Accidents are among the most stressful events that you can have to deal with. Even minor accidents can leave us with trembling hands and a heart that wants to beat out of our chests. After a collision, it can be hard to regain our senses, but here are some important things to remember after an accident.
Before performing the steps below, make sure you are not injured and that you are able to safely exit your vehicle. If the damage is important, but you are awake and uninjured, it is possible that you may not be able to get out of the vehicle, for example if the door is damaged. If this is the case, do not panic and stay where you are. If you try to leave the vehicle, you could be injured. Instead, wait for the fire department to arrive to help you get out of the car.
If you are able to leave the vehicle, make sure it’s safe to exit. On a busy road, watch for other vehicles. If your vehicle can still be driving, try as much as possible to move it away from traffic.
After leaving the car, call 911 immediately unless it’s a low-speed accident with minimal damage. On the other hand, if there are injuries, or the other driver is aggressive, you should contact the authorities. In fact, stay away from the other driver and do not try to reason if they are uncooperative.
In the case of a small collision, take pictures of the scene (again after having removed the vehicles from the road) and fill out an accident report. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and make sure to be specific when describing to your insurer your version of the event. It’s also in your best interest to report the incident to your insurer even if you do not wish to submit a claim. Also, be aware that sometimes the damage can be more important than people think.
Many dealerships including Volkswagen Centre-Ville who helped with this article have told us that owners usually underestimate the extent and cost of the damages.
If you are injured, again, it is mandatory to call the police. They will fill out an accident report that you will use later in your steps with your insurer and the SAAQ. If you do not need an ambulance, make sure you still go to the hospital to get a medical report which will be important when approaching the SAAQ. If you have injuries that prevent you from working or that affect your quality of life, the medical report will be used many times as you aim to seek compensation.
The important thing to remember in a light accident is to contact your insurer quickly and be honest, and as accurate and precise as possible. In the case of a more serious accident, it is important to contact the authorities and to be evaluated by a doctor quickly, while making sure to inform your insurance company immediately.