What To Do After A Car Accident In Alberta
No matter how much we prepare, we forget how to react after road accidents. Your heart can start beating really fast, and you may be scared to death. You were just involved in a horrifying accident. What do you do now?
Car accidents have become very common across Canada. Even the safest and smartest drivers are facing road crashes. Preventing these accidents is probably no longer an option.
So, the priority shifts to knowing what to do after a car accident in Alberta. This article includes 7 effective steps you should take right after a car accident in Alberta.
Immediate And Emergency Response To Road Accidents
Before we go to the to-dos, we need to know some basics. These things can help a driver make better and quicker decisions. These are tips that every driver should follow.
The best thing to do during and after an accident is to stay calm. It would help if you did not lose your cool. And it would be best if you did not argue with the other drivers.
After this, make sure you do not sign any papers or agreements. It is even better if you do not talk with the other driver.
Some basic preparation can also help you right after an accident, and this involves keeping a first aid kit, pens and papers, and repair kits in your car. You should also always stack water bottles, batteries, and flashlights in the car.
None of these tips can prevent accidents. They also cannot tell you what to do after a car accident. They can only help you to be ready. And when you are well-prepared, you can make wiser decisions.
7 Effective Steps To Take After A Car Accident In Alberta
The best and safest drivers are not safe from road accidents. It is not always in your hand, no matter how much you take precautions. Nobody can be completely prepared for auto accidents. So, it is normal to be scared and confused.
The best thing that can help you in these situations is a complete guidebook. You will know the exact steps you should take right after the accident from the guidebook.
So, here are the 7 most effective steps any driver should take right after an accident.
Step 1 – Call The Necessary Authorities
The first step is the most important step you can take after an accident. You can begin the step by getting your head into the situation. After that, get out of your car. Then, start inspecting your accident scene.
Now you need to know which authorities to call. The first person you may have to call is the hospital. If anyone is injured, you need to call an ambulance. The most nearby ambulance will come faster. So, get the nearest ambulance to go to the accident scene.
Reporting an accident in Alberta is very important. It would help if you knew about the car accident reporting procedure beforehand. First, determine the total damages of the accident. Any damage less than $2,000 in total will not require you to make a police report.
If the total damage cost exceeds 2,000 USD, you will have to call the police and report the accident. After this, you may have to call law enforcement to make a police report.
You will need to call the police in other situations as well. Pedestrian involvement, government property damage, and not having insurance will require you to call the police.
You may also have to contact the fire department. Carefully inspect if there is any leakage under the car. If you assume a fire break out, call the firefighters as soon as possible.
Step 2 -Stop The Car, Secure Your Safety
Ensuring your safety is the most crucial task. This involves being physically, mentally, and legally safe. So, it would be best if you did not flee the scene. You will have to stop the car and not drive away.
Not stopping your car at the accident scene can bring criminal prosecutions. The other driver can easily file a lawsuit against you.
Also, your insurance provider can make you guilty of the accident. Their best argument would be to tell the court that you drove away. And you will be responsible for this.
You also must ensure your safety first. It might be best not to get out of the car. It would help if you first make yourself calm.
You should also check yourself for any injuries. If you sustain any injury, call an ambulance right away. You will also need to report an accident to the police.
Finally, make sure others on the road are safe as well. Frequently, a roadblock from an accident causes problems for other vehicles. So, get your car on the side of the road. Then, turn on the emergency lights. If you have road flares, use them as well.
Step 3 -Exchange Information And Take Photos
You have made sure that you have secured yourself. You have also ensured that you have called the necessary authorities.
Now it is time to exchange information with the other driver. In this step, you should also take pictures of the accident scene.
It is very important to exchange information with the other driver. There are some very specific benefits of doing this. It will help you to make the police report.
You will find it easy to make an insurance claim. Also, you will be able to claim compensation in the future for further damages.
So, what kind of information should you share? There are some basic ones and some specific ones. But you need to avoid sharing any sensitive information.
The basic information involves the driver’s name, car plate number, and driver’s license number. After that, you can exchange insurance information. This includes the insurance number and insurance providing company name.
Finish this step by taking pictures of the scene. Take photos of both the vehicles. These can be used as evidence in the court or police station.
Step 4 -Move Your Car
Once you have gotten all the necessary evidence and information, you can now move your car. It is better not to move your car before you complete all the previous 3 steps. Driving your car to the side is also important to avoid traffic.
Moving your car also involves several other responsibilities. It would be best if you kept the emergency lights on. It would also help to turn on the hazard lights. You can also use road flares if you have them.
All these will show other drivers that there has been an accident. As a result, other vehicles will drive carefully.
There will always be curious drivers trying to help or ask questions. It is better to avoid any communication. But as Canadians, you, of course, would not be rude.
It is also best to remain in the car if it is wintertime. It will be really cold outside. You can use a blanket to keep yourself warm.
But make sure you do not take anything from the other driver. You may already feel cold after the accident. This is quite normal. So, being warm will give you some form of calmness.
Step 5 -Record The Details Of the Accident
This step is crucial to avoid any legal problems. You must record all the details of the accident. And there are many details that you need to point down.
You can use a pen and paper to record the details. But it would be tough to write down all the pieces of information. So, it is best to use the phone’s voice recorder to record the information. Once you are prepared to note them down, start taking the pieces of information.
The basic information that you should write down is the date and time. After this, write down the weather conditions carefully. Include every little detail about the road condition and weather information.
You must also include other information related to the accident. For example, the speed of the cars and the accident description are essential. You can even draw a diagram of the accident for a better demonstration of the scene.
There is an accident worksheet of the Government of Alberta. This sheet indicates all the necessary details you need to record after a car accident. The information mentioned above is necessary.
Apart from them, you need vehicle information. This includes driver’s license number, vehicle number, vehicle name and colour, Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and vehicle insurance information. A piece of complete damage information is also necessary for the worksheet.
Step 6 -Contact A Personal Injury Lawyer
This is one step that most drivers forget to follow. They often think that the job is done. There are no injuries.
The driver has taken all the necessary information, and all remains are filing the police report. Thus, they never follow up with a personal injury lawyer about the accident.
But this should not be the case. It is a must to contact your lawyer. It does not matter if there are no injuries. It does not matter if every party is happy with the process.
Getting a personal injury lawyer can save you from many unexpected troubles. So, your job is to call and tell your lawyer about the accident as soon as possible.
A personal injury lawyer can have many benefits. Firstly, lawyers know what happens after an accident. You may think everything went smoothly.
But at any moment, there could be some legal notice. Contacting your lawyer will make them prepare for the legal battle.
This legal battle can be with the other driver or the insurance provider. If you are the victim, you must get a fair settlement. Insurance providers will always try to trick you into settling for a very low amount.
Your lawyer will not let that happen. An attorney specializes in these cases. And that legal support will do everything by the book to get you the compensation you deserve. Also, make sure not to sign any papers before consulting with a lawyer.
Moreover, the other driver may file a lawsuit against you. What steps should you take to fight that? You need a personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process.
You can always get a free consultation from the best Alberta lawyers to understand your situation.
Step 7 -Call Your Car Insurance Company
This is the final step. Everyone with a car has insurance. You should also have one. After consulting with your lawyer, now is the time to call your car insurance company.
It is best to submit a car insurance claim within the next 24 hours. You will be allowed to claim within 7 days of the accident. If you fail to do that, the insurance provider will deny your claim.
You will need to provide your insurance company with some information. Some basic information includes insurance policy number, vehicle information, accident time and date, and accident description.
After this, you will need to give the other driver’s information. This can include vehicle number, driver’s license number, driver’s insurance company name, and the number of passengers.
It would be best to include injury reports as well. This does not mean only your injuries. You need to tell the insurance company about any injuries sustained by the pedestrians or the other car passengers.
Finally, you can include the police investigator’s information also. This is only applicable if the police showed up at the accident scene.
Nothing is more important than remaining calm and composed after an accident. Road accidents can be horrifying.
But still, knowing what to do after a car accident in Alberta can be beneficial. The 7 steps are very effective in avoiding any legal problems from a car accident. Just remember to keep your eyes open for any fraudulent activities.