What do I do if I’m in an automobile accident in Ontario?
Information provided courtesy of Insurance Bureau of Canada
At the scene:
Offer help to anyone injured.
If the accident is an emergency, call 911 and follow instructions.
USE 911 FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY
- If the accident is not an emergency, call local police for instructions. In Ontario, all accidents where someone is injured or there is property damage of $1000 or more must be reported to the police. However, a number of locations have special programs in place to deal with auto accidents. Toronto, for example, has Collision Reporting Centres and accidents must be reported in person to these centres within 24 hours, if police did not attend the accident scene. Find out what is required where you live, and keep this information in your glove box.
- Move vehicles out of traffic, if possible. Do not drive the vehicle unless it is safe to do so.
- Record details of the accident – how, when, where it happened, time, date, location, speed, weather and road conditions.
- Draw a sketch of the accident scene showing the position and direction of the vehicles and the cross streets.
- Keep a camera in your vehicle and take photos of the damage to your vehicle and the damage to the other vehicle(s). This can be helpful if someone is trying to claim other damage or there is a dispute as to what happened.
- Answer police questions honestly but make no comments or admit any blame for the accident to the other driver(s). Your insurance company will determine fault based on the Fault Determination Rules regulated by the Ontario government.
- Get names, addresses, telephone, driver’s licence and plate numbers, and insurance details from everyone involved.
- Note the badge numbers of the investigating officers, if police attended the scene.
- Get names, addresses and telephone numbers from witnesses, when possible. It is also helpful to jot down licence plate numbers of other vehicles if you think someone in them might have seen the accident, but with moving traffic this may not be possible.
- Be careful of tow truck operators pressuring you to authorize repairs at the scene. You have the right to request estimates of fees in advance. If you feel you’re being pressured, ask police for the name of an authorized tow truck operator and have your vehicle towed to the police compound or your driveway until you talk to your insurance company.