4 Calls to Make After a Car Accident
The moments following a car accident can be intimidating, confusing and scary. Regardless of if there was another passenger in your car or not, you don’t have to navigate your next steps after a collision alone. Instead, these are four calls you should make after of an accident to get the support you need.
- Call 911. If you, one of your passengers or the occupant of another vehicle has been seriously injured in the course of the collision, your first call should be for emergency assistance. Depending on the seriousness of the collision, it might be difficult to remain composed while making the call, but the more calm you are able to answer questions and relay information to the operator, the better they’ll be able to help you. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission gives the following advice for making a 911 call:
- Tell the operator the nature and location of your emergency as soon as they ask for it;
- Give the operator your phone number so they can reach you if your call is disconnected;
- If your call is disconnected, call back; and
- Stay on the line and follow the instructions of the operator until they ask you to hang up.
- The police. Even if there is no emergency medical concerns as a result of the accident, you may still need to contact law enforcement officials. Legally, you are required to call the police after a collision in the following circumstances:
- Someone is injured;
- The total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be more than $2,000; or
- You suspect one of the drivers involved is guilty of a Criminal Code offense, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Your insurance provider. After you’ve assessed the accident and determined whether or not emergency services or the police need to be involved, your next concern should be collecting the necessary information to make an insurance claim. You’ll want to record the following:
- Driver and passenger names;
- License plate numbers;
- Insurance information;
- Contact details for witnesses.
In addition, you can use your phone to take pictures of all the cars involved. You can call your car insurance provider from the scene of the accident, as they can advise what information you’ll need to make a claim. Even if you and the other drivers agree to settle without going through your insurer, you should notify your provider of the accident in case someone changes their mind and submits a claim against you or files a police report.
4. Multiple mechanics. If you need to visit a mechanic to fix any damage from the collision, be sure to get quotes from multiple professionals before choosing someone to service your vehicle. You should also ask your insurer if they have a preferred repair shop in your community.
Before you get any work done, make sure your insurance company agrees to pay for all repairs, and find out how they handle supplemental repairs in case the mechanic finds more damage to your vehicle than was originally assessed. Ask for an official receipt that details the work completed, along with the name and address of the shop, since you’ll likely need this to submit with your claim.
The aftermath of an accident can be stressful, whether it’s managing an emergency medical situation or handling the paperwork to submit your insurance claim. The last call you’ll want to make is to a best friend, spouse or family member who can help you cope with the fallout from your collision.