Accidents don’t choose anyone, and it can be extremely disastrous to be involved in one and not know exactly what to do in the situation. The same thing applies when it comes to car accidents, so it’s important to know just what to remember legally when involved in a car accident so you don’t get hassled during the incident should you get in one. Remember, your safety is of the utmost importance, but to know what to do legally in a car accident can save you a lot of trouble later so you can focus on your recovery. Definitely consult with a professional on just how you could act in certain situations to avoid getting in trouble with the law and to make the investigation process of the car accident less of a hassle for all parties involved.
According to the Financial Services of the Commission of Ontario, it’s important to remember that following protocol when involved in a car accident can make the processes of filing reports a much smoother procedure, especially on your part. Protocols might be a bit strict, and they are necessary especially if there are injuries, but they can also save lives.
Remember to Stay, Assess
Contrary to what you’d expect, perhaps one of the safest moves when you’re involved in a car accident is to actually stay at the scene. This is because not only is it best for you to get information about the people involved in the incident, it’s also safer to be there as leaving might penalize you with hit-and-run charges. When you get involved in an accident, it’s best to call your legal counsel first and ask for advice before doing anything else. Only leave when your legal counsel or any local authority figure says it’s safe to do so.
- In the meantime, assess the extent of the injuries you sustained, if there are any, and assess the state of the people around you. If there’s anyone injured among passengers, drivers, and/or pedestrians, immediately call for medical assistance. Don’t try to apply medical assistance to anyone at the scene as it might implicate you or worsen the injuries.
- When help arrives, try to approach the responding officials and ask for their name, contact information, and license numbers. Ask for a police report to be filed as well. Remember to do this politely and courteously.
Remember to Document, Ask Around
When the police arrive at the scene or when medical personnel arrive, try to ask around for relevant information, such as names, contact information, and license plates. This will be helpful should you or your lawyer need to get in touch with anyone at the scene in the future.
- Don’t forget to be polite and courteous when asking for information, but don’t apologize for anything in the incident as this may be misinterpreted as a form of admission of fault on your part.
- Try to document the scene as well, using the means you have. If you have a phone with you, try taking pictures of your injuries or the extent of damage you’ve experienced and the scene itself. This can help you make a more credible case to your insurer when you need to file a claim.
- When you get any form of treatment, make sure you document these as well. Ask for copies of all reports, correspondences, and receipts that you’re getting from hospitals and medical personnel. This is important as your insurer will ask for this information from you should you get considered for compensation.
- Remember to document what’s happening into a journal, especially when it comes to sharing your account on the incident. Share information on your correspondences and your appointments to doctors and professionals for your treatment.
- However, don’t establish communications with insurers not affiliated with you or with other people that ask you about the incident. Ask your lawyer who is best to communicate with you about your incident, and who you should refer should they start to call you frequently.
Being involved in car accident is no joke, and it’s not an easy thing to forget. It can be potentially hassling if you have no idea just what to do in a car accident as things can get legal pretty quickly. It might not be something that can happen often in the course of your lifetime, but knowing what to remember legally when involved in a car accident can actually be of great aid to you and people around you.
However, do remember that the tips as stated in this article aren’t to be treated as legal advice. If you have questions on a specific instance, feel free and it’s recommended to talk to a legal professional about it as they are the ones trained to handle car accident laws.
Lilly Jordan has been a law writer for more than 20 years, and she hopes to impart legal wisdom to the common reader through her works. She is currently working on a new law piece. A certified “foodie,” Lilly loves to cook for her friends and family. She often tries new dishes whenever she has free time.