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What to do in the event of a road accident

Last update: Sep. 3, 2015, at 4:29 pm

With hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the road, collisions and accidents are inevitable.


What’s more, curious onlookers can turn an accident area into a bumper car track during rush hour. Below is a summary of what you should and should not do to stay safe in the event of a road accident.

Do not leave the scene!

First, stop your vehicle. Before assessing the damage to your vehicle, make sure you and your passengers are not injured. If anyone is, call 911 immediately.

Approach the situation calmly

Now it’s time to go talk to the other motorists involved. The key is to stay calm. Blame and insults won’t get you anywhere. It’s important to keep in mind that your vehicle is just an object and you’re safe and sound at this point.

You should, however, call 911 immediately if a motorist:

  • Seems to be hurt or in danger
  • Seems to be impaired
  • Refuses to cooperate
  • Flees the scene

If everything is okay, assess the damage to the vehicles.

If you’re driving in Ontario: You are required to call the police in all cases. If they don’t see a need to go to the scene, you must contact the collision reporting centre within 24 hours of the accident. The centre will help you complete a police report, and the damage will be photographed by centre staff.

If you’re driving in Quebec: You must complete a Joint Report. If you’re a Desjardins client, your insurance certificate was sent with a Desjardins accident report (PDF), which contains all the fields that need to be completed for the purposes of exchanging information between the drivers involved. If you don’t have this document handy, you should exchange the following information: name, address, phone number, licence plate number, driver’s licence number and insurance policy number.

 

Report it

Lastly, you must report the accident to your insurance company in a matter of hours. Desjardins has 24-hour emergency service across Canada and the United States. This step is critical, even if the accident seems minor. If you don’t report an accident, you may be held liable for it, in which case it’s your word against the other driver’s. Plus, with your insurance policy, your vehicle will be put into the hands of a professional adjuster and an auto body expert, who will restore your vehicle. If you’re injured, you’ll also benefit from a bodily injury claim. You therefore have no reason not to report an accident!


Other topics of interest:

Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and to Certas Direct Insurance Company in Ontario and Alberta. Certain restrictions, exclusions and limitations may apply.

Ajusto is available from Desjardins Insurance. ® Ajusto is a registered trademark of Desjardins General Insurance Inc., used with permission by Certas Direct Insurance Company. The discount does not apply to certain endorsements and additional coverages. It will be automatically applied to the premium at the time of renewal. Ajusto is only available in Ontario and Quebec.

All information is provided for information purposes only, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for it. We recommend using caution and consulting a property and casualty insurance agent for comprehensive, personalized advice.

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