What you need to knowif you’ve been in a Motor Vehicle Collision in Alberta


First Steps


If you or anyone involved in the collision has difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, or confusion, but otherwise seem fine, call an ambulance.

Take pictures of the scene BEFORE moving any vehicles, as well as photos of the damage immediately afterward.  You should also snap photos of the other driver’s license and insurance in case of a typo under stress.  Allow them to do the same of yours.

In the event that 911 does not need to be called to the scene and both vehicles are drivable:

  1. Immediately report your accident to the police if  there are any injuries, including minor soreness.
  2. Get checked out even if you don’t feel hurt – injuries from collisions can present themselves 10-14 days after an accident, if not longer.
    1. You only have 10 days from the date of collision to file a personal injury claim with insurance.  If you’re unsure if you’re hurt but feel stiff or sore, inform your insurer and make sure you receive your exam with a physiotherapist, chiropractor, or medical doctor within 10 days of the injury.
    2. Even if you are not injured and no further care is deemed necessary, your injury assessment will still be covered by insurance. 
    3. If you come back a month afterward because aches and pains have started cropping up, you will usually have no problems receiving coverage for the care, due to the initial exam being recorded.
  3. Make note of any personal items damaged, odd injuries or unusual situations pertaining to the collision, such as broken glasses, cracked teeth, broken bicycle on your bike-rack, broken bike rack, etc
  4. Make note of any pets in the vehicle – they are also entitled to care if injured and are often one of the few passengers that are unsecured at the time of the crash.
  5. Make note of any pregnant passengers and ensure they get checked out immediately by a medical doctor, even if they feel fine.


Here are your next steps

Connect with Insurance

Accident benefits are no-fault benefits that cover medical expenses incurred as the result of a motor vehicle collision.  Even if the accident was your fault, you are still entitled to receive care.  An AB-1 form is the standard form required for initiating an injury claim with your insurance.  You can fill this out and send it directly to your insurer, or you can fill it out in-clinic when you seek medical treatment.  It will be submitted by your treatment provider on your behalf.  You should also contact your insurer to let them know you’ve been in an accident and you will be seeking medical attention as a result.

Book an Appointment for Assessment

Unpain Clinic has a great track record with motor vehicle injuries.  We are happy to accept new cases if you are seeking care after a collision.  If you wish to book with your regular provider at another clinic – no problem.  Please ensure they know you have been in an accident before finalizing your appointment, as additional assessment time is required.

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  1. Keep a journal from Day 1 – record things like time off work, overall mood, pain level, commutes to appointments, etc
  2. Do not agree to sign anything – at least not yet – regarding any injury settlement.  You have 2 years to decide.  When in doubt, talk to a lawyer.
  3. Do not avoid care just because the accident was your fault.  Accident benefits are no-fault benefits.  You are still entitled to receive treatment.
  4. Try to avoid receiving your care at multiple clinics.  This can become confusing for your clinicians and claims adjuster and could result in care not being covered if visits are not tracked correctly.  Plus, keeping treatments in one place augments consistency in care.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does AAIB mean?
    AAIB means Automobile Accident Insurance Benefits.
  2. What are accident benefits?
    Accident benefits are the benefits you are entitled to after being involved in a motor vehicle collision.
  3. What does “no-fault benefits” mean?
    This means that you are entitled to claim accident benefits even if the accident was your fault, without further penalty.
  4. What does DTPR mean?
    DTPR means Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols Regulation and it has been formulated by the Superintendent of Insurance as the result of extensive review of treatments and processes involved in the treatment of similar injury claims.  It is a basic framework that all injury claims fall within initially, but may not stay within due to timing, patient choice, or case complexity. 
  5. What does Out of Protocol mean?
    If you have used all of your initially approved visits, you will be re-assessed by your therapist.  If you have returned to pre-injury condition, you will be discharged.  If you have not returned to pre-injury condition, you will move into “out of protocol” status.  You may also choose to NOT be treated under the DTPR initially and could choose to move out of protocol immediately, under certain conditions.  
  6. What if my accident was a long time ago?
    If your accident was within the last 2 years and you have not settled your injury claim, you may be able to get coverage for further care related to injuries sustained in the collision.  If you are outside of 2 years, it could be difficult.  You would be best to contact a lawyer for this situation.

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