What to do in a Car Accident in Alberta

Useful Resources

General Driving/Collision Resources

Steps to take immediately after a collision occurs

Steps to take immediately after a collision occurs:

  1. Stop and remain calm at the scene
    • If your vehicle is involved in a collision and you don’t stop, you may be subject to demerit points or criminal prosecution. Leaving the scene is illegal in Canada – you may face criminal charges.
    • The duties of a driver involved in a collision are defined in Section 69 of the Alberta Traffic Safety Act.
  2. Ensure safety and check for injuries
    • If there are serious injuries or the other drive is suspected of a Criminal Code offense like impaired driving, call 911 immediately. Police will come to the scene and file a police report onsite.
      • Vehicles need to remain where they are so the collision scene can be investigated.
      • Do not move anyone injured in the collision — you may aggravate their injuries.
      • Turn on your hazard lights and if possible, leave out safety cones.
    • If your vehicle is drivable, there are no serious injuries and the area is safe, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of traffic.
    • If your vehicle is not drivable, turn on your hazard lights, or use cones, warning triangles or flares. All passengers should get out of the vehicle and walk to a safe place if they are not seriously injured. Call 911 or your local non-emergency line and Police will come to the scene and file a police report onsite.


  1. Exchange information with other driver(s) involved.
    • Important things to note:
      • Do not pay, or promise to pay, for damages at the scene of the collision.
      • Do not agree to forget about the collision.
      • Do not accept money or discuss any settlement.
    • Obtain the information on driver’s license and information and carregistration,and proof of insurance(take photos or write down information). This includes:
      • Driver’s license numbers
      • Drivers’ names and contact information
      • Insurance policy numbers and name of car insurance companies
      • License plate numbers

Tip: Refer to settlementcalgary.com for safety checklist to print off and keep in glovebox in case of accident

  • If someone refuses to provide their information, advise them that they are required by law to provide information regardless of fault. If they still refuse document the license plate number, vehicle description and driver description before they leave the scene. Report this to the police.
  • If possible, collect information from witnesses.


  1. Reporting to the police
    • Reporting to the police after an accident is required by law in Alberta, with 24 hours of the accident, when there is:
      • $2000 or more in damage (if you are unsure about the damage amount, you may file a report anyways).
      • There is any injury, even minor.
      • A criminal offense occurred (impaired driving, hit & run, etc.)
    • How to report to police:
      • If there are no injuries, and all vehicles are drivable, go to a police district officewithin 24 hours of the accidentand complete an Albertacollision report form (also called an A-form) with the vehicle involved and the person who was driving.
    • Bring the following documents:
      • Operator’s license for the person who was driving
      • Vehicle registration certificate
      • Vehicle insurance documents (pink slip)
      • Information of the other vehicle involved in the collision
    • After the report is made, the officer will provide you your case # and a copy of your statement. Your insurance company may ask for this number. To obtain a complete copy of the Alberta collision form, go to ecollision.gov.ab.caand follow the instructions on the website.
      • Alternatively, to obtain a complete copy of the collision form, visit a police station with your driver’s statement, police file number and a piece of photo id.
    • After the report is made, you will receive a collision sticker (required by law) when damage exceeds $2000, which informs police that a collision has been reported and allows auto-body shops to repair the damaged vehicle.


  1. Reporting to your insurance company
    • The Province of Alberta currently uses private insurance companies to deal with vehicle collisions. These insurance companies operate within their own protocol.
    • Your insurance company requires you to report any accident you are involved in asap regardless who is at fault, failure results in consequences to your claims.
      • Depending on the details of your insurance policy, you will have a certain time period to report a car accident to your insurance company.
      • To report to your insurance, call your broker, insurance hotline, or their customer service line.
    • claims adjuster(rep of the insurance company) will handle the communication and investigation of your claim. The adjuster recommends whether a claim is covered under the policy.
      • In collisions where damage exceeds $2,000, they will generally need a police report file number along with a brief description of what occurred. Your insurance company can order a copy of the collision report from the police on your behalf provided they are named in the report as your insurance company.
      • They will also require their own statement from you and may ask to see the damage. Taking photos of the collision scene may be beneficial to both you and your insurance company.
      • If your claim is valid, your insurance company must settle it within the time limits stated in your policy.
      • Check with your agent or broker to confirm the type of coverage you have. They can advise you on next steps of getting your vehicle repaired.

Vocabulary List

Accident – An unexpected event that results in something bad, such as injuries or damages.

At Fault – The party responsible for an undesirable situation and are in the wrong.

Avoid – To prevent an accident.

Car (Vehicle) Registration – A legal document that is proof of link between a vehicle and the legal owner.

Collision –An event in which a vehicle hit another vehicle or object with force.

Damage – Loss or harm caused by injury to property.

Distractions – A state that prevents a person from focusing on the task at hand.

Information Exchange – An act of sharing information between parties.

Insurance Coverage – Financial protection issued by an insurer in the case of a car accident.

Mechanic – A person whose job is to repair machines, such as cars.

Party – All members involved in a group of who have similar aims or associations.

Private Sector – Part of the economy run by individuals and companies for a profit and is not government ran or owned.

Repair – To fix something that has been damaged.

Report – A written or spoken description of a situation or event.

Statement – A formal written or spoken account of events that happened, usually given from the views of different parties.

Vehicle Insurance – An agreement (required by law) between you and the insurance company, that protects you against financial loss in the case of an accident or theft.

Vehicles – A machine used to transport people or things on roads with wheels and an engine, such as cars and trucks.

Witnesses – A person who sees an accident take place.

Knowledge Check


#1. After a car accident, when should you not move your vehicle?

#2. What should you do and not do after a collision?

#3. What information should you exchange with the other party, after a collision?

#4. Where and how to get a damage sticker for repairs?

#5. Upon receiving a damage sticker, where should you place it?


Acknowledgements and References

Acknowledgements of Actors: Brent W., Amber Q., Cst.
Sandeep S., Kanako H.E.

Special thanks to Calgary Police Service for kindly assisting with content development, providing us with a filming location, and allowing us to film with Constable Sandeep S.


Alberta Health services on seat belts https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/injprev/Page4842.aspx

Document and forms checklist https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/a82c0149-f23a-40b6-af13-b8f32a7b3857/resource/833454a3-4e58-4181-bd2a-da84e33d08dd/download/what-to-do-after-an-auto-collision-summary-and-worksheet.pdf