What to do After a Collision

There are many factors that can cause an accident and it can be anywhere from bad road conditions, harsh weather or If you're ever in an accident, it's important to understand which steps to take - and which to avoid - in order to prevent a more difficult situation for yourself and others involved.

Here is a list of the dos and don'ts following a collision: 
In the event of major injuries, call 911 immediately.

Do: 

  • Stay Calm: It's normal to be nervous or anxious after the initial crash, but try your best to stay calm so you can determine what or who needs immediate attention.
  • Call the Police: The police should be notified however big or small the collision is. They can determine if any emergency services should be dispatched, once you provide them with your exact location.
  • Stay Safe: If you are able to move your vehicle off to the side of the road without further damage, do so. This will prevent additional accidents and keep you and your passengers safe. If not, turn your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.
  • Exchange Information: Make sure to get the name(s), address, phone number(s), license information and the insurance company name and policy number from anyone involved. If the name of the driver doesn't match the name on their insurance documentation, note the relationship between them. If there are any witnesses, be sure to get their name(s), address and phone number(s) as well.
  • Take pictures: With your cellphone, a tablet or a camera, take pictures of your damaged vehicle, any skid marks that appear on the road (if accessible and safe) as well as other road conditions that could be a factor towards the accident.
  • Call your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible.
  • Tell your Insurance Company before Repairs: Your insurance company may want to take pictures of the damages for themselves or may refer you to a repair shop that guarantees quality work.

Don't be afraid to call your insurance company. A major misconception people have is once they notify their insurance company, their rates will automatically increase. This is not the case if you are not at fault. You also have the option of whether or not you want to file an insurance claim, but it is wise to get their advice before deciding. If you decide not to file a claim and pay for the damage out of your own pocket, you could be setting yourself up to a long-term disagreement between you and the other driver. The payment may never be agreed upon, or the arranged time of payment may take longer than contracted.


Don't:
 

  • Leave the Scene of the Accident: If you don't stop, you may be subject to a criminal prosecution.
  • Blame or ApologizeAccusing the other driver of causing the accident will only create more tension and stress. Not only should you avoid blaming, you should also never apologize. By apologizing, you are essentially admitting you are at fault, which can later be used against you whether it is in court or in an insurance claim. Wait until the police arrive to provide a full statement.
  • Accept Direct Payment: You may think you're getting a great deal by accepting direct payment because you don't want your premium to skyrocket, but this is not the case. If you are not at fault, your driving record will not be affected, nor will you have to pay a deductible. Always go through your insurance company.

Once all statements and information have been obtained from the police and insurance company and you have been declared at-fault, your insurance premium may increase. If this is your first at-fault accident, your premium can increase anywhere from 6-140 per cent, depending on the situation which can result in a couple of hundred, to thousands of dollars. At-fault accidents usually stay on a driver's record for 6-10 years.

Be sure to check with your insurance company if they offer "accident forgiveness", which will not result in a higher premium in your first at-fault collision. One accident is usually "allowed" every three years per driver.


Don't hesitate to contact our Body Shop if your vehicle is in need of repairs. We work closely with Insurance Companies to ensure your vehicle returns to a new-like state quickly.