Every year, there are around 133,000 traffic accidents on the roads of Alberta. Sadly, around 18,000 people need medical assistance afterward. Of those, an average of 3,000 people are seriously hurt.
Given the fact that the consequences of a car accident can be so serious, it is important to know what to do when you are involved in one. In particular, if you may need to make a personal injury claim, at a later date.
What To Do After A Car Accident in Alberta
When you have a vehicle accident, you need to respond properly and start laying the foundation to make a successful claim.
Here are the steps you need to take immediately after you have had an accident:
- Stay calm
- Stop your vehicle bearing in mind the safety of yourself and other road users
- Activate your hazard lights
- Immediately scan the accident scene for dangers and take steps to protect everyone. For example, if you smell or see fuel leaking that could represent a fire hazard
- Check yourself, your passengers, and others for injuries
- Call 911 immediately if somebody needs medical assistance
- Don’t move an injured person, unless it’s more dangerous not to
- If someone has been badly hurt or is suspected of driving impaired, do your best not to move the vehicles. Whether you move them or not is a difficult decision. If you are uncertain, ring the police immediately.
- If it is safe to do so, set up cones or warning triangles or flares
- Make sure the police are called if someone has been hurt, one or more of the vehicles cannot be driven away or someone does not have a valid licence and insurance
- If your car is too damaged to be driven away, wait for the police
- Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s), note down the policy No., registration, policy type, expiry date, and the driver´s details
- Get the license details of the other drivers involved and share yours
- Note down the license plate number of the vehicles involved in the accident including those of any witnesses
- Check the date on the other driver’s insurance papers and licence. If they are out of date, call the police immediately
- Taking photos and videos is advisable – take close-up shots of your damage and that on the other vehicles. If it is safe to do so, step back from the scene and get a panoramic view of everything from each angle. Be extremely careful when you do this. Take photos of injuries too if you can do so without causing additional distress
- If the other driver refuses to share information, call the police immediately
- Collect information from nearby witnesses, in particular, their contact details
- If your car can be driven, nobody has been hurt, no drivers appear to be driving impaired and everyone´s documents are in order, you can report the accident at the police station. Even if you and the other drivers plan to do that, it is still wise to take photos and exchange basic contact details with drivers and witnesses. That way, if someone fails to turn up at the police station you will still have some evidence
- Get the case number and a copy of your statement from the police
- Report the accident to your insurance company within the timeframe laid out in your policy. Failure to do so could render your claim invalid
- Prepare the police report and collision form and send it back
- If you know you have been hurt, you may want to contact a personal injury lawyer before filling out the forms for a little guidance
Steps in Filing a Motor Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Claim in Alberta
Let the dust settle a little then think about whether you should file a personal injury claim or not.
STEP 1: Plan the timing of the filing carefully
- There is no need to rush the filing, you have 2 years before the statute of limitations applies
- If you’re undergoing rehabilitation for your injury, use the time to recover and compile your medical records
- You can start consulting with a personal injury lawyer at any stage. In most cases, the sooner you do the better things will go. They will be able to advise you about the type of evidence you need to gather
STEP 2: File a Statement of Claim
Within 2 years of the date of your motor vehicle accident, you need to file your claim. The correct form needs to be filled out in full and filed with the Alberta Courts properly.
The contents of Statement of Claim include the following:
- Details of the material facts that back up your personal injury claim
- A list of the damages that are being claimed for
STEP 3: Serve the Statement of Claim
The Statement of Claim has to be personally served to the defendant (the party being sued). You can hire a process server to personally hand the Statement of Claim to them.
You must get proof that the Statement of Claim was served and furnish a copy of it to your insurance company.
STEP 4: Exchange documentation about the accident from both parties
You need to exchange affidavits with the other party. Their lawyer will want to question you, which is something you will need to prepare for.
STEP 5: Prepare for trial
Your personal injury lawyer will get you ready to go to trial. It is important to follow their guidelines closely.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Motor Vehicle Personal Injury Claims
Sometimes it is possible to resolve things without going to trial using an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process:
- Mediation – where a mediator helps both parties come to a resolution
- Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) – when a judge informally evaluates the case and gives an opinion about the arguments of both sides
ADR refers to any way of resolving a personal injury claim without going to trial. This can happen between the parties at any time after the exchange of documentation. But it is rarely wise to enter into one of these agreements without speaking to an experienced lawyer first.
Going through a car accident injury in Alberta can be difficult. Consult with a personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond to know your rights.
Let Diamond & Diamond Law Help You in Filing a Motor Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Claim in Alberta
We have extensive expertise in handling personal injury claims for car accidents and those involving other types of vehicles.
We help you gather the evidence to back up your claim for motor vehicle accident injury compensation.
Our team will assess your case and advise you of your rights and legal options.
We will do everything necessary to assist you in the filing of your claim.
Call our 1-800 number now, we are available to call 24/7
Get a free consultation when you call
Or if you prefer, you can use our online contact form
PRO TIP :
“Don’t get too enthusiastic and accept the first compensation offer right away. Work with your lawyer to know how much you should be getting for your troubles.”
FAQs on Filing a Motor Vehicle Accident Personal Injury Claim in Alberta
Can you sue for future damages in car accident personal injury claims?
In certain cases, it is possible to sue for future damages when filing a car accident personal injury claim. If your injuries mean that you will need ongoing drugs, medical treatment, and other kinds of support that can be included. Sometimes the cost of specialist equipment you are likely to need in the future can also be a part of your claim. As can loss of future wages, enjoyment, and consortium.
I got serious injuries even though my car wasn’t that damaged, do I have a case?
Even if your car was not damaged, you can still claim for any injuries that you sustained. Keep a detailed record of what happened and what treatments you underwent. As well as how your injuries have affected your life. Your personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you about how to gather strong evidence.
I already accepted a settlement, but later found out I still had lingering injuries, what are my options?
Reopening a claim after a final settlement has been accepted is rarely possible. So, before you settle, take your time to think and make sure that is the wise course of action. If you later discover that you have settled too soon, it is always worth speaking to a personal injury lawyer just in case they can help you.