Car Crash in Brampton: What to Do After You’ve Been in an Accident
Maybe you didn’t get a good look before making that left turn on a green, or the driver behind you wasn’t paying attention at that stop sign and rear-ended you. It’s easy to let your mind race after being involved in a collision but try to take a couple deep breaths. Know that car accidents can happen in Ontario daily, but your stress is valid. Once you’ve composed yourself and ensured that neither you nor any of your passengers are injured, it’s time to handle the aftermath.
A 2017 Safe Driving Study showed that Ontario’s streets are progressively becoming more dangerous. If you’ve been involved in a crash, know that you’re not alone. The frequency of collisions has jumped, and so has your likelihood of being involved in a collision. Knowing what to do is crucial.
CCV Insurance’s Brampton car insurance brokers are here to help. We understand that being involved in an accident can be stressful, and your mind is very likely reeling. To ease your racing thoughts, we have compiled a guide on what to do after you’ve been in a collision with another vehicle.
Ensure the Safety of Everyone Involved and Call 911 if Necessary
Firstly, you’ll want to stop. If you were involved in a collision and you drive away, you could be subject to criminal prosecution and demerit points. Having a serious infraction on your record such as a hit-and-run can make your premiums for auto insurance much higher, as you may be labelled a high-risk driver.
Call 911 in emergency situations, such as if there are any serious injuries at the scene, if one vehicle has significant damage or is totalled, or if you suspect that another driver involved in the collision may be driving under the influence. If there are no significant injuries and property damage is minimal, use the non-emergency phone number to contact the local police for more information on how to file a collision report.
Avoid moving anyone who you suspect may be injured so as not to aggravate their injuries. Avoid standing between the two vehicles to assess the state of the damages, as you could be putting yourself in harm’s way. If your vehicle is operable and you and your passengers are uninjured, pull off safely to the side of the road and out of traffic.
If your vehicle is unable to be driven, make sure you turn on your hazard lights and use any sort of visual indicator to mark off the area, including cones, warning triangles or flares. As long as passengers are not seriously injured, they should exit the vehicle and walk to a safe location.
File a Police Report
In Ontario, you must file a collision report if anyone has been injured or if the resulting property damage will cost a minimum of $2,000 — failing to do so may result in demerit points or a significant fine. Again, you must call 911 in all emergency situations and police will arrive on scene; however, if all vehicles involved are driveable and no one was injured because of the car accident, you should file a report at a police district office.
- A collision report requires specific information, including: Details of the car accident (i.e., what happened, when and where the collision took place)
- Driver information for all involved, including licence number, address, contact information, insurance and registration information and vehicle details (i.e., make, model, year)
- If anyone in the accident was injured
- Damage sustained to any of the vehicles involved
Call Your Insurance Provider
Once everyone is safe and secure, be sure to exchange contact and insurance information with every other party involved in the car accident. Make sure you document the incident well, taking pictures if possible. There are resources online that will help you to find the correct information you need to provide the police and your insurance provider with.
Should a driver involved in the incident be unable to provide the necessary information but there is a passenger who can do so, they should provide the info. If someone refuses to provide information, make sure to document their vehicle description, driver description and document their license plate number. Once all information has been exchanged, you can leave the collision scene — if your vehicle is drivable. If it isn’t, you will need to make arrangements to ensure it can be safely removed from the road. Sometimes police officers will do this for you.
Advice your insurance company as soon as you possibly can, regardless of who was at fault. You are required to file a report within seven days or as soon as possible, per the Ontario Automobile Policy (OAP 1.) Failing to do so may result in not having your claim honoured.
You will be asked for as much information as possible regarding the collision, including any injuries incurred and damages sustained (to property and vehicles.) You should be as honest as you can at this point, and make sure to file your claim as soon as possible. The claims process may not be as smooth if you contact your insurer too late or withhold details. Once the claim is deemed valid, your insurance company will have to settle it within the time period as defined on your policy.
Note that only your auto insurance company can determine liability, not the police officers that arrive at the scene. You can challenge the allotted liability in a valid provincial court of law. Any charges laid as a result of the collision by the police will not affect the percentage of “at-fault” that is determined by your auto insurance provider. Moreover, your Brampton auto insurance premiums may increase depending on the percentage of “at-fault” you were assigned, although the exact calculations may vary from provider to provider.
Our auto insurance brokers in Brampton are your best resource when it comes to understanding the limits of your coverage. If you are unclear as to what is and what is not covered by your coverage, discuss with your provider or contact your auto insurance broker. There are “at-fault” rules, which means if you are deemed by your insurer to be responsible for an accident, your claim will be subject to your deductible.