Hundreds of car accidents happen every day. A traffic collision occurs when a vehicle comes in contact with another vehicle or object on the road. While the act is unexpected, you must be aware of what to do next. Surprisingly many licensed drivers are unaware of their responsibilities after a collision.
Whether you’ve recently been in an accident or are a proactive driver, you’ve probably asked yourself questions like, “how long do I have to report an accident in Alberta?”.
When Do You Need to Report A Car Accident To Police In Alberta?
Before we answer it, do you have active car insurance? All auto-owners in Alberta (and the rest of Canada) need to possess car insurance; you can check out the options that Surex has to offer.
Coming back to the question, not every car accident needs the attention of the police. But there are select situations when you are required report an accident immediately to the proper authorities:
- Someone is injured due to the accident
- The damage is over $2,000
- You are involved in a hit-and-run scenario, and you suspect a criminal offence
You don’t have to file an accident report in Alberta in case there is no damage. Moreover, there is no need to report an incident if the damage is under $2000, no laws were broken, and no injuries were sustained. However, if you are confused about what to do, then it is better to review your policy, just to be on the safer side. It is because failure to report an accident can lead to legal consequences, which you want to avoid.
How to Report A Car Accident in Alberta
There are two ways you can report an accident in Alberta:
- Get in touch with 911: After the accident, you must call 911 if there are any injuries or the vehicle has experienced significant damage. The police will file the report onsite.
- Report at the Police District Office: If there are no injuries and the vehicles are in drivable condition. When reporting the incident, ensure that the concerned vehicle and individual who was driving it are present.
What Documentation is Required When Filing A Car Accident Report In Alberta?
To file a collision report at a local police office, you’ll need the following documents:
- Vehicle certificate of registration
- Insurance proof
- Driver’s license
- Information about other vehicles involved in an accident or Car Accident Settlement Letter
What Are The Rules For Reporting Auto Accidents In Alberta?
Section 69 of the Traffic Safety Act highlights the duty of drivers associated with a traffic accident in Alberta:
69(1): In case a vehicle is involved in an accident on a highway, the driver or the individual in charge of the vehicle shall:
- Remain at the accident scene, or if left, he or she must return to the scene
- Avail all required assistance
- If there are any injuries or sustained losses, inform the authorities and any witnesses
What to Do Right After A Car Accident
Following are the steps you should take a right after a car accident:
- Make sure that everyone is safe. If anyone has been injured, call 911 and do not move the car until medical help arrives.
- After ensuring that no one was severely hurt during the accident, start taking note of what occurred right before or after the crash occurred. For example: where were you driving? Was it raining? Were you speeding? These questions are important to answer when filing your claims later on.
- Take pictures of the accident, even if it’s just a phone picture. You want proof that there were injuries and property damage so you can get reimbursed for these expenses in case anything happens during negotiations.
- Call the police, especially if anyone has been injured.
- Exchange information with all parties involved in the accident and make sure to get their contact numbers so you can call them later on, to continue negotiating or taking legal action. If there are any witnesses of your accident, take down their names as well so they will be able to testify for you.
- Take a moment or so to collect yourself before you call your insurance company. Head injuries are nothing to be taken lightly, and if any of the parties involved in the accident has been injured, it’s imperative that they get medical help immediately after everything else has settled down.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident?
So the question you’ve all been waiting for — how long do you have to report an accident in Alberta?
After ensuring that you are okay, received help (if needed), and contacted the police, you need to notify your insurance provider. It is important to inform the insurance company, especially if there are any significant injuries or damages. The insurer may need to take certain steps like the medical examination. The insurance company may also be able to assist you in making arrangements for repairs and transportation.
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How Long Will It Take For Your Auto Insurance Claim To Get Processed?
One of the most common questions we get from people who have been in an accident is, “How long will it take to process my car insurance claim?” The answer depends on a number of factors, including what type of coverage you have and whether or not your insurer has any less-than-honest claims adjusters that may be working for them.
A reputable car insurance company will process your claim fairly quickly. They want to do everything they can to avoid paying claims, but at the same time not delay payments too long either because it’s bad for business and their reputation. That being said, you should never expect your insurer to pay out any sooner than what is written in your policy. The standard waiting period for a car insurance claim to be paid out is 30 days, but that doesn’t mean this is how long it will take from the date of your accident.
If you’re dealing with an unlicensed company or one that has less than stellar reviews for handling claims in the past, then this time could be extended by a few days or even longer, depending on what your specific insurer decides. The best thing you can do is provide your insurer with as much information and documentation as possible. The more they have to go on, the faster your claim will be processed.