There are all different kinds of accidents. They can range from a bump in a parking lot, to a fender-bender at an intersection, to a horrible wreck on the highway. Thankfully, the advanced vehicle safety features that can save your life available on most modern vehicles keep us more protected than we have ever been in our vehicles.
Car crashes are always scary, but that why we have car insurance. Collision car insurance coverage will ensure that should you end up in an accident involving another vehicle and you are in good standing with your provider, the repairs for your vehicle will be provided for by your insurance company. If the accident is found to be your fault or partially your fault, remember, however, that you will be required to pay your deductible. If you are not at fault, your deductible will be waived.
Dashboard cameras are becoming more and more popular as a way to record exactly what happened during an accident and give your insurance company with additional information proving your actions behind the wheel.
Immediately After an Accident
- Stay calm. Take a moment to breathe deeply and make sure you’re not hurt.
- If you are not hurt, check on others who may be in the vehicle.
- Call 911 immediately if anyone is injured.
- If your vehicle is still drivable, move it to the side or shoulder of the road
- If it is immobile, put on your hazard lights.
- Call the police if any vehicle involved in the accident can’t be moved.
- If safe to do so, check on the well-being of others.
Reporting the Accident to Police
In Calgary, there are several circumstances under which you are required by law to report an accident to police. They include:
- Accidents resulting in more than $2,000 in property damage. This can include your vehicle and anything else that was damaged, such as a fence, parking stanchion, tree, etc.
- Accidents that caused damage to public buildings or public property
- Accidents that caused injuries to one or more people
- Accidents in which criminal offences (fleeing the scene, suspicion of impaired driving) are a factor
Exchanging Insurance and Contact Information
You need to also exchange contact and vehicle insurance information with the other drivers involved in the accident, regardless of whether or not the police need to respond to the scene of the collision. We all have a cell phone with a camera. This is the best time to use them!
If safe to do so, take pictures of everything at the scene, including:
- The licence plates of the vehicles involved
- All visible damage
- The intersection or street where the accident occurred
Information you should obtain includes (it might be easier to take a picture of these, too):
- The full names, addresses and telephone numbers of all the other drivers involved in the crash
- The names of their insurance providers and policy numbers
- The full names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses
After documenting the scene and obtaining contact information from the other parties in the accident, leave the scene if it is safe to do so and if your vehicle is in drivable condition.
Notifying Your Auto Insurance Company
Next, you should contact your insurance company to report the accident, whether or not you plan to file a damage claim. Report:
- All details and circumstances of the collision
- Injuries or property damage, if any
It is very important to do this promptly, especially if you need to file a claim, since reporting a collision too late can affect your compensation eligibility.
It is Not Advisable to …
- Accept fault for the crash, either verbally or in writing
- Pay for damages at the scene
- Negotiate a settlement with other involved parties
- Agree to “drive away and forget about it”
All parties involved in a collision have responsibilities, and it’s especially important to be diligent if property damage or injuries have occurred.
Accident Forgiveness Insurance
Accident forgiveness insurance is one option for your car insurance that many opt for in case of the virtually inevitable. According to Forbes.com, if you start driving at age 16, by the time you are 70 you will likely have filed three car insurance claims, or one every 18 years. In essence, accident forgiveness clauses mean that your car insurance in Calgary won’t go up after your first at-fault or partially at-fault accident.
Lane’s Provides Options for Your Auto Insurance Needs
If you have any other questions, the knowledgeable insurance professionals at Lane’s Insurance are here to help. Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage, offering competitive rates, money-saving insurance bundles and outstanding customer service and claims support.
Lane’s Insurance has access to the best car insurance from the most reputable providers in Calgary. Trust the expert brokers at Lane’s for all your insurance advice.