No one wants to imagine getting into a car accident while on vacation or on a weekend getaway. But unfortunately, accidents can happen to anyone, anytime.
The natural beauty of Ontario is a big draw for tourists from other provinces and countries. These additional drivers can lead to more accidents, especially for people driving on unfamiliar roads.
Here’s what to do after a car accident in Ontario.
4 Things to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident in Ontario
Even if the accident was minor, you should do a few things immediately at the scene. Whether you’re visiting Ontario or a resident, taking these steps will help make the insurance claim process smoother and more efficient.
Stop the Car & Check for Injuries
Your vehicle may be drivable after an accident, but it is illegal to leave the scene. If you’re able, move your car away from traffic to the side of the road. Set up road flares or use your hazard lights to alert oncoming drivers.
Tend to yourself and check on any passengers. Try to remain calm while you wait for emergency responders to arrive.
If anyone is hurt, call 911 or ask someone else to call. You are required to report the accident to the police in the case of injuries or when there is property damage of over $2,000. In any case, it’s a good idea to alert the police in the event of an accident, especially if you suspect intoxication or distracted driving was a factor.
If the accident is minor, you may instead be directed by the phone operator to report the accident to the nearest Ontario collision reporting centre.
Document the Car Accident
When it is safe to exit your vehicle, take photos and videos of the accident scene to record any vehicle or property damage. Write down as much as you can recall about the accident, such as your estimated speed and where any passengers were seated. Also, note the weather and road conditions.
Ontario law requires drivers involved in an accident to exchange contact information, driver’s licenses, insurance, and vehicle details such as the make, model, and license plate numbers.
If any witnesses saw what happened, take their contact information as well. Their testimony could be helpful for an insurance claim or lawsuit later.
What to Do After the Crash
Once you’ve reported the accident and treated for any injuries, you can begin the insurance claim process and focus on recovering from your injuries or financial damages.
File a Claim with Your Insurance Company
Ontario has a “no-fault” insurance system, meaning you’re most likely to recover compensation for your damages through your insurance policy, not the other driver’s. The claims process can take some time, so you should reach out to your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident.
When you’re ready to file a claim, make sure to have your policy details ready and all the information you collected at the scene.
Contact a Local Car Accident Lawyer
Your insurance may not cover all the costs for your medical bills or vehicle damages. If it doesn’t (or worse, if your claim is denied), consulting a car accident lawyer who knows the legal landscape of the area can be to your advantage.
Whether you are visiting from outside the province or the country, an Ontario personal injury lawyer can inform you of your rights and help you decide what to do next.
For Americans visiting Canada, your car insurance will typically cover you in an accident across the border. It’s a good idea to double-check your policy or opt for additional travel coverage before leaving the United States. However, a Canadian lawyer can still be of service if you find yourself in an accident.
Call Donnelly Murphy Car Accident Attorneys for Help
Every car accident is different, and getting into a wreck in a foreign area might add to your uncertainty, leaving you unsure of what to do or who to call. With several offices on the southern shores of Lake Huron, the car accident lawyers at Donnelly Murphy are ready to help victims in Ontario.
If you have questions about the insurance claims process or wonder if a personal injury lawsuit might be the right move after a car accident, we will work with you to find an answer. Call today at (519) 524-2154 or contact us online for a free, no-risk consultation.