CAR ACCIDENT 101 –
NOW IS THE TIME TO USE YOUR CELL!!!
If you have been injured in a car accident, there are certain things you must be aware of in proceeding with an insurance claim in Ontario. A serious personal injury can have a devastating impact on the victim of a car accident and his/her family. A car accident claim can add to the victim’s difficulties. The victim’s physical and psychological recovery should be the primary focus, the car accident claim secondary.
If you or a loved was injured in a motor vehicle accident, this is what you need to know.
Photos photos photos and the USEFUL use of your cell phone!
Taking photographs of the accident scene and the damage to all vehicles involved is very useful. Everyone now own a cell phone and capable of taking photos. If you’re not badly injured, NOW IS THE TIME TO USE YOUR CELL! I promise you won’t get ticketed for it, on the contrary, the lawyer you hire will praise you!
If you don’t have anything to write on, take a picture of the vehicle’s license plate, the other driver’s license and insurance information, even snap a photo of the parties involved if you can. With your cell phone, you have no excuse not to have gathered the important information you will need to start a claim. If your injuries are such that you can’t take the photos yourself, assign someone to do it for you.
If there are any witnesses, take their names and contact information. Again, if you have no pen or pencil, TEXT the information to yourself, or take a photograph of their information! CONTINUE READING ONLINE
Immediately seek medical attention or as soon as possible. If an ambulance is called, it is suggested you use it.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
STEP 1 – STOP – If your vehicle is involved, you need to stop. If you don’t, you may subject to criminal prosecution.
STEP 2 – CALL 911 – if anyone is injured; the total damage to the vehicle exceeds $1,000; you suspect any of the drivers is guilty of a Criminal Code offence (DUI, texting, etc.) – Police will arrive shortly. Do not try to move anyone injured in the accident. If damages seem to be less than $1,000, take the information as specified above in writing or with your cell phone.
STEP 3 – MOVE your vehicle out of the way if it is safe to do so. If it cannot be driven, put on your hazard lights or use cones if available. Keep flares in your vehicle and use at night time.
STEP 4 – WRITE/TEXT/TAKE PICTURES of names, addresses, phone, driver’s license, plates, insurance information and registered owners of the vehicles. Same for all witnesses.
STEP 5 – JOT down specific details about the scene using accident worksheet or taking pictures. If you can, find out whether the other driver(s) were driving their own vehicle and if not, whether they had permission from the vehicle owner.
STEP 6 – ASAP report the accident to your insurance company. This should be done preferably within 7 days, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. Please note that reporting damages to your vehicle and reporting your injuries are things that need to be done with two different departments of your insurance company.
Accident benefits are the legal way you can claim compensation as a result of sustaining injuries in a car accident whether or not you were at fault. These benefits may include income replacement, caregiver, non-earner, occupational therapy, rehabilitation therapy, attendant care, housekeeping and home maintenance (only with optional insurance clauses), expenses of visitors, medical benefits, and other expenses. Your insurer will be in a position to explain all these to you and provide you with all the appropriate forms to complete. You need to complete these forms within 30 days.
The amounts available for accident benefits depend on the type of car insurance you purchased and whether you opted for optional clauses.
Not all accidents will lead to legal proceedings. It will depend on the injuries suffered and the severity of the disability caused by those injuries and whether or not there is an income loss. There are different types of damages. If you have been injured in a car accident and you are not at fault for the accident (you did not cause the accident), you need to formally start legal proceedings against the at-fault driver as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, do not hesitate to call Sheila at Lancaster Brooks & Welch LLP today for your free consultation 905-646-1177