No one begins the day with plans to be involved in an auto accident. Even so, information from the Ontario Collision Database indicates that just under 36,000 auto collisions took place during the calendar year of 2016. If you find yourself involved in a car accident, here are a few steps you should follow.
Stop and Take Stock of the Situation
The worst thing you could do is leave the scene of an accident. As any car accident lawyer will tell you, this action could lead to criminal prosecution.
Stop your vehicle and pull it over to the side if traffic is blocked. That provides you with an opportunity to make sure you have not sustained an injury. Remember if someone was in the vehicle with you, the other person also needs to be checked for injuries.
Contact the Authorities
Current laws require that accidents be reported if there anyone is injured, there is at least $2,000 worth of damage to the vehicles, or if there is reason to believe any of the drivers were operating vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The emergency operator will dispatch police officers to the scene. If anyone is injured, the operator will also arrange for medical help. While you wait for them to arrive, you can move on to other important tasks.
Take Images of the Damage
Use the camera feature of your smartphone to take images. You may also use the audio recording feature to capture audio while the accident is being discussed. Data of this nature is helpful when any of the personal injury lawyers you engage begin to evaluate the course of events and prepare to represent you.
Call Your Insurance Company
You can also use the time to contact your auto insurance provider and begin the claims process. Even if you are not at fault, alerting your insurance provider will ensure there is a permanent report on file. That could also come in handy later on if you do end up having to deal with a case in court.
Contact a Lawyer
You may or may not need the services of a personal injury lawyer. A lot depends on the particulars of the accident and whether anyone was hurt. Even so, there’s no reason why you must wait until the police arrive and statements are taken. Once you know the authorities are on the way, make a call and arrange to receive the legal assistance of a personal injury lawyer in Scarborough. That assistance may take the form of having a lawyer head for the site of the accident also and be present while you provide your statement to the police.
If you forget to reach out to an injury lawyer while at the scene, make it a priority to contact legal counsel as soon as possible. For example, if you sustained an injury and need medical attention first, call a lawyer after you have seen a doctor. It will be easy enough to arrange to meet with the lawyer after you have a good night’s sleep.
Remember that personal injury lawyers in Pickering are there to ensure your rights are protected at all times. This is true whether you are responsible for the accident or if you were the innocent party. Always seek legal counsel and be prepared to deal with whatever happens next. You’ll find having a lawyer available makes it easier to resolve the situation and get back to the business of living.