Checklist: What To Do After A Car Accident - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 18 December 2020

Checklist: What To Do After A Car Accident

No matter how careful we are, car accidents can still occur because traffic is unpredictable. 

During the winter months, car accidents are particularly unpleasant due to slick roads and unfavourable weather conditions. 

Roadside assistance can get bogged down in poor weather, which makes being responsible on the road vital. Staying informed and prepared can help prevent accidents. 

But if the unthinkable does occur, knowing what to do after a vehicle collision will help you avoid unnecessary costs and damages. If you or your loved ones are seriously injured, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer.

Why It’s Important to Keep a Checklist of What To Do After A Car Accident

Why It’s Important to Keep a Checklist of What To Do After A Car AccidentIt’s important to have an accident protocol for several reasons:

  • To provide guidance for how to protect you and your passengers 
  • To remind you of the pitfalls to avoid and mitigate after a wreck occurs
  • To guide you on how to assist injured, trapped, or unstable passengers
  • To remind you to call for help and record important information 

Keeping an actionable list like this one can help protect you and your loved ones just in case you find yourself in an accident. Knowing exactly what to do is the first step in remaining calm and confident during a crisis.

Keep Calm Immediately After the Car Accident

Keep Calm Immediately After the Car AccidentTo avoid further damage after an accident, it’s paramount that you remain calm. Take a minute to breathe. Do a personal safety check and then assess your passengers for injuries.

You should reassure any upset children and direct them to remain calm. This will limit distraction and allow you to deal with the situation efficiently. Keeping a calm repose will allow you to collect the necessary details of the accident for your records.

Survey The Situation

After calming your passengers, turn off your engine, and engage the emergency brake if you are on an incline. Determine as best you can if the car is heavily damaged or if there are any potential hazards in the immediate environment. 

You’ll want to confirm that there isn’t a fuel leak or broken glass that could harm you or your passengers. Leaking gasoline could present a fire hazard, and you should vacate the vehicle if you detect it.

When To Get Out of The Car

Check if the immediate surroundings are safe and vacate the vehicle if necessary due to damage incurred. 

If there are dangerous scraps or fires nearby, you may determine that remaining in the car is safer. Assess the situation as best as you can.

If you are in a remote location and feel isolated and unsafe, you should set off any flares if you have them. Otherwise, contact the local police or an ambulance if you require assistance. 

You may also want to remain in the car until local authorities arrive if you deem it unsafe to exit your vehicle. 

Calling For Help

You should call an ambulance if there are serious injuries or if you suspect that someone is seriously injured. The police may already be on their way, but you may also call to make sure they’ll be present at the scene of the accident. Be sure to inform them of your exact location and brief them on the situation. Having local authorities at the scene will be crucial if the other driver becomes aggressive. If you’re unable to contact the police, ask a fellow citizen for help.

Exchange Information With The Other Driver If You Collided With Another Car

You should exchange the following information with the other driver:

  • Name
  • Registration
  • License number
  • Insurance information

It’s also important to ask the other driver if they own the car. If it’s company property, you may have to contact and deal with the company that owns the vehicle. 

Gather Information About the Car Accident

In all motor vehicle accidents, it’s vital that you gather as much information as possible. Having an accurate set of details regarding the situation will aid you at later court dates and when contracting a lawyer. 

Take photos of your car and the scene. Get pictures of the other vehicle. Try your best to relate the sequence of events that led to the crash and clearly demonstrate where the cars collided. 

You may want to draw a map or diagram of the scene as additional documentation. Note the date and time, all license plate numbers, witnesses involved, and the location of the accident. Finally, request the witnesses’ contact information. 

Inform Your Insurance Company

You should call your insurance company and describe the situation to them. After the briefing, request an estimate of coverage for your situation. Make sure to ask for a direct contact number to a representative should further communication prove necessary.

You may want to give them the insurance company of the other driver, too. This will make it easier for all parties to cooperate and confirm the details of your coverage.

Safety is the number one priority when dealing with a car accident. After assuring everyone’s safety, call a personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond to help you file your car accident claim.

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer from Diamond & Diamond

The attorneys at Diamond & Diamond have decades of experience in personal injury claims. You can visit any of our locations across Canada. 

If you’re in need of accident assistance, contact Diamond & Diamond via telephone (1-800-567-HURT), or fill out an online contact form to receive a free consultation offer via text. 

Before your consult, prepare all related documents pertaining to your case, such as:

  • A copy of the police report
  • Medical records of related injuries 
  • Insurance claims and coverage policy
  • Your personal insurance information and that of the other driver
  • Any maps, diagrams, or photos detailing the accident  

PRO TIP:

“Never leave the scene of a car accident unless you require immediate medical attention.”

FAQs on Checklist: What To Do After a Car Accident

Should I get the name of the police officer who responded at the scene of the car accident?

It may help to record the name of the officer present at the scene if you should need additional testimony later. They will be responsible for testifying at your court date, and the case may not be decided in your favour if the officer does not present themselves.

How long after the car accident can I wait before contacting my insurance company?

It’s best to contact your insurance company directly afterward. If you have to wait a couple of hours due to injuries, ask a trusted friend or family member to contact your insurance company for you. 

What should I do if, after the car accident, the other driver picks a fight with me?

Do not retaliate, but defend yourself if necessary. Don’t aggravate or irritate the other driver regardless of the comments they make. Record any physical threats made and present them at a later court date. 

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