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I Got into an Accident! What Do I Do?

Is Everyone Okay After the Accident?

When in an accident, the very first thing you should do, if you are able to, is make sure everyone in your car is okay. If anyone is not okay or requires immediate service, please call 911 right away. If your vehicle is not in a safe place, move your vehicle out of the way. It is far worse to leave it where it could cause a further accident, then to leave the scene intact. Then turn off the ignition as soon as it is possible, and put your 4-way flashers on if needed to warn other drivers.

Assess the damage and decide if the you need to call the police. If there are no injuries, and it is only minor damage, then it is not necessary. It is always okay to call if you are not sure, but instead of 911 call the non-emergency line. In Halifax, it is 902-490-5020.

Everyone Is Okay, Now What?

Make sure to exchange drivers’ names, address, and phone #, as well as drivers license numbers. Also, the make, model, and license plate of any vehicles involved. These days, most people have smartphones, and you can make notes on them and take photos of the scene. It is always good to carry a pen and piece of paper in case. It is also helpful to get the other driver’s insurance policy # and company name even though you make the claim to your own company in Nova Scotia. If there are any independent witnesses at the scene, it would be a good idea to get their names and numbers as well. Try to make note of where you are, if possible.

Soon after the accident, add notes of everything you remember about what happened. It is easy to forget the details, or have your story change after you tell it a few times. Try to remember how fast you were going, how the road conditions were, and what happened to cause it. Draw pictures if it helps. Try not to admit guilt at the scene of the accident. Let your insurance company decide who is at fault.

Finally, contact your insurance company or broker to explain the situation. If the car is driveable and everyone is okay, it is fine to wait until you get home. However, you should report it as soon as it is possible. Your insurance adjustor or broker will tell you the next steps and what coverages you have available.

Hopefully, you will never find yourself in this situation, but it’s better to prepare than be unsure of what to do! Also, check out this emergency car kit checklist!