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Motor Vehicle Accident

What Should You Do If You Are In A Motor Vehicle Accident

Motor vehicle accidents happen, drivers in Alberta get into motor vehicle accidents every day. If you haven’t been in an motor vehicle accident at some point you likely know someone who has. This can be a terrifying situation to be in, the initial experience of the motor vehicle accident can be quite traumatic. Individuals often find themselves experiencing nightmares or flashbacks of the horrendous and disturbing experience that they have just gone through. Compounding all of this is figuring out what to do next, how to interact with your insurer, how to interact with the other driver, and what information to collect.

What Should I Do Immediately After Being In A Motor Vehicle Accident?

The first thing you should do is determine if you are ok. You may need medical attention. You are likely shaken up, and a thousand things are rushing through your head. Take some time to make sure you are ok and don’t do anything drastic. However, if you are feeling well enough to exit your vehicle then you should first ensure that you get the other driver’s insurance information, take a picture of their license, take a picture of their license plate, and take photos of the damage to the vehicles including any paint marks that may have become imprinted on your vehicle during the collision. Collecting this information helps establish that the two vehicles were in fact in a collision, it can also be important for the sake of identifying the other driver if you intend to pursue legal action. If the other driver cannot be identified any compensation you may seek to pursue for your injuries must be collected from the motor vehicle accident claims fund and is capped at $200, 000.00. Most (but not all) insurance policies in Alberta tend to be about $1, 000, 000.00. This means that where the other driver can be identified, you have a much larger pool of money from which you can claim from for any injuries suffered, for any treatment that you medically require, for any household assistance that is medically necessary, and for any detriment to your income that you may suffer as a result of the motor vehicle accident.

It is also good practice to speak to any witnesses and collect contact information if possible. This is especially helpful where your motor vehicle accident may be a situation where the party at fault for causing the motor vehicle accident may potentially be in dispute, such as where you and the other driver disagree on the colour of the traffic light leading up to the collision.

How Should I Deal With The Other Driver?

If the other driver wants you to sign anything to settle for the motor vehicle accident, you should be skeptical and not sign anything until you get proper legal advice. This is because the proper valuation of your claim is something that requires a certain degree of expertise. You should speak to a lawyer and ensure that you are getting the correct amount that you are entitled to or else you may end up being significantly short-changed. Additionally simply settling for a low amount may result in you being unable to obtain medical treatments which may become necessary at a later date. Once you settle your case there is no going back, there is no ability to sue again. It is for all intents and purposes, one and done.

You should additionally not talk to the other driver besides grabbing basic information with regards to the motor vehicle accident. Anything you say to the other driver could hypothetically be used against you at a later date. It is good practice to retain a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure everything goes properly.

Following The Initial Aftermath What Should I do?

After collecting the initial information mentioned above, you should proceed to report the motor vehicle accident to the police as soon as possible. You should also book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible following the motor vehicle accident to document any injuries or complaints that you may have and to get assessed following the accident in case there is something that might not be immediately apparent. It is generally good advice to follow whatever your doctor says as far as treatment goes, this will help you build a strong case if you choose to pursue a lawsuit for personal injury. Your insurance company will want to speak to you about the motor vehicle accident, you can and are encouraged to speak to an injury lawyer before speaking with your insurance company.

Who Can I Talk To About The Motor Vehicle Accident?

It is generally a good idea to not talk to anyone about the motor vehicle accident beyond any legal counsel you may seek to retain and not to post anything on social media about it. You may receive a call from a bodily injury adjuster for the other party’s insurance, you should NOT discuss the motor vehicle accident or your injuries with them.

In the event, that you and the other driver have the same insurance company this can be somewhat confusing. You can speak to the motor vehicle accident benefits adjuster for your own policy, but you should make very clear that you do not want to speak to the bodily injury adjuster for the other driver’s policy. If you have any confusion, you can consult a lawyer about this.

Bodily injury adjusters for the other driver’s policy have even been known to show up at hospitals from time-to-time to obtain statements, you should again refuse to give one.

It is notable that, if your accident happened prior to 2022 and you do not have collision coverage you may have to speak to a collision adjuster for the other party’s insurance regarding your property damage. You should again ensure you are not speaking to the bodily injury adjuster if this is required.

Generally obtaining legal counsel in relation to the motor vehicle accident as soon as possible can help prevent the other driver’s insurance attempting to contact you.

Lawsuit For Injuries Obtained in a Motor Vehicle Accident

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and are seeking to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled call us today for your free injury claim evaluation! The heavy hitters of injury law at James H. Brown & Associates have over 250 years of injury law experience. We are Alberta’s precedent-setting injury law team and are eager to fight for you!