October 1 2018

What to Do if You are Involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision

A minor motor vehicle collision can be a traumatic event. The following are some helpful hints about what to do if you are involved in a collision:

Information You Will Need

At the collision scene obtain all information related to the collision from the other party or parties involved in the collision including:

  • Name, address and phone number of all drivers (ask to see their driver’s licences);
  • Name, address and phone number of the owners of the vehicle(s) if different from the drivers;
  • The licence plate number and vehicle identification number of each of the vehicles, along with their make, model and colour;
  • The name of the insurance companies and policy numbers for each of the other vehicles involved.

Were There any Witnesses?

Passengers with you at the time of the collision will have information about what they saw and observed, but they will not be as objective as third-party witnesses. So you will want to get as much additional evidence as possible from bystanders who witnessed the collision.

So, at the collision scene obtain names, telephone numbers and addresses of any independent witnesses to the collision.

Always Report the Collision

Report the collision to the police:

  • In serious collisions, the police will attend at the collision scene. If the police are unable to attend at the scene or if it does not appear to be a serious collision, attend at the nearest police station as soon as possible and report the collision. A collision report form will be filled out, and you will be asked to provide a statement. Be as detailed and accurate in your statement as possible.

Always Get Your Injuries Checked Out by a Medical Professional

If you are injured (even if, at the time, you think you are not badly hurt), seek medical attention:

  • Obviously, if your injuries are severe, getting medical assistance is the priority and should be done before any of the steps listed above. When seeking medical attention, ensure that you tell your doctor everything that is bothering you, even if it seems minor. Follow your doctor’s advice and continue to follow up for further medical treatments that he or she recommends.

Always Report the Collision to Your Insurance Company (There are Time Limits)

Report the collision to your insurance company:

  • This is something that should be done as soon as possible. There can be serious ramifications if you fail to report a collision to your insurer or if you delay an inordinate amount of time before reporting the collision.
  • If you can, speak to a lawyer before you report. Most personal injury lawyers, including our offices, offer a free, no obligation consultation.

Report any injuries that you have sustained to your insurance company immediately:

  • If you sustain a “minor injury” as a result of a motor vehicle collision and you wish to be treated under the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation, you are required to provide your insurer with a completed claim form within 10 business days of the date of an collision or, if that is not reasonable, as soon as practicable after that to ensure that you are entitled to medical benefits.
  • If you sustained an injury not defined as a “minor injury” or you choose not to be treated under the Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation, you must submit a completed claim form to your insurer within 30 days of the collision, or if that is not reasonable, as soon as practicable after that.
  • Again, speaking with a lawyer about whether your injury would be defined as a “minor injury” will help you understand your options and give you the information you need to decide what is best for you.

After a car collision, your adrenaline kicks in, and you may not be thinking clearly. The CAM LLP Injury Law Handbook offers helpful hints about what to do if you’re involved in a motor vehicle collision. The handbook includes information on standard automobile policies, sources of compensation that might be available to you, the standard steps in a personal injury claim, and things you can do to help your lawyer give you proper advice..

If you’ve been in a collision, you deserve to be compensated. Contact us at CAM LLP for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Please note: This post was originally published in June 2013 and has since been updated.