After a car accident, there are some important steps you should take. But you probably won’t be in the best frame of mind in that moment – you might be upset, in shock, worried, confused, angry, embarrassed, scared, anxious… or feeling any number of other overwhelming emotions. In other words, you probably won’t be in the best frame of mind to be making important decisions and to ensure you get all the information you need.
That’s why we’ve made our Car Accident Checklist free for anyone to request or download. You can keep this simple checklist tucked away in your car, and if you ever find yourself in this stressful situation, you won’t have to worry about not being sure what to do or forgetting to get some information. Just follow the seven simple steps, fill out the information on the back, and you’ll know you’ve covered the most important bases.
Get your copy of our checklist here:
What to do if you’re in an accident
1. Ensure your safety.
- Move yourself or your car to safety if you can. If you think someone might be badly hurt, call an ambulance right away and wait for paramedics.
2. Take a breath.
- Accidents happen. Don’t get angry or argue with the other driver – absolutely nothing will be solved at the accident scene. Politely exchange your information and leave it to your insurance to sort everything out.
3. Call the police.
- Always report the accident, even for minor collisions. You may be advised to report to a collision reporting centre. If so, make sure you do this as soon as possible after leaving the scene and seeking medical care.
4. Collect information and take pictures & video.
- Note down all the information listed on the checklist. Take lots of pictures & video showing vehicle damage and the surrounding area.
5. Go to the hospital, your doctor, or a walk-in clinic.
- If you have any symptoms, even if they seem minor, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Get checked out, make follow-up appointments and follow-through with all recommended treatment.
6. Report the accident to your insurance company and start a claim.
- Phone your car insurance company’s claims reporting line or your broker. They will send you a package of forms that you and your healthcare providers should complete and submit as soon as possible. If you will be seeing a lawyer, your lawyer can help you with these forms.
7. Consider contacting a local personal injury lawyer.
- A lawyer can help you deal with your own insurance benefits and can advise you about getting additional compensation from the insurance of the at-fault driver. Most simply, a lawyer can tell you if you need a lawyer at all, or if you can handle your claim yourself. It never hurts to ask!
Information to collect
- date & time
- road conditions & weather
- draw a diagram of what happened, or briefly describe it
- is anyone hurt?
Vehicle and driver information of involved vehicles
- vehicle make, model & colour
- plate number
- driver name
- driver’s contact information
- driver’s license number
- driver’s insurance company and policy number
- any observations about the driver, his or her vehicle, passengers in the vehicle or anything said to you by the driver
- contact information
- police names and badge numbers