What to do if you are in a car accident in B.C.

In a split second, your average commute could take a drastic turn if you are involved in a car accident. At Slater Vecchio we want you to be well equipped to handle this situation calmly and effectively. The time immediately following an accident can be highly emotional and stressful, but with these 10 tips you can make sure that you are prepared should the unthinkable happen.

1. Stop and breathe. Assess the situation.

At this moment you may be panicked and in shock. Take a second to look around and call 911 immediately if anyone is injured. Do not move any injured people, as you may make their injury worse.

2. Take photos of the license and license plate of all drivers involved.

An exchange of information is extremely important. A photo of the other party’s license and license plate will ensure no information is missed. If you do not have a camera or camera phone, write the information on a piece of paper clearly, along with the date, time and location.

3. Take photos of the accident scene before the vehicles are moved.

Having clear photos of the accident scene will greatly benefit you later on, especially if no witnesses or other parties were present. Try to take photos at various angles, capturing all major damage areas.

4. Get the names and contact information of any witnesses.

If anyone witnessed what happened, try to get their names and contact information in case you need them to testify on your behalf. 

5. Remember that fault is not yet determined.

As much as we may want to deny that we were at fault in an accident or to admit that we were, refrain from discussing this with anyone aside from the police or your personal injury lawyer. “An apology or an admission of being at fault could be used against you later when determining who is responsible for the collision.” Roma Luciw, The Globe And Mail

6. Report the collision to ICBC and get a claim number.

This ICBC claim number is very important and will be used extensively for vehicle repairs and treatments.

7. Get checked out by a doctor.

Even if you think your injuries are minor, it never hurts to have a checkup either at the ER, your GP or a walk in clinic. This will also show that you have taken steps to treat your injuries.

8. If you are unable to work, get a medical note and record of employment from your employer.

Unless you have sick-leave benefits, apply for short-term disability benefits or EI sickness benefits. Speak to your employer if you do not know what benefits are available to you. If none apply, then ICBC should pay temporary total disability benefits (TTDs).

9. Get the repairs done on your vehicle promptly.

Once you have taken the necessary steps to ensure your own safety and long term health, start repairs on your vehicle as soon as possible.

10. Contact Slater Vecchio Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your options in a warm, stress-free environment.

We know car accidents can be life altering. It is our aim to put control back in your life and help you see that crippling events do not need to cripple your future. We look forward to helping you get what you deserve.

Stay prepared for any situation by downloading the Car Accident Checklist below and keeping it in your car glove compartment.

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Slater Vecchio
Slater Vecchio LLP is a boutique law firm with offices in British Columbia and Quebec. Over the past 20 years, Slater Vecchio has represented thousands of clients and has grown into one of the most successful personal injury and class action firms in the Country.