6 Best Practices if You’re in a Fender Bender
Reading this 4 minute blog can save you stress, unknowns – and even money.
Your eyes dart up to the rear-view mirror, for half a second, to tell your kids to stop fighting and when you look back to the road the car in front of you has come to a stop at a red light. You hit the brakes and narrowly miss a collision. The guy behind you unfortunately – isn’t so lucky, as he crunches into the rear quarter panel of your minivan.
1) When should you call 911?
Rule of thumb – if anyone involved in the accident is injured, call 911 immediately. Don’t move any injured passengers as it may worsen their condition. Simply follow the instructions given to you by the 911 operator.
2) Should you move your vehicle?
You may consider moving your vehicle to the side of the road if no one is injured, if there is minimal damage and both vehicles are operational, and it is safe to do so. If you can’t move your car, simply put the hazard lights on and leave the vehicle where it is – and move yourself out of harm’s way.
3) Do you need to report an accident to police?
By law, you must immediately report an accident to the police when:
- You suspect the combined damage to involved vehicles exceeds $2,000.
- Someone is injured or fatally injured.
- A criminal act caused the accident (distracted driving, DUI, etc.).
- The accident involves a government vehicle.
- One of the drivers is uninsured.
- The accident involves a pedestrian or cyclist.
- Damage is caused to a private or municipal property.
If your accident doesn’t meet any of the criteria you do not need to report to police, but you will need to visit the nearest Collision Reporting Centre within the first 24 hours of the accident to fill out a report. Here us a list for all the Collision Reporting Centres in Ontario.
4) What’s the best way to document damage and important info?
If you have a smartphone available – the best way to capture information quickly is by taking photos or videos of the damage done to your vehicle, and the position of the vehicles before moving them. This is also a good time to note factors like weather, road conditions, and the accident location.
Take a photo of the other driver’s license, vehicle license plate and insurance card.
If there are witnesses – get their contact information as well.
5) When can I leave the scene of an accident?
If you are involved in an accident, never leave the scene until all information has been shared, 911 has been called (if someone is injured or hurt) and police have arrived at the scene and taken your statement (if they are required). If you don’t remain at the scene you could be charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, which could mean a hefty fine or even jail time. Additionally, if you fail to report an accident to the correct authorities you may be charged.
6) When should I call my insurance broker?
Once all of the above steps have occurred (regardless of the severity of an accident or collision) you must report it to your insurance company to:
- Advise your broker an accident has occurred
- Vehicle involved
- Accident details
- Driver and insurance details of other parties involved
- Name of police officer (if called to the scene)
After your claim is submitted an insurance company claims adjuster will be in touch to discuss the steps moving forward. The adjuster will review the details of the loss to determine the fault in the accident. Once this is determined, the company will review your policy coverages to begin completing repairs to your vehicle as per your coverage.