Getting into a car accident is always a stressful experience, no matter how minor the accident may be. Even minor accidents can damage your vehicle and potentially lead to serious injuries.

If you’re in a fender bender while driving in Ontario, you must take specific steps to ensure you protect yourself and your legal rights. In this article, we'll guide you through everything you need to know about what to do when you're in a car accident in Ontario.

Do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Ontario?

The short answer is yes. According to Ontario law, you must report any car accident that results in damage exceeding $2,000 or any injury or death. Even if the total damage is minor below that $2,000 mark, exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver is still a good idea. This can help protect you if the other driver claims personal injuries or damages later.

Failing to report an accident in Canada can result in serious legal consequences. You can face fines, licence suspension, and even criminal charges if you‘re involved in a car accident and fail to report it. Reporting an accident is not only required by law, but it's also the responsible thing to do.

What to do in a Car Accident in Ontario?

First and foremost, remember to stay calm and collected throughout the entire process. Accidents can be stressful and overwhelming, but taking the proper steps can help ensure you handle the situation effectively and efficiently.

You never want to plan on being in an accident, but you also want to be prepared if one happens. So, it's a good idea to periodically review your insurance policy and understand what accident benefits it includes and the coverages you have in the event of an accident. Having this information ahead of time can help you make informed decisions and avoid any surprises down the road.

Next, we’ll review the key steps in reporting a car accident in Ontario.

1. Move the Vehicles and Call the Police, if Needed

If an accident occurs, the first thing you do is move the vehicles to the side of the road if it’s possible and safe to do so. If a vehicle cannot move or it’s unsafe, leave it where it is and await help from a tow truck. Next, if the vehicle is serious, injuries occurred, or the situation is unsafe, call 911 and alert the police.

2. Do Not Admit Fault

It's important to stay calm and not admit fault, even if you feel you may be at fault. Admitting fault in an auto accident can eliminate your chances of compensation for any damages or injuries you may have sustained.

3. Exchange Information and Speak With Witnesses

Next, exchange contact information, driver’s licence numbers, licence plate numbers, and insurance information with the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. you may also want to get the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) from the other vehicles involved. You’ll need this information when you file a claim with your insurance company or pursue legal action.

If a third party witnessed the accident, get their contact information too. Eyewitness testimony can be precious in proving fault and liability in an accident.

4. Gather Evidence

Now’s not the time to play crash detective, but you want to gather as much evidence at the scene of an accident as possible at the scene. Take tons of pictures of the scene, including images of all cars involved and any damages to them. If the vehicles are in the original position of the accident, take a picture of their positioning too and any skid marks from the tires.

If your vehicle has a dashboard camera, now’s also the time to upload ant footage to the cloud to avoid deletion. If your dash camera doesn’t have this functionality, make a note to transfer the file to your computer as soon as you get home.

5. Seek Care for Any Injuries

If you are injured in the accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible. if you don’t notice any injuries immediately, this doesn’t mean you weren’t injured. Sometimes adrenaline and other factors can hide injuries in the heat of the moment. So, monitor our physical condition and seek medical attention if aches and pains arrive later. This will allow doctors to attribute any injuries that manifest later to the accident so you’re covered in an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Also, remember there’s no need to navigate this on your own. Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer or a trusted insurance agent for help and free consultation.

6. Get a Copy of the Police Report ASAP

If the damages exceed $2,000, there was an injured person, or you suspect a motorist was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during a motor vehicle accident, there may be criminal actions, so you’ll need to file a local police report.

If you need to file a police report after a car accident, keep a few important things in mind. First, get a copy of the police report as soon as possible. This document will serve as an official record of the accident and could be valuable if you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.

Make sure that you provide accurate and honest information to the police officer who is taking the report. Avoid making any statements that could be misconstrued as an admission of fault.

7. Contact Your Insurance Company

After gathering all the necessary information from the scene of the accident, contact your insurance provider ASAP for guidance and to file an insurance claim. Your insurer can guide you through the claims process and help you get your vehicle repaired.

To file a claim, your insurance company will require the following items:

  • Your insurance policy number
  • Your vehicle’s make, model, year, registration and licence plate number
  • Driver’s name and driver’s licence number (if the driver was not the registered owner)
  • The date, time and location of the accident
  • The extent of any injuries
  • The number of passengers involved in the motor vehicle collision
  • The extent of damage to the vehicle
  • Details of the accident
  • Names and driver’s licence numbers of all drivers involved
  • Names of insurance companies and auto insurance policies of all drivers involved
  • The name and badge number of the investigating officer, if applicable

How do You Report a Car Accident in Ontario?

You must first determine the tight reporting process, as it will vary with the situation. If the damages appear to exceed $2,000, there are injuries, or you suspect drugs or alcohol were involved in the car accident, contact the police and emergency services.

If none of the above are the case, you can skip the call to the police and visit a Collision Reporting Centre (CRC) within 24 hours of the accident. You must file the report at the Collision Reporting Centre in the city the accident occurred in. You’ll also want to make sure you drive the vehicle or have it towed to the collision centre.

At the CRC, the attending officers will take all the information and evidence you collected and inspect the vehicle. They will notate their findings in the report and give that report to all insurance companies involved.

The CRC officers do not determine fault. They may make suggestions and list their findings, but the insurance companies involved are who determine fault in accordance with the Fault Determination Rules.

Who Pays the Car Insurance Deductible for a Car Accident in Ontario?

The driver the insurance companies find at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying the car insurance deductible for all parties involved. However, if multiple drivers share fault for the accident, they may split the cost of the deductible according to their degree of fault.

For example, if the insurance companies determine you were 25% at fault and the other driver was 75%, you would pay 25% of all deductibles involved, and the other driver would pay 75%.

Clutch Can Help Get You Back on the Road After a Car Accident in Ontario

A car accident can leave you without a vehicle, especially if the accident was severe enough to cause your vehicle to be a total loss. Finding a new vehicle after a car accident in Ontario doesn’t need to add to the stress, and Clutch can help with that with its 100% online purchasing process.

You simply find your favourite vehicle in our expansive used-car inventory, set up financing, provide us with some information, and we’ll deliver the vehicle to your home or work. It gets no easier than that.

And you can rest assured you’re getting a quality used vehicle from Clutch, as they all endure a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process. Also, every vehicle includes a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty and a 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don’t love your Clutch vehicle during this 10-day period, you can return it for a refund or exchange it for a different vehicle, no questions asked.

Check out or used car inventory today and get back on the road hassle-free.