If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, here are some useful tips to help you.
It may seem obvious, but if it is a minor accident it might be easy to just shrug it off and keep driving. Don’t. If your vehicle is involved in a collision and you don’t stop, you may be subject to demerit points or criminal prosecution.
Do not move anyone injured in the collision — you may aggravate their injuries.
Do not stand in between two vehicles or behind the vehicle to inspect damage, as your safety could be jeopardized.
All passengers should walk to a safe place nearby if they are not seriously injured, and the car(s) cannot be moved.
If your vehicle is drivable, there are no serious injuries and the area is safe, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of traffic.
Failure to protect your vehicle from further damage after the incident, as far as reasonably possible, may limit the compensation provided by your insurance company.
Except: In cases where there is a serious injury or a suspected impaired driver, vehicles need to remain where they are so the collision scene can be investigated.
If your vehicle is not drivable, turn on your hazard lights, or use cones, warning triangles or flares.
REPORT TO THE POLICE
You must report to the police in any of the following circumstances:
- If anyone is injured.
- If any driver does not have documentation such as a driver’s licence, registration or insurance.
- If one or more of the vehicles isn’t drivable.
- If the total damage to all the vehicles and property appears to be more than $2,000 (as of January 1, 2011), you must go to a police station and file a Collision Report Form. Failure to do so could result in demerit points or a fine. Note the file number the police have assigned to your report.
- If you damage or knock down any traffic safety device, railroad sign or signal, a traffic signal of any kind, a parking meter or any public property you must report the damage to the police immediately, even if the damages are less than $2,000 (as of January 1, 2011).
- If the driver is incapable of making the report, a passenger should file the report, or the owner of the vehicle upon learning about the collision.
- Auto body shops are prohibited from making collision-related repairs of more than $2,000 (as of January 1, 2011) to any vehicle that does not have a damage sticker. The sticker indicates that the collision has been reported to the police.
- Auto wreckers are prohibited from destroying a vehicle damaged in a collision without a police-issued damage sticker. These businesses are required to contact the police before doing any work on the vehicle if there is no sticker.
EXCHANGE CONTACT AND INSURANCE INFORMATION
You must exchange contact and insurance information with all parties involved. Collect as much information about the collision as possible, and take pictures if you can. A Collision Worksheet is available – it is recommended that you print a copy and keep it in your glove compartment along with a pen to help you gather all the necessary information at the scene.
If the driver of a vehicle is incapable of providing the information required, and there is a passenger capable, the passenger should provide that information.
If someone refuses to provide their information, document the licence plate number, vehicle description and driver description before they leave the scene.
If the collision involved an unattended vehicle or other property, you must notify the owner of any damage you may have caused. If you are unable to locate the owner, you must securely attach your name, address, phone number, driver’s licence number and licence plate number to the damaged vehicle.
LEAVE THE SCENE
You may leave the scene only after you have exchanged information with all parties involved, the authorities have been notified if required, and any injured parties have been tended to.
If your vehicle is not drivable you must make arrangements for it to be removed from the road, otherwise a police officer may make those arrangements and your vehicle will be deemed abandoned. If your vehicle is drivable you can leave the collision scene.
- Voluntarily assume liability, take responsibility, or sign statements regarding fault.
- Pay, or promise to pay, for damages at the scene of the collision.
- Agree to forget about the collision.
- Accept money or discuss any settlement.