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What to do if you are in a car accident – 6 pieces of critical information

I recently saw this tweet from Kim Gardner and despite her being an Anaheim Ducks fan, I decided to help ;

Young or old, it is a good idea to prepare ahead for a car accident and hope you never need to use the knowledge you have gained. Quite often, such information is available to print out and keep in your glove box for when you need it, or in the case for our clients, it is also available in our Client Centre app which is available to download and always have with you in your phone.

First and foremost, make sure everyone is safe. If it is a serious accident, or if anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Take whatever precautions are necessary to ensure safety which is the most important thing.  Do not try to move anyone that is, or may be injured. If the total damage to all vehicles involved appears to be more than $2000 or if you suspect that any of the other drivers involved are guilty of a criminal code offence, (such as diving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), call 911. If it is a minor accident, move cars safely away from traffic and activate your hazard lights. Stay calm and take precautions.

DO NOT sign any documentation other than a police report.

DO NOT admit/assume fault, even if you think you’re at fault – from an insurance perspective, that will be up to the insurance companies to figure out.

Information to Gather at the Scene of a Car Accident

It is best to gather as much information as you can to provide to your insurance broker or company. As much information as possible will allow you to accurately describe what happened and provide that information to your car insurance broker. Only gather such information when and where it is safe to do so:

Navigating a Car Accident – Click to enlarge
  1. Date and Time of Accident
    • include location, cross-streets and description of the situation and road conditions.  Take pictures or jot down a sketch if your phone is not available.
  2. Damage
    • Note the damage to your car and other cars involved.  Ideally, a picture is worth a 1000 words, so use your phone and capture pictures of everything.  If you are a client of ours, all this is built in to the Rhodes & Williams Insurance Broker app
  3. Other Driver information
    • Driver’s License, Pink Card (liability insurance Slip), License Plate, Registration.  Taking a picture again will allow you to capture other important information like Name, Address, contact numbers, email, etc.
  4. Other Drivers Car information
    • Year, make model, policy number and insurance company, if not captured in your picture of their pink slip
  5. Witness Information
    • Ideally, if there are witnesses available who clearly saw what happened, get their name, contact information and email address.
  6. If the police have attended the scene, record the officer’s name, badge number and police report number.

Report all of your information to your insurance broker as soon as possible (or click submit in the Rhodes & Williams Insurance client app). Your insurance broker works for you, so ask for their direction and help in reporting the claim to your insurance company. If your insurance broker is not available, contact your insurance company directly (quite often, that information will be listed on your pink card, or most brokers will have after hours emergency support listed on their website or after-hours phone numbers).

One other quick note – there have been reports about shady tow truck operator tactics. Many tow truck drivers are respectable and trustworthy, but knowing the difference between the two types is very difficult, so if your car needs to be towed, it is best to contact your insurance broker or company before you let them “hook you up”. Here are 7 things to know about dealing with tow truck drivers.

Of course, nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but by knowing how to react in case of a car accident, you can venture out without worrying. There is more information to drivers at Kim, I hope your son find this information helpful, and please ask him to drive cautiously and safely so he never needs it.

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