles and the damage to each one. If you are too injured to take notes and pictures, ask someone at the scene to do it for you. Police reports might not offer sufficient information to help you recall what occurred.

Ontario personal injury lawyers can help

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience claims for compensation on behalf of victims the negligence of other drivers. Contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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