What to do after an auto accident in Ontario

On behalf of Rooz Law posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

Many Ontario residents believe that an emergency call should be made after any motor vehicle collision, but this is not required in many cases. Motorists should call 911 if the accident was caused by a motorist violating criminal law, when motorists or pedestrians have been injured or when the vehicles involved have sustained at least $1,000 of damage. A common violation of criminal law that would necessitate an emergency call is driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Motorists should call a local police number after less serious collisions.

The first thing that an Ontario resident should do after a car accident is pull over. A driver may face severe penalties for leaving the scene of an accident even if nobody was hurt and the amount of damage was minor. Drivers should not attempt to move injured individuals unless the situation is extreme. However, clearing the roadway of vehicles and debris is recommended in most cases, but it is always a good idea to take photographs of the scene with a cellphone before anything is moved.

Once the risk of further injury or damage has abated, motorists should turn their attention to gathering information. The names and insurance details of all drivers involved should be noted as well as the names and contact information of any witnesses. It is important that motorists try to remain calm at all times. Accidents caused by reckless drivers might provoke an angry reaction, but this rarely improves the situation.

Those who suffer injuries in an auto accident may pursue civil remedies if the driver responsible acted negligently. A personal injury lawyer could help a victim seek compensation for his or her property damage and lost income by filing a lawsuit against the negligent motorist or insurance provider.

Source: Financial Services Commission of Ontario, “What to do After an Auto Accident”, November 25, 2014

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