Know the Steps, from Contacting Emergency Services to Consulting a Car Accident Lawyer in Ottawa
No one plans on being in an accident-but everyone should plan for the possibility that it could happen to them. This kind of forethought could make a world of difference in what follows your accident, from recovery, to the inevitable legal consequences of the at-fault party in an accident. Some of the recommended steps will depend on the severity of the accident, while others are universal and should always be taken. Here are an Ottawa car accident lawyer's recommended actions to take following a vehicle accident:
Assessing Your Situation
The moments immediately following a collision can be the most disorienting-and the most vital, even if you don't suspect an injury. The first things you need to do, if you are able, are turn on your hazard lights and put your gear into park. If it is immediately apparent that someone has been injured, call 911 right away, even if the injury seems minor. It is not uncommon for a small pain to later reveal itself to be a life-threatening injury, so don't dismiss even the smallest aches or pains.
In Severe Accidents
When you call 911, be as accurate as possible about your location and condition. While you wait for emergency response crews to arrive, do not attempt to remove yourself or any of your passengers from your vehicle if it seems to take undue strain, lest you exacerbate the potential damage. When crews arrive, cooperate fully with them-they are trained professionals, and they are here to help. Don't discuss issues of fault, negligence, or other legal matters with anyone until you have the opportunity to speak to an Ottawa car accident lawyer.
In Minor Accidents
These include minor collisions with other drivers, or other accidents where the apparent damage is small or you are able to get up and walk after. It's still important to call 911 if anyone appears to be injured, and necessary in Ontario to report any accident to police if:
- The damage is estimated to be over $1,000
Your vehicle is no longer drivable
There has been damage to public property
The other driver has no license or proof of insurance on them
If you are able to, take photos of the damage, and speak to witnesses at the scene of a collision, collecting the names, phone numbers, and addresses of any witness who is willing to provide testimony if it becomes necessary. Exchange information with the other driver-but do not, under any circumstances, accept a cash offer or other deal. To make sure that you receive fair compensation and follow the proper channels, contact an Ottawa car accident lawyer as soon as you are able.