You Got Into a Serious Car Accident:
If you are involved in a serious collision, forget about insurance for a second.
- Try to stay calm.
- Turn on your 4-way flashers or hazard lights if you can.
- Call 911 right away and wait for help.
- Don’t try to move any of the cars.
- Try to determine if it’s safer to stay in the car or wait by the side of the road.
- If other people need help, help only if you can do so safely. When emergency crews arrive, they will take over, provide first aid and transport victims to hospital if necessary.
In Ontario, all drivers have coverage available for injuries they suffer in an accident, and victims can sue at-fault drivers for additional damages.
If you have collision coverage, you should be covered for the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle, minus your deductible.
Did you know?
A typical collision policy covers you for the current value of your car (What you paid, minus depreciation). If you want to be able to buy a brand new car if your car is destroyed, you need to buy an endorsement called waiver of depreciation, which costs a little more, and only newly purchased vehicles may qualify.
After police and emergency crews have secured the scene and no one is in immediate danger:
- Exchange information with the other driver(s). Try at a minimum to get a photo of their license plate(s) and, if possible, their proof of insurance or pink slip.
- If you were not at fault, try to get contact information for anyone who might have witnessed the crash.
- If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the scene, including close-ups of damage to all vehicles, and wide shots that show the entire scene.
- Take notes about what happened while you remember it clearly. Note the time of day, the weather conditions, and anything else that you think would be relevant to deciding who was at fault.
- Get a tow truck to take your car to a garage for repair. Be careful of tow trucks that arrive on the scene. You have the choice of who tows you. It’s covered if you have collision coverage. You may want to use a towing service and body shop that is on your insurer’s list of preferred vendors. It could save you time and hassles later.
- Call your insurance company within 24 hours to report the accident and start a claim. Depending on your coverage, your claims advisor will give you information about:
- Towing companies if you are still at the scene;
- Body shops if you haven’t chosen one;
- Medical and other benefits available to you;
- Rental cars (if your policy includes coverage for a rental car while your car is in the shop);
- Legal considerations, whether or not you are at fault; and
- Next steps.
- If you need medical treatment beyond emergency care (physiotherapy, chiropractic etc.), you can choose any licensed clinic, but going to a clinic that is on your insurance company’s list of preferred vendors could save you some hassles.
- If you’re at-fault for the accident, your insurer will provide a lawyer to defend you if you get sued. You are allowed to have your own lawyer too.
- If you’re not at-fault and you have serious injuries or other losses related to the accident that are not otherwise covered, you’ll need your own lawyer to help you claim damages.
Call us first: If you get in an accident during business hours, your M&W team can help you navigate the claims process, and even advocate for you with the insurance company. After hours, you should call your insurer directly.