What to do if you are in an auto accident in Ontario

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In case you are involved in an accident anywhere inside Ontario, you should do the following:

Stop immediately:

Stop your vehicle as soon as the accident happens – even if it involves only a minor scratch on either your or the other person’s car. Never run away from an accident as doing so may make you subject to criminal prosecution. If possible, move your vehicle to the side of the road so as not to disrupt the smooth flow of traffic. If the vehicle cannot be moved, then turn on the hazard lights or use other available signals to warn oncoming traffic.

Call 911:

Call 911 if anyone is injured or the damages to vehicles appear to be more than $1,000, or if you suspect that the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Do not try to move the injured as you may aggravate the situation. If there are no injuries and the damages appear to be less than $1,000, then call the local police. If the police do not come, then you may file a report at the local police station or collision reporting center within 24 hours.

Exchange personal information:

Note down the name, address, telephone or cell phone number and driver’s license number of the other driver. Also write down the vehicle registration number, name of the registered owner and insurance information of the other vehicle. Also, provide the above information about yourself and your vehicle truthfully to the other driver. If there are any passengers and witnesses, obtain their names, addresses and telephone numbers as well.

Take pictures of the crash site:

If you are carrying a camera or cell phone with inbuilt camera, then take pictures of the crash site, the vehicles involved and the people who have suffered injuries, including yourself. Focus on the areas that have sustained damages or injuries as the pictures can be used as evidences in a lawsuit and when filing insurance claims.

Towing the vehicle:

You vehicle may have to be towed to the workshop for damage assessment and repair if it is severely damaged. If the police are at the scene of the accident, you can have it towed straight to a service center after they have given the go-ahead. However, if there are no police at the scene, then you should tow it to the police reporting center first.

Inform your insurance agent or broker:

Call your insurance agent or broker and report the accident immediately. If the damages are worth more than $1,000 then your insurance should pay for the repairs depending upon the type of your vehicle insurance. If you or anyone in your vehicle has sustained injuries, then call a personal injury lawyer to find out whether you can seek compensation.

There are also a few things you should not do after an accident. Do not argue or get into either a verbal or physical fight with the other driver. Do not take responsibility or assume liability voluntarily, sign any statements, or pay or promise to pay any amount of money for damages at the site of the accident. Lastly, do not let any tow truck operators coerce you into letting them tow your vehicle in the confusion of the moment.

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