Unfortunately, accidents happen every day. If you are involved in a collision, you must report it to your insurance company and usually to police. The rules vary from province to province, but no matter where you live, it’s smart to prepare to make the call, no matter the circumstance.
Report the Incident to the Police
Police don’t attend every accident scene. As a result, drivers are not always required to call police after a car accident.
However, there are several instances when you must call the police from the scene:
- Vehicle damage meets or exceeds the regional threshold. For example, in Ontario the regional damage threshold is CAD $2,000. If damage exceeds this amount, the police must be called.
- Individuals have suffered injury.
- There are suspected Criminal Code violations, e.g. impaired driving.
- The accident involves a government vehicle.
- A vehicle is carrying dangerous goods.
- The collision involves a pedestrian or cyclist.
- If one of the drivers does not cooperate or leaves the scene.
At the time of a car accident, you may not be sure whether you have to call the police. It may be difficult to estimate the amount of property damage, for example. To protect everyone, it’s a good idea to report even in the case of uncertainty. The authorities can handle it if necessary. To report the accident, call your local police or 911 from the scene of the accident.
If you do not have to report, you still must exchange information with the other drivers involved. That includes drivers’ license and insurance information. In Ontario, you must also visit a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours. At the Centre, you fill out a police report, even if it’s a collision that did not require on-site reporting.
Report the Car Accident to the Insurance Company
In all cases, you have to report the collision to your insurance company. You should do so within 48 or 72 hours of the accident, but try to do so as soon as possible. Make sure you get the insurance company information of the other driver.
In Canada, you are generally required to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle. The contact information for the company should appear on those documents.
If you’re injured in the car accident, then make sure you communicate this to your insurance company. You will be entitled to treatment at the insurer’s expense. You will not have to pay a penny out of pocket! Remember, do not delay in advising your insurance company of any injuries.