after a car accident

Immediately after a car accident an individual can be injured, in shock and just plain shaken up.  Below is a checklist of steps you can print off and keep in your car, to insure you have all the proper information.

steps to take after a car accident?

  1. Stop. If your vehicle is involved in an accident and you don't stop, you may be subject to criminal prosecution.

  2. If anyone is injured, if the total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be MORE than $1,000, or if you suspect that any of the other drivers involved are guilty of a Criminal Code offence (such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol), call 911 and follow the instructions given to you by the emergency operator. Police will arrive as soon as possible.

    If you experience headache, confusion, memory loss, nausea/vomiting, difficulty walking, seizures or changes in behaviour you should seek medical attention immediately.  These can be symptoms of a concussion and proper medical care is critical to recovery.

    Do not try to move anyone injured in the accident — you may aggravate their injuries! If no one is injured and total damage to all the vehicles involved appears to be LESS than $1,000, call your local police for instructions. Police units may or may not be dispatched to the scene. If local police do not attend the scene of the accident, they will instruct you to report to a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours. Collision Reporting Centres are police facilities created to assist motorists in reporting motor vehicle accidents. At the reporting centre you will be assisted in completing a police report, and damage to the vehicle will be photographed.

    Collision Reporting Centres are currently available in a number of jurisdictions across the province.
    Visit: or call: (416) 745-3301 to locate the Collision Reporting Centre nearest to you.

    If there isn't a Collision Reporting Centre in the area of the accident, the police will ask you to go to the nearest police station to file a report.

  3. If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of traffic. If your vehicle cannot be driven, turn on your hazard lights or use cones, warning triangles or flares, as appropriate. You might want to get something in writing from the other driver regarding who is at fault before you move your car. Too often the at fault party will verbally apologize for causing the accident and later change the story and place the blame on you. If you are more than 25% at fault for the accident your insurance premiums may increase.

    Useful site
    Fault determination rules (these are for adjusting premiums if necessary after an accident)

  4. Obtain contact information from parties involved. Write down the names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information of anyone involved in the accident including witnesses. Make sure the police have this information

  5. Be careful of unauthorized tow truck operators pressuring you to have your vehicle towed, demanding immediate payment for the tow, or attempting to take your vehicle to a garage or body shop of their choice. They may try to use the confusion of the moment to intimidate you into allowing your vehicle to be towed. If you feel you are being pressured, ask the police for the name of an authorized tow truck operator and have your vehicle towed to a Collision Reporting Centre or a police compound until you can talk to your insurance company. 

    If tow truck drivers are referring you somewhere for legal advice or medical treatment be aware that this practice is prohibited by the government agency that regulates insurance companies, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.

  6. Contact your family doctor if you are injured. Even if you leave the scene by ambulance, it is vital that you let your family doctor know within 24 hours so they can properly help you.

  7. Seek legal advice. Contact a personal injury law firm and find out all your options. Always get legal advice prior to making any written or sworn statement to an insurance company.

  8. Call your insurance company and tell them you were in an accident. Do not speak to any insurance company other than your own. If you are not listed as a driver in any insurance policy you may contact the insurance company of your spouse or your parents. If you are dependent or do not have insurance, report the accident to the insurance company of the car that hit you.

    Your Situation/Circumstance

    Where to Send the Application

    You were driving a company vehicle

    The insurance company that insures the company vehicle. 

    You were a passenger in someone else's vehicle when injured

    The insurance company that insures the vehicle you were a passenger in

    You were a passenger in an uninsured vehicle and there was more than one vehicle involved in the accident

    The insurance company of an insured vehicle involved in the accident

    You were a pedestrian or cyclist

    The insurance company of the vehicle that hit you

    None of the above

    The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF)

    Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund
    Financial Services Commission of Ontario
    5160 Yonge Street
    P.O. Box 85
    Toronto, ON M2N 6L9
    Phone: (416) 250-1422 or
    Toll Free: 1-800-268-7188
    Fax: (416) 590-7076

get answers now

did you know?

There are more than 21 million licensed drivers in Canada and 26 million registered vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, buses, etc.).

Source: Transport Canada

Car Accident Timelines

You have 10 business days to provide the insurance company information after it requests, or it can suspend or deny your benefits.

  • 7


    You must inform the Accident Benefits insurance company of the accident and that you were hurt. MORE

  • 30


    You must complete and send the Accident Benefits application within 30 days of it being provided to you by the insurance company. MORE

  • 120


    You need to give written notice of your intention to sue the at-fault parties. MORE

  • 2


    To commence a lawsuit against an at-fault driver or your own insurance company if your benefits are denied. MORE


All of the information on this site has been provided by Carranza LLP, Canada’s first ISO 9001:2008 certified personal injury law firm.

1280 Finch Ave. West, Suite 200

Toronto, Ontario Canada

M3J 3K6

T: 1-877-633-1065

F: 416-633-9782

To reach us by email please contact

Disclaimer: This website is meant as a general reference for injured persons and their families. The medical and legal information contained in this manual is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content of this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements made on this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create a solicitor-client relationship. It is recommended that you review any medical information carefully with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding your health or recommended medical treatment. While reasonable attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, our firm cannot make express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information. Each person's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Please contact an Ontario Personal Injury lawyer for a consultation on your particular personal injury matter.

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