Being involved in a car accident can be a very stressful situation. To help we have put together a quick list of what should you do at the scene of an accident to ensure you stay safe, abide by Alberta laws and obtain all the relevant information for your insurance claim.
Never leave the scene of an accident. If you don’t stop, you may be subject to criminal prosecution or demerit points.
Check if anyone is injured
If anyone is seriously injured call 911 immediately. Additionally, if you suspect the other driver is impaired, guilty of a criminal offence, does not stop, or provide their details, you should also call 911.
Make the area safe is possible
If your vehicle is drivable, move it off the road to ensure the safety of other road users. If there was a serious injury, a suspected impaired driver, or you can’t move your vehicle. Turn on your hazard lights, leave your vehicle where it is and move all passengers to a safe place off the road.
Exchange information with the other driver
Collect details of the drivers and owners of any vehicles or property that were damaged in the accident. Make sure to exchange name, driver licence number, insurance information, car details and licence plate number.
After an accident, it can be hard to remember what details to record. Keeping a printed checklist in your glovebox with a pen can be very helpful in stressful situations. Additionally, there can be a large amount of information, so take photos with your smartphone to help, if not write the information down with pen and paper.
If the accident was with an unattended vehicle or property, you must notify the owner, or you may be reported to the police as leaving the scene of an accident. If you cannot locate the owner, you must attach your details to the damaged vehicle, including your name, phone number, address, driver’s licence number and vehicle details.
Documents accident details
In conjunction with a checklist, taking photos of the vehicles, damage, and weather and road conditions is a great way to collect information quickly. It can help when you describe how, where and why the accident happened. This will be helpful when you talk to your insurance company and fill out the police report later.
Get witness contact information
If there were any witness’, make sure to get their contact information as it may help the insurance company when appointing liability.
Report to the police
If you did not call 911 previously, there are still circumstances where you must report the accident to the police. This can be done after the accident by calling the local police station.
The circumstances are when;
- Anyone is injured,
- A driver has no licence, registration or insurance,
- One of the vehicles is not drivable,
- The total damage to vehicles and property appears to be more than $2000,
- If you have damaged any traffic safety device or public property.
- Don’t argue with the other driver.
- Don’t panic.
- Don’t admit fault at the scene. This may have implications for your insurance. It is best to leave it to your insurer to decide who was at fault.