Steps to Take After a Car Accident
Motor vehicle collisions happen in a fleeting, shocking moment that can make you feel frightened and hurt. Many victims are confused about what to do next. In the aftermath of a serious auto accident, there are some simple steps you can follow to protect your rights and make sure you have a solid foundation for a lawsuit. Only a lawsuit can help you or your injured passengers to recover compensation for the damages you have suffered because of another's negligence.
If another motorist was the cause of your accident, it is very important to seek legal guidance. Call our law firm as one of the first steps to take after a car accident. The lawyers at Greg Monforton and Partners are dedicated to defending the rights of accident and injury victims throughout Ontario.
Find out more about your legal rights call us today at (866) 320-4770
Required Steps after an Accident
Most of us have a rough idea of what to do if we are in a car accident. But what does the law require us to do?
First of all, you have a legal duty to remain at, or immediately return to, the scene of any motor vehicle accident you are involved in directly or indirectly. Failure to do this can result in a serious criminal charge.
The police must be called to the scene if there are any injuries to those involved or damage to the vehicles that appears to exceed $1,000.00. Once a police officer arrives, you have a duty to co-operate and provide details of the accident for the officers report.
For accidents with minor damage, it is still a good idea to call the police. The police officer can take charge of the situation. If necessary, he or she will also be able to provide evidence later on about who was at fault.
When you are involved in an accident you have a legal duty to provide all possible assistance to anyone who needs it. Obviously, you should call an ambulance if someone is seriously injured. Regardless of the amount of damage involved, you also have a duty to provide the following information: your name and address, your vehicle permit number, and the name and address of the owner of the car (if it is not your car). This information must be provided, upon request, to the other driver, police or even a witness.
Assess Bodily Damage and Dial 911
After a car crash, the number one concern is whether you and your passengers have been injured. The first steps to take after a collision include:
- Check yourself for injuries
- Check other vehicle occupants for injuries
- Call 911 to report the incident
- Report whether emergency medical personnel are needed
- Allow emergency medical responders to evaluate you and your passengers
Even when no injuries seem apparent, it is important to be evaluated by medical professionals. The symptoms of many injuries may not present themselves immediately, including such damage as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Collecting Pertinent Information
Before the police have a chance to arrive, you may wish to begin collecting information about the accident while you are at the scene.
Some of the details you should note for your records include:
- Names of other drivers
- Contact information for other drivers
- Insurance information for other drivers
- Names & contact information for witnesses
- Make, model, licence plate number and VIN for other cars involved
- Location information & road conditions
- Weather conditions and time of day
- Tell the reporting officer if you suspect another involved driver of being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication
- DO NOT move the vehicles unless they pose a hazard to other motorists
- DO NOT sign any documents or discuss the collision with anyone aside from police
Document the accident and any resulting injuries by taking photos or video footage if possible. The more detailed the information you provide, the stronger your claim will be.
Answering Questions from the Authorities
Post-accident, police and insurance agents will have to ask you questions. DO NOT admit any fault to the police, your insurance carrier or agents for the other drivers insurance carrier.
The police service is charged with documenting your accidents circumstances with accuracy and objectivity. No matter how emotional you may be, it is wise to cooperate with police and to answer their inquiries thoroughly and honestly. The police report could be an instrumental piece of evidence in your auto accident lawsuit.
You should call your insurance company as soon as you arrive home after the accident. When responding to insurance agents, simply provide the facts.
How Our Law Firm Can Help You
A car crash is a sudden, traumatic experience, and unfortunately, odds are that every driver will encounter a serious accident at least once. While these steps to take after a car accident may help guide you post-crash, a lawyer can explain what to do next if you plan to pursue compensation. If you or a loved one was involved in a wreck that was caused by another motorists negligence, the lawyers at Greg Monforton and Partners are here to help.
We defend the rights of drivers like you who have fallen victim to the dangerous driving or mechanical failures that another motorist was responsible for. Our team has obtained over $150 MILLION in successful verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we are confident and proud in our ability to represent you.
Through our office in Windsor and partnerships with other firms in Ontario and the U.S., we proudly serve clients throughout the province, including the following areas:
- Thunder Bay
- Sault Ste. Marie
- and many cities and towns throughout the area
Discuss the details of your potential case with us for free. Call (866) 320-4770 today to speak with a member of our intake team. After a few brief questions, you will be connected with a lawyer that has experience suited to your situation.
Get started now simply fill out the Free Case Evaluation form at the top of this page and we will contact you.