If you want to report an accident in Alberta, you should not wait more than twenty-four hours. That is because accident incidents that turn into police cases either involve death or severe injury.
It is best to report such crucial incidents as soon as possible, as they can get complicated before you realize.
If you want to report for insurance coverage, you have a window for two years. But it is not best to wait that long. Although, it is best to check your insurance policy before you take any decision.
That’s because how long you wait may affect your insurance claims and coverages. Thus, know your insurance policies by heart.
If you know your options, it helps to make a better decision. However, the deadline will also vary depending on the magnitude of your accident.
Now I will discuss the timeline of reporting an accident based on its type.
Section B Accidents
If you are a victim of a no-fault accident under Section B, you have a maximum of two years to sue the other driver.
In case you fail to report within two years, you will not receive any coverage against it. That is because the insurance usually covers all the medical costs concerning the accident.
This two-year rule is effective for both adults and infants in the vehicles during the accident.
Accidents Involving Minors
Minors aren’t able to manage their financial issues. Thus, in Alberta, the Public Trustee office takes care of the affairs of these people.
Therefore, if you are a minor and are involved in an accident, do not forget to apply to the Public Trustee Office before claiming your damages.
Even though your parents have the right to make your personal decisions, they cannot handle your money.
What will Happen If Someone Fails to Report an Accident Within the Given Time?
Timing is essential for insurance coverage. Just because Alberta law gives you two years to sue, you should not wait that long.
How long you wait might affect your reasoning with your insurance. For instance, making a claim will become harder than usual as you wait to file it. They might even deny your claim.
That’s because as you wait, your credibility decreases. For example, you claim you have an injury from an accident you had ten months ago.
How will the insurance company know for sure that you are telling the truth? The in-fault driver will get the chance to make his/her way out of it.
Thus, the sooner you report, the better. Besides, the insurance company doesn’t want to cover the car damages if you have waited for too long.
Sometimes, you may not want to claim at all. You may think the accident wasn’t worth the insurance hassle. But even though you feel like that, you must report your insurance company.
That’s because if the other party claims before you warning your insurance company, things may go out of control. Thus, it is best to inform your insurance company even if you don’t want any coverage.
When to Involve the Police?
You must realize the adversity of an accident before making any decision. A minor collision or bump isn’t worth any hassle.
However, if your accident involves significant injury or death, call the police immediately. Even if you are at fault, make the call. You making a call can change your situation instead of trying to escape the scene.
That’s because if you call and prove that it was an accident, you may run severe charges. However, if you get panicked and flee the scene, severe charges will be pressed against you.
When you report to the police, there is some information that you will need to include in your report. These are as follows:
- Details of the vehicle (license plate number, model)
- Insurance identification number or policy number
- Description of the accident
- Other party’s information (license plate number, insurance identification number)
- Details of the injuries that happened due to the accident
- Details of the damages (if you can include photographs that will be better)
- Name of the officer who attended the scene of the accident.
If the accident involves death or massive injury, it is best if you call the police immediately. However, if the accident causes any property damage, you will have to pay around $2000 if you reside in Alberta.
Remember, do not report property damage over the phone. Instead, visit the police station or collision reporting center.
Suppose you are sure that the collision is simple and nothing serious to bother the police. Although, whatever is the size of your accident, inform your insurance company.
Do’s and Don’ts After an Accident
Always stay at the place of the accident, and make sure your attitude is cooperative. Even if you see that the other party is not agreeable, keep your calm and do the right thing.
Sometimes, this attitude will be with you for a long way. Besides, make sure you take the initiative of cleaning the scene after consulting with the police.
Moreover, please take photographs of the location. They can come in very handy later.
Don’t ever say something that will put you to blame, neither blame the other party. It is better not to discuss such things out in the open. Besides, these discussions can result in ugly outcomes.
Make sure you provide the same facts to everyone (police, insurance company). However, don’t provide any opinion.
It’s not your place to judge who is at fault, but remember to stay out of trouble.
Lastly, if you could take photos of the scene, do not share them on social media. These photos are only for police and insurance.
The wise decision in an accident is to report it immediately. However, always remember not to do anything wrong to stay away from trouble.
Undoubtedly, honesty is the best policy. Thus, if you report exactly what happened, that will save you a lot of trouble.
The rest is on your lawyer and the insurance company. Therefore, do not panic and inform the respective officials about the incident as soon as possible.
Besides, follow the proper protocol of doing it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a time limit to file an insurance claim?
Yes, there is a time limit to file an insurance claim. But, do not worry, you will find it in your insurance policy. Thus, remember to read your policy word to word. You will get to know about conditions and limits.
How long after an accident can you report an injury?
It is best if you report an accident that includes physical injury within thirty days. As I have mentioned before, you lose credibility if you wait too long to report an accident. Thus, register as soon as possible.
Is it a criminal Offence not to report an accident?
Yes, not reporting a significant accident is a criminal offense. You may even face severe penalties.
Will my insurance go up if someone hits me?
Yes, it will if you are the in-fault party. There have been cases of an increase of almost fifty percent of premium after people are at fault.
Is it illegal not to give insurance details after an accident?
Yes, because it is a requirement. When you inform the police, you are bound to provide your insurance information.