Anytime you’re involved in a car accident; it can be difficult to remember what to do. Even if the accident is minor, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed by the idea of having to file a claim, repair your car and disrupt your budget to cover your deductible. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do after an accident to make the entire process less daunting. This blog post looks at the different things you need to do after a car accident!
1. Seek Medical Attention
Failing to seek medical attention immediately after your accident is one of the most common reasons people aren’t awarded more in damages. Paramedics may evaluate you at the scene; however, sometimes it takes a while for your injury to manifest.
Even if you prefer alternative treatments such as homeopathy, it’s still important to see a regular, licensed doctor. Although your alternative care provider can provide documentation of your visit, their services may not be recognized as an adequate attempt to seek medical care in the court of law. Going to a regular doctor makes it near impossible for the opposition to dismiss your medical statements.
Going to a doctor is important because it creates a record of your attempt to seek medical care following the accident. Documenting your attempts to seek medical attention is especially important if your injuries aren’t visible. The opposing defense will try and argue that your injuries aren’t severe or that the accident didn’t cause them. Having a paper trail behind you makes it an easy task to prove your injuries.
2. Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company
No matter the severity of the accident, it’s always a good idea to preemptively contact your insurance provider. Being proactive with contacting your insurance company gives you the chance to accelerate the accident reporting and claims process. It’s also harder to remember details about the accident the longer you wait. Simply forgetting to tell the insurance company something puts you at risk of being accused of withholding details.
3. Contact The Authorities
Even if the accident is minor, it’s still a good idea to call the authorities. Getting the police on the scene is another way of creating documentation of the incident. If a lawsuit is pursued, the police will provide the information collected in their report. In Canada, you’re required to call the police after an accident under the following circumstances:
- When pedestrians or cyclists are involved
- When municipal, highway or private property sustains damages
- When there are injuries, no matter how minor
- When a government vehicle has been involved
- If you think the other driver might be drunk or on drugs
- If the total damage exceeds the provincial limit (over $2000 in Ontario)
4. Gather Evidence
Gathering evidence is one of the best things you can do to prove your side of the story. If you fail to document the scene, you’re leaving your fate up to complete chance. Car accident lawyers are able to do a much better job when you provide them with evidence to build a case around. Make sure you take pictures of both damaged cars and the surroundings. If there was an obstacle such as a patch of ice or a foreign object on the road, make sure you photograph them.
Another important part of evidence gathering is taking witness statements. Try and get people who saw what happened to give their account of the incident. Remember to get their name and phone number if you need to contact them at a later date. The more data you can gather from the scene, the stronger of a case your car accident lawyer can build.