So you got in an accident – you panic, you scream, you reach for the phone – what are your next moves?
Your next moves are crucial, so be sure to PLAN well when and if you ever get into an accident.
1. Personal Injury – be sure you are safe and not injured.
If people are hurt in your vehicle, call 9-1-1 immediately! No amount of damage can be as important as personal injury. Ensure you and the people in your vehicle and others involved are safe and secure after the collision. Also, if you are on a public road – before getting out of the vehicle – make sure it’s safe to get out, checking to see if oncoming traffic can cause further damage to you and/or your car.
2. Assessing the damage of the accident
You would know if the damage to your vehicle was significant enough to warrant a call to the police. If you assess the damage to the vehicle enough to call the police, simply wait for them to arrive. Otherwise, it’s always wise to pull your car over to the side if possible for your safety and make way for oncoming traffic. Take photos of the damage for a professional to assess.
3. Call a Professional
Most people have a series of go-to contacts on their phones or in their cars: e.g.doctor, lawyer and dentist. Our recommendation is to keep your autobody shop contact information in your phone or at least in your vehicle. Your autobody shop will know what your next steps are. Most auto body shops will have tow truck services to help move your vehicle if necessary. Plaza Portland Autobody is proud to be a one-stop shop for all collision based and autobody repairs and services in Toronto.
4. Insurance Companies
Best practices for involving insurance companies are usually based on the assessed damage to the vehicle. A car that has sustained damage over $1000 needs to be reported (see source on the Financial Services Commission of Toronto). It is YOUR right to take your vehicle to an auto body shop of YOUR choosing and not that of others that may steer or direct you and may have a vested interest in doing so that has nothing to do with you or your vehicle. If you decide to go the insurance route, your record of an accident is on file and may result in a premium increase. It’s YOUR right as a vehicle owner to make that judgment call.