A car accident can be a shocking and traumatizing experience that catches you off-guard and throws you off. However, the following steps after ensuring safety are critical to your car accident claim and can significantly impact the outcome.

In this blog, we will look at the five most common mistakes people make after a car accident in Ontario so you can avoid them and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.

Failing to Collect Evidence

In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, your first concern should be your well-being and that of others involved. But if you can, take the time to collect as much available evidence as possible.

Beginning with identification and insurance information of the other persons involved in the accident. Always ask to see the insurance information and driver’s licences because you must ensure that you have the correct information.

If possible, take pictures of the accident scene, such as damage, weather conditions or skid marks, anything valuable to prove the case. Ask for the contact information of any witnesses so you or your lawyer can contact them later.

Even if you feel that something may not be relevant, try to gather it, just in case; you never know if it may prove to be a vital piece of the puzzle later on.

Not Seeking Medical Treatment

Seeking medical treatment is a critical step, even if you do not feel your injuries are that severe. Even if it is a hassle to go to the hospital or doctor, there are excellent reasons to do so:

  • Evidence of your injuries. Insurance companies and, if applicable, the courts will require proof of your injuries. One of the pivotal elements of any insurance claim is the extent and severity of your injuries and their impact on your everyday life.
  • You may not feel the extent of your injuries yet. Some injuries are not immediately visible or noticeable, such as a concussion, whiplash or, in more severe cases, internal bleeding. The adrenaline rush after an accident can mask a lot of pain that may only come rushing in once the adrenaline in your system goes down. It is critical to seek the help of an experienced medical professional to ensure all of your injuries are diagnosed and documented.

For precisely these reasons, you should also not settle quickly with your insurance company. Your insurance may pressure you to settle your claim quickly and often for a fraction of the amount you would be entitled to. It is in your best interest to have any claim and document offered reviewed by a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests.

Failing to Report the Accident

Police at car accident

Ontario Law mandates that you must notify the police immediately after any car accident resulting in an injury or with damage to all vehicles appearing to be greater than $2,000. If nobody was injured and the estimated damage is below $2,000, you have 24 hours to report the accident to a Collision Reporting Centre.

Reporting the accident is also critical for your Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits eligibility. Unless extenuating circumstances prevent you from doing so, you must report the accident to your insurance company within seven days. Failing to do so may lead to a delay, or you may lose the right to receive them altogether.

Discussing the Accident on Social Media

In our digital world, everything is being discussed on social media, whether on X/Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more. One downside is that it has become much easier for defence lawyers and insurance companies to keep track of these conversations, similar to prospective employers doing social media checks on applicants.

Insurance companies are businesses looking to protect their bottom lines, so they will use any information against you, whether admission of fault, photos, activities you should not be able to do with the injuries claimed, etc. 

Not Contacting an Ontario Personal Injury Lawyer

Regardless of which type of claim you are pursuing, having legal counsel by your side is critical. Any party you are going up against, whether your own or someone else’s insurance, will have lawyers represent them, trying to downplay your claim or even outright reject it. Laws can be challenging to navigate and interpret, and without experience in the matter, you might not be aware of what you are entitled to.

Whether you have been involved in a car accident, a motorcycle accident or a pedestrian accident, a personal injury lawyer can be invaluable in protecting your interests and ensuring you can get the compensation you deserve.

What to Do After a Car Accident

There are some critical steps to take after a car accident to ensure you are protected.

Prioritize Safety

First and foremost, ensure you and everyone involved in the accident is safe. Move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the side of the road, to prevent further accidents or injuries. Turn on your hazard lights and set up warning triangles or cones to alert other drivers if possible. Check yourself and others for injuries, and call emergency services immediately if medical attention is required.

Gather Evidence

Exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. Gather details such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information. Make sure to see the driver’s licence and insurance information to get the correct information.

Woman taking photo of car accident on her phone for evidence

Use your smartphone or camera to document the accident scene thoroughly. Take photos of the vehicles, their positions, and any damage sustained. Capture images of the surrounding area, road conditions, traffic signals, and relevant signage. These visuals can serve as valuable evidence for insurance claims and legal proceedings. If there are any witnesses, try to obtain their contact information in case it is needed later.

Avoid admitting fault or making statements that could be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

Any evidence can support your claim, even if it may seem insignificant at first glance.

Seek Medical Attention

Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may call an ambulance. Still, even if your injuries are not severe at first, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure there are no underlying conditions, such as a concussion or whiplash, and to document your injuries. Any insurance company and lawyer you will deal with will require as much documentation about the extent of your injuries as possible.

Report the Accident

As mentioned above, Ontario Law mandates that you must notify the police immediately after any car accident resulting in an injury or with damage to all vehicles appearing to be greater than $2,000. If nobody was injured and the estimated damage is below $2,000, you have 24 hours to report the accident to a Collision Reporting Centre.

You also have seven days to report the car accident to your insurance company to qualify for Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Beyond Law offers a free, confidential consultation for critical counsel to lay out your options and discuss the next steps in the process.

A personal injury lawyer will not only protect your interests but also have experience with the process and insurance companies, their tricks to downplay or dismiss claims and ensure you can get the compensation you deserve.

Conclusion

In conclusion, contacting a car accident lawyer immediately after an accident is critical. This will ensure you know your legal rights and are protected against your information being used against you. Due to the complexity of personal injury law, competent legal representation is crucial to protect your right to fair compensation.

When you or a loved one is injured, contact a Toronto car accident lawyer at Beyond Law immediately to find out how we can help you. Call us at 416.613.1225 or fill out our convenient online form.

Beyond Law offers free, no-obligation consultation sessions to identify potential compensation paths and help you understand the law and your rights.

Wherever you live in Ontario, Beyond Law is here to help in your time of need.