In Edmonton, bustling streets and busy intersections are a daily sight. Yet, accidents can occur unexpectedly amidst the rhythm of traffic lights and the hum of engines. Navigating the moments immediately after a car accident can be disorienting, but knowing the right steps can make all the difference for your well-being and potential legal matters. In this guide, we’ll provide a step-by-step approach for Edmontonians to ensure safety, legal protection, and peace of mind following an accident.
First, Ensure Everyone is Safe
The first and most important thing is to make sure you and everyone involved in the accident is safe. Check for immediate and obvious injuries, and if you have broken bones or are experiencing a lot of pain, stay where you are. If you can, assess your passengers and help them if possible. If they have broken bones or are experiencing a lot of pain, do not move them. Call emergency services and let the attendant know the situation. They will be best positioned to dispatch the necessary resources for your collision.
If you can and it is safe, move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic and to the side of the road. Turn on your hazard lights.
Collect Relevant Information
Take photos and videos of the accident scene and any damage caused by the accident. Collect contact names, phone numbers, addresses of any parties involved in the accident, and their insurance information. If there are witnesses, get their contact information as well. This information will be helpful for your injury lawyer to get statements and assist the relevant experts in determining the cause of your accident.
Avoid Admissions or Confrontations
The period following an accident can be incredibly stressful. It’s crucial to stay calm, take deep breaths, and avoid reacting impulsively or provoking anyone. Refrain from admitting fault, taking responsibility, or signing any documents related to fault at the scene. While it might feel instinctive to apologize or discuss the incident, it’s important to avoid doing so, as these statements could later be used to determine fault. Additionally, do not agree to pay for damages or accept any payment at the accident site.
It’s also vital to steer clear of confrontations or aggressive situations. In most cases, the best course of action is to gather information, take photos of the scene, and seek necessary medical treatment. Beyond these steps, it’s advisable to refrain from making any further statements or decisions about the incident until you have consulted with an injury lawyer. This approach ensures that your rights are protected and that any actions you take are in your best interest.
Report Your Accident to the Police
If police do not attend to the scene of your accident, you likely have to report it to a collision reporting centre. The threshold for reporting a non-injury accident in Edmonton increases as of January 1st , 2024 from $2,000 to $5,000 or more in combined damage. Failure to report a collision could result in a $405 fine. If your vehicle is driveable, take that vehicle to the collision reporting centre, if your vehicle is disabled and requires a tow, the tow company should bring your vehicle to the collision centre, and you do not have to accompany your vehicle right at the time. However, it is important to report the collision in a timely fashion.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, filled with a whirlwind of emotions, decisions, and actions to take. However, with the right steps, you can protect your safety, rights, and interests. As outlined, preparation and knowledge are your best allies in such challenging times. And remember, if you ever find yourself uncertain about your next move or feel the weight of the situation bearing down on you, don’t hesitate to contact Hammer Injury Law. Our team is here to stand by your side, offering experienced guidance, ensuring that you’re not just a number in the system but an individual whose rights matter.