Sometimes, even the most experienced drivers can get into car accidents. They can happen when you least expect it! Even when you are following all of the rules of the road correctly. One out of three Canadians are involved in a car accident at some point in their life. At isure, we understand just how nerve-wracking a car accident can be. This is why we are here to help you with one of the first and most crucial steps to take after a car accident. Here is what you need to know regarding accident reports in Ontario.

What should my first steps be after an accident?

  1. Stop your vehicle and secure your safety. After the initial shock of being in a car accident wears off, you may be confused as to what to do. To begin, you are going to want to make sure you and your passengers are okay, as well as ensure the safety of the other driver involved. From there, turn on your four-way hazard lights and set up road flares if you have them. These are very important to have if you are on a dimly-lit road. From here, it is important to remain calm and stay inside your car (if safe to do so).
  2. Contact the police. Once you have relaxed a little, you should call your local police or 9-1-1 if there is an emergency. A 9-1-1 operator will assess the details you provide and dispatch the police, ambulance/and or fire to the scene if there are any serious injuries to yourself, passengers or in the other vehicle. However, if it’s just a fender bender, call you local police and they will dispatch an officer if you suspect there is damage over $2,000 or if you believe the other driver is intoxicated.
  3. Once safe, get out of your car. Once it is safe to get out of your vehicle, you are going to want to gather information from the other driver. This is for insurance purposes and so that you can accurately file an accident report, if needed.

What is an accident report?

When you get into a car accident, many questions seem to arise regarding the accident’s legal and insurance technicalities. In order to keep track of all of this information and keep yourself organized in case of any events, it is best to keep track of information regarding the incident. This is where an accident report comes in. Accident reports keep track of information regarding the accident so that your insurer knows exactly what happened at the time of the collision. It will also decipher who was at-fault and how the accident can be handled by insurance companies moving forward.

What is included in an accident report?

Making sure the details in your accident report are thorough is super important when it comes to ensuring your accident is handled properly. An accident report should always include the following information:

  • Name of the driver(s) involved
  • Date and time of the incident
  • Summary of the weather and road conditions at the time of the incident
  • Estimation of speed
  • Make and model of the vehicle(s) involved
  • A thorough description of the accident
  • Potential statements from onlookers or others involved

It is a great idea to keep a pen and paper in your glove compartment of your car in case this happens. You can also take notes on your cellular device or record a voice memo! You are going to want to gather information quick while it is fresh in your mind. It is also crucial to have these details recorded before talking to others that may influence your statement or alter your recollection of the accident. On top of taking down the important information, it is also best to take photographs that will clearly show any damage that has been done to the vehicle(s) involved. The more information you can send to your insurer, the better! When you are in an accident that involves another driver, it is crucial that you gather their information. This should include the following:

  • Name, address and phone number
  • Driver’s licence number
  • Vehicle make, model, colour and VIN (Vehicle Information Number)
  • Damage done to their vehicle
  • Insurance company
  • Insurance policy number and expiry
  • Registered owner of the vehicle (as it can be different from the driver)

If there are any witnesses who stopped, you should also ask for their names and contact details.

How do I file an accident report?

Now that you have acquired all of the information needed to file an accident report, you may be wondering how to go about filing one. Luckily enough, the province of Ontario has made it quite easy to file a report online using the information you’ve gathered. Simply fill out the online form provided on the government website. When it comes to the cost of your accident report, you have two options to choose from. An uncertified report will cost you $12, while a certified report will cost $18. Generally, a certified report contains a seal from the Ministry Of Transportation and is usually only used for legal purposes. This means that usually an uncertified report will do just fine.

When do I need to file an Accident Report?

Immediately! Ontario law actually requires you to report an incident to the police, on sight. If nobody is injured and you believe the damage to be quite minor, you still have 24 hours to report to your closest collision centre. The following are reasons when you need to file an incident report and contact the police:

  • Damage is over $2,000 between the two vehicles combined
  • If somebody is injured
  • The accident involves a government vehicle
  • You or the other driver have no insurance
  • You suspect someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Damage is caused to private or municipal property

What if I don’t file an Accident Report?

It can be tempting to want to skip out on filing an accident report to the police, especially minor accidents. Nobody wants an increase in their car insurance premiums. This makes it common for people to pay out of pocket and make a deal with the other driver involved. This can be risky though, because the other driver may change their mind and file an accident report later on. This may result in consequences, such as having your insurance cancelled.

Will this affect my insurance?

Generally, this will depend on the situation. It is always recommended to report any accidents to your provider. Contrary to popular belief, your insurance won’t always be affected by a car accident. Usually, your insurance provider will assess who was at-fault for the accident and from there, determine whether or not they believe you should see a hike in your premiums.

Remember, following the rules of the road is always crucial when it comes to avoiding car accidents. If you’re reading this article and believe you are in need of a new policy, want to make changes to an existing one or have any accident-relatrd questions, contact isure today.

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