Road accidents are a common thing in Canada. There can be several reasons behind car collisions on the road. So, what to do in a car accident in Alberta?
First, you must understand that the matter can quickly become complicated both legally and financially. Not to mention, you and others involved in the collision can be seriously injured. Therefore, it is crucial to know precisely what you should do to ensure how you can protect yourself adequately.
In this article, we will look into a step-by-step approach to handling the aftermaths of a car accident. You will gain knowledge on the everyday things to do during every possible vehicle collision scenario.
Drivers’ Duties after a Car Accident in Alberta
The Traffic Safety Act is developed to ensure a fair and informative approach towards road accidents. Section 69 of the act talks about the duties of drivers after a vehicle accident takes place.
According to section 69(1), drivers involved in a car accident on a highway should remain on the accident scene. Therefore, you cannot flee away right after an accident. Just remaining on the scene of the accident is not enough. It would help if you aided the other driver. This is also applicable to the other driver involved in the accident. Both the drivers should carefully investigate possible injuries, witness information, and any other relevant damages.
The duties of drivers also include exchanging necessary pieces of information regarding each other’s name, address, phone number, and license plate number. These activities fall under the unavoidable duties of drivers involved in a road accident.
What to Do in a Car Accident in Alberta: 5 Steps to Take Immediately after a Collision
Now that you know your duties in an accident, you need to be precise on the next steps you take a right after a collision. If your luck is in favor, the other driver may help you out. On the other hand, being entirely in the dark can entice the other driver involved in the accident to use the situation in his or her favor. Therefore, here are five steps you should take immediately after a car accident.
Step 1: Stop driving and remain calm
After a collision, you should remind yourself of your duties under the Traffic Safety Act. It is entirely illegal to flee a scene of an accident in Canada. If you do not stop your car and drive away, the other driver can sue you, and you will have to face criminal prosecution. Moreover, driving away can earn you demerit points over your license.
Step 2: Check for any physical or property damage
Most car accidents result in any involved personnel being injured from the collision. Sometimes, even pedestrians and other people crossing the road can get injured. Your second task would be to get out of the car and inquiry whether anyone got severely injured or not. Even if the other driver is hurt, you should call 911 immediately for emergency medical support.
However, you cannot take others to the hospital in your car. The other driver also should not drive away to the hospital in his or her car without your consent or support. Nevertheless, if no one is injured and the vehicles are in good shape to drive, the cars can be moved to the side of the road.
If the accident has caused damages to any vehicle on the road, it should not be driven at any cost. The hazard lights can be turned on, and/or cones can be placed on the road to avoid any blockades. It is a must to call 911 and ask the local police to come to the accident scene.
Step 3: Exchange necessary information with each other
Once you have found yourself and your vehicle in reasonable condition, it is time to communicate with the other driver involved in the accident. In this step, you and the other driver must discuss some key and essential pieces of information. Here, you must also make sure to avoid asking and providing some sensitive information.
First of all, you must not pay or try to pay the other driver any compensation. You must also not promise any payment upfront to the other driver. In addition, you must not take any money from the other driver either. Moreover, you should not agree to forget about the accident at all. All these can be held against you if the accident reaches court.
What you should do is obtain the necessary information regarding the driver and the car. These include noting down the license plate number and the driver’s license number, the name of the insurance provider of the other car, the insurance policy number, and name of the insurance company, and the name and phone number of the driver.
If the driver refuses to comply, you can first request that this is an unavoidable step. Then, if there is still no support, you should immediately file a police report and mention the situation.
Step 4: Report the incident to the police
The law of Alberta requires drivers to report an accident within 24 hours of the accident. There are three scenarios where you must report the accident. Firstly, the damages need to be more than $2000. If you are unsure about the value of the damages, you can still file a report to be on the safe side. Secondly, any form of injury, be it minor or significant, makes drivers obligated to report the accident. Finally, you must file a police report if the accident was a hit and run.
After you file your report, you will be provided with your case number card and a statement copy. If you seek compensation from your insurance provider, the company will ask for these pieces of information. In case the damage exceeds $2000, you will also receive a collision sticker. This will inform the police that the accident resulted in some form of damage, and you can then go to any auto repair shop for damage repair.
How to file a report to the police
You must go to the nearest police station if there are no injuries and the vehicle is drivable. You should go to the police within 24 hours of the accident. Once you go to the police station, the officer at duty will provide you with an Albertacollision Report Form for you to fill up. You will have to fill up the information with your information and the pieces of information you collected from the other driver involved in the accident.
In the police station, you will have to provide a few documents as well. The driving license of the driving license, the vehicle’s registration certificate, and the vehicle’s insurance documents must be provided to the on-duty police.
Step 5: Report the insurance company about the accident
Your insurance provider should be a private company. These companies usually operate within their protocols. As a result, you should report the car accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible.
After you report the accident, the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to investigate the claim and reach a conclusion after the investigation. The claim adjuster will inform the insurance company about their findings, and the insurance company will further assist you with the next steps.
Things can be shady after you are involved in a car accident. Being involved in a collision in Canada might make your life miserable if you do not correctly handle the accident’s aftermath. So what to do in a car accident in Alberta? First, you should ensure that you do not flee the incident and go to the police within the next 24 hours. Second, you may feel anxious and have a panic attack after a car accident. While this is entirely normal, you must make sure not to do something that can backfire in the long run. The step-by-step approach can guide you not to make a single mistake after a car accident.
What do I do if I have a minor car accident in Alberta?
If you require medical support, you should immediately call 911. After that, you must file a police report about the car accident and your injuries within 24 hours.
What is the first thing you should do when involved in a car accident?
The first thing you should do is keeping a calm head and ensuring proper safety. It would be best if you never drove away from the scene.
How long does it take to settle a car accident claim in Alberta?
The settlement of a car accident claim in Alberta can be settled at any time before the claim reaches trial. However, if it goes to trial, it can take around four years to settle.
How long do accidents stay on record in Alberta?
In Alberta, accidents will stay on record for as long as six years. This means that your car insurance rates will be affected for six years.
What should you not say to your insurance company after an accident?
It would help if you did not accept fault to the insurance company after an accident. Along with this, make sure not to provide too much information to the insurance adjuster.