Car accidents. Some can be minor, some can be serious, but all are inconvenient. Car accidents can happen to anyone – regardless of how good of a driver you are. That’s why it’s important to know what to do if you are ever involved in one.
What to do if you are involved in an accident and advice when dealing with repair and tow truck services
If you have never been in a car accident before, making roadside assistance calls or calling a tow truck can be daunting, especially after the shock of the car accident. To help you prepare and plan in case of a car accident, we've compiled some post-accident tips:
- Safety first – ensure everyone in your vehicle, including yourself, is safe. If the car accident is serious, call emergency services immediately.
- Move vehicle – if you’re able to move your vehicle, move it to an area where there is less traffic, such as a sideroad or a parking lot.
- Call your insurance company – call your insurance company right away. They’ll be able to help you with next steps, including providing you with information on where you can take your vehicle for repairs and also arrange a rental car (if applicable). Your insurance company can help ensure that your towed vehicle is taken to a competent repair shop by a reliable tow truck service.
- Exchange information – exchange information with the other driver(s). Information you should obtain includes:
- Driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license, and license plate;
- Vehicle owner name (may be different than the driver);
- Insurance information, including insurance company name and policy number;
- Vehicle make and model;
- All third party occupant names, as well as their position in the vehicle.
- Take photos – take pictures of your vehicle, as well as the other driver’s car. These photos could be helpful for your insurance provider, especially if disputes arise later.
- File an accident report – most provinces require accidents that exceed a certain amount be reported to the police. If the accident is serious and/or injuries are being claimed, it is important to call police right away.
- Insist on your tow truck driver taking your car to the repair shop recommended by your insurance company or broker, not a repair service pushed by any other company.
- Be careful of what you sign! – often a tow truck will appear at a scene of an accident. Occasionally a tow truck may have you sign a form. Always be sure to fully read the document, including all fine print and don’t sign anything you don’t understand. Signing forms you don’t fully read and/or understand can lead to problems down the road, including repair shops forcing you to have repairs completed at their facilities and even holding your vehicle hostage.
Assistance from your insurance company
Being involved in a car accident can be an overwhelming, upsetting experience; however, your insurance company is here to help you. Following the tips listed above will go a long way to assist your insurance company help you and ensure your insurance claim is handled as smoothly and stress-free as possible.