While being in, or seeing an accident is never something we wish for, however knowing what to do can mean alleviating stress, protecting your assets, claiming proper compensation, and preventing further injuries.
With this in mind, we present some tips on what to do at the scene of a car accident and what to do afterwards.
What to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident
Stop; Assess Injuries & Call 9-1-1
Check yourself for any injuries - your safety and well-being is the most important. If it's safe: pull over, get out of your vehicle and call 911. When you feel safe and are mobile, you may exit the vehicle to survey the area of the accident. If in doubt, seek medical attention to ensure there are no serious hidden injuries.
Get the names and contact information of anyone else involved in the car accident as well as witnesses. Make sure to gather the following information:
Scene Information - time, date and location of accident
Other Driver - license #, car make model, insurance details, license plate #
Witnesses/Bystanders - Name, phone & email
Photos & summary of situation
ICBC's Dial-A-Claim Center is open 24 hours a day and provides you with hassle-free claims service. If you were injured in the accident, a family or friend may report the accident on your behalf. For accidents that happen within the Lower Mainland call 604 520 8222; for everywhere else in BC call 1 800 910 4222.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Watch for Additional Injuries
In some cases you may be injured but not realize it; particularly if you have an internal injury. If you feel anything unusual, see a doctor to ensure no injuries go unnoticed and make sure you take steps to mitigate any injuries that resulted from the accident. For insurance purposes - make sure to create a formal document of all injuries and problematic areas.
Consider Consulting a Car Accident Lawyer
Some people may speak with a lawyer after the accident to ensure they are adequately protected. Lawyers can provide you with knowledge and insight regarding your rights. If you choose to hire a lawyer, your lawyer will be communicating with the other parties - leaving you stress free. Even if you choose not to hire the lawyer, the information they provide allows you to be confident in the decisions you make and assertive when/if a claim needs to be negotiated.
Car accidents can be traumatic whether injuries occur or not - stay calm, be alert of your surroundings, and seek help when necessary.
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