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The moments following a traffic crash are usually moments of extreme confusion, stress and shock. Most Ontario residents are not thinking clearly at this time, and most will not feel perfectly clear on what steps they should be taking. This list of seven steps recommended by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario is, therefore, excellent to keep in mind, and all motorists may want to consider keeping it handy in their glove compartments just in case an accident occurs.

First, motorists will want to stop their vehicle and wait for authorities to arrive. Failure to stop after a car accident could result in arrest and criminal prosecution.

Second, if there is an injury or damage in excess of $1,000, drivers will want to call 911 and follow all of the instructions provided by the 911 operator. If someone is seriously injured, motorists are advised not to try and move them because this attempt could make the injuries even worse. If there are no injuries and damages appear to be lower than $1,000, it is sufficient to call the local police department. Police may or may not be dispatched. If they are not, then drivers will be asked to file a report with a Collision Reporting Center at least 24 hours after the crash took place.

Third, if safe, move the vehicle to another part of the roadway so that it is not in danger of being hit by traffic. Otherwise, if the car cannot be moved, then it is advisable to turn on one's hazard lights or put out cones, flares or warning triangles.

Fourth, write down all the contact information, drivers' license numbers and license plate numbers of the people in the other vehicles. Also, obtain contact information from any witnesses. Sixth, take notes concerning the details of the accident scene. Seventh, call your insurance company to report the accident immediately.

Finally, if serious injuries have occurred due to no fault of their own, injured parties in an accident may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss the facts of the crash. They may have viable claims to seek financial compensation related to the costs incurred as a result of the accident.

Source: fsco.gov.on.ca, "What to do After an Auto Accident," accessed July 19, 2016

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