Being seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident can be devastating for you and your family. In addition to the physical pain you feel, it can also be financially and emotionally draining.
It may not be possible to go back to how things were before the accident, but at least you can look forward to monetary compensation through an insurance claim. However, since nobody is prepared for a car, motorcycle, or truck accident, people tend to make mistakes, hours, days, or weeks after the accident. These mistakes, unfortunately, can prevent you from obtaining insurance benefits or legal compensation for personal injuries and property damage.
This article will discuss the most common mistakes you should avoid after a motor vehicle accident.
Motor Vehicle Accident Statistics in Canada
In 2019, there were 1,762 motor vehicle fatalities in Canada and 8,917 serious injuries. This is equivalent to 4.7 deaths per 100,000 population.
According to a 2018 report, almost 2,000 Canadians die each year. Another 10,000 are seriously injured in collisions involving a heavy truck (a heavy truck has a gross vehicle weight greater than 12,000 pounds). The fatality rate of large trucks is double that of all other vehicles on the road.
Also, in 2018, motorcycles represented only around 3% of all registered vehicles in Canada but accounted for approximately 11% of all motor vehicle fatalities and 12% of serious injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.
“If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may be confused on how you should proceed. I am here to assist you and to give you peace of mind throughout the process. Rest assured that I will get the compensation you deserve from the other driver.”
Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyer
What Mistakes Do People Make After a Motor Vehicle Accident in Ontario?
- Choosing to leave the site of the accident
The initial reaction of some people involved in an accident is to panic. That’s understandable. However, if you decide to leave the accident site as you’re panicking, you will break the law. If you were involved in an accident, try to stay as calm as possible and remain at the accident scene until police arrive.
Even if the other driver claims they won’t report the accident or if they tell you that there’s no harm done, don’t leave. If you don’t exchange information with the other driver before leaving, they can claim to be victims of a hit and run and blame you for the accident.
- Deciding not to get the police involved
The police must be present at the scene of the accident. They can help gather evidence that can work in your favour. The officer will document all information regarding your accident. If they issue a ticket to the other driver involved in the accident, that is proof that they are at fault for the accident. If you don’t call the police, you won’t prove that the other party is responsible for causing the accident.
- Admitting your fault in the accident
Saying “I’m sorry” or just “Sorry” may be seen as an admission of guilt when you say it right after an accident. Even if you want to defuse a potentially tense situation, avoid doing so. This can bring you legal problems in the future.
Even if you believe you are at fault, the other driver may still be at fault. Never admit you are to blame. Your personal injury lawyer will handle that.
- Failing to collect evidence
You should receive medical attention first if you’ve had severe injuries. After that, you must gather all evidence that you can at the site of the accident. This will help your motor vehicle accident lawyer when they start their investigation. Just make sure you don’t interfere with the police investigation.
- Deciding not to seek medical treatment
Some people involved in an accident fail to seek medical treatment for various reasons. Some people think going to the hospital is an inconvenience, others don’t want to burden others, and others believe their injuries do not warrant medical attention. However, you should have a medical professional check your injuries.
In many cases, injuries are worse than they look or feel. Sometimes it takes hours or days for symptoms to appear. If you wait before seeking medical attention, the insurance company may see it as an indication that your injuries are not severe. That may lead to a denial of your claim or significantly reduced financial compensation.
- Choosing not to follow the doctor’s orders
When you do choose to see a doctor, you must tell them about all of your symptoms so he can give you a treatment plan suited to the type of injuries you sustained. When given a specific treatment plan, you have to follow it to the letter until your doctor tells you to stop. If you don’t follow your doctor’s orders and fail to keep your appointments, you are acting like you don’t have serious injuries.
- Posting about the accident on social media
Most people tend to post everything on social media, including accidents that happened to them. You have to be careful about what you say and post in public regarding your accident and your injuries. Remember, anything you say may be used against you.
- Giving too many details to the insurance company
If the at-fault driver’s insurance company contacts you and asks for a recorded statement, don’t give it to them. Just give them basic information and avoid going into too much detail. Let them speak to your personal injury lawyer.
- Settling too quickly
Most people are not aware of their legal rights after a motor vehicle accident. Insurance companies often try to pressure claimants into settling their claim quickly by asking them to sign a document that will significantly decrease the amount they must pay you.
Remember, never sign any document from the other driver or an insurance company. Let your lawyer review your claim and the document from the insurance company and sign it only when your lawyer says it’s okay.
- Deciding not to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer in Ontario
Filing an insurance claim is a complicated process, even for small accidents. You also need to remember that the at-fault party’s insurance company will be represented by experienced car accident lawyers who are determined to navigate the laws regarding motor vehicle accidents.
Derek is a skilled negotiator. He has successfully represented clients who were involved in motor vehicle accidents. He has helped many of them get the maximum compensation they deserve.
“When I was in a motor vehicle accident, the last thing on my mind was getting a lawyer. I focused on getting better with the assistance of my insurance company. As time passed, my insurance provider constantly started messing with my benefits. I was not getting better, and the long delays in benefits processing forced me into consulting a lawyer.
We heard Derek on a radio legal consultation show. Derek Wilson and his team were very great to work with. When my insurance company started bullying me irrationally, Derek and his team listened patiently, investigated the situation and assisted me accordingly. Derek and his team were thorough. From start to end, they were matter-of-fact, transparent with no surprises. I am grateful to Derek and his team for assisting me through the worst experience of my life. They were always patient, empathetic & professional.
L.H. – Ontario
I had a motor vehicle accident while I was working. What should I do?
We recommend that you contact a personal injury lawyer who will determine whether you should pursue the claim through the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) or the insurance company.
A family member was seriously injured in a car accident and cannot make decisions due to incapacity. Who should make decisions on her behalf?
If your loved one cannot make her own decisions because of a severe injury, her family is entitled to make decisions for her treatment while she is in the hospital. After this, you can appoint someone to be the injured individual’s substitute decision-maker.
I was driving my car without car insurance when the accident happened. Can I still make a claim?
If you knowingly drive your car without car insurance, you cannot pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. However, you can still claim medical, attendant care, and rehabilitation benefits.