Did you know that your odds of being in a car accident in the next year are one in 44? So be prepared and remember some basic points to keep in mind if you are in an accident. Steps to take include:
- Assess yourself and others for injuries. Call 9-1-1 if anyone is hurt.
- Exchange information, including the other driver’s license number, province, contact information, car make and model, and license plate number.
- Record the contact information of any witnesses.
- Use your iPhone, Blackberry or other smart phone to take pictures and video of the accident scene and surroundings. Keep a camera in your car if your phone does not have these capabilities.
- Draw a picture of the accident scene and make notes of your surroundings, including the weather, speed limit, road signs, road conditions, etc.
- File a claim with ICBC or other insurer.
But what happens after that? We’re not often told how to live our lives in the weeks, months, and even years after an accident. For many, it can be an extremely challenging time fraught with injury, rehabilitation, and complicated insurance claims. Optimizing your health and wellbeing should be regarded as your number one priority post-accident.
As noted in How to Cope After a Crash, the severity of an injury does not directly correlate to the trauma after an accident. Trauma levels can depend on an accident victim’s personal history. Perhaps a recent crash has triggered emotions buried from an earlier accident and the related stress and anxiety can be overwhelming. Turning to friends, family members, or other accident victims may give you the added support to help you get well.
For your physical rehabilitation, it’s important to enlist professionals in your community to help with your recovery. As mentioned in a previous post, you can find a family doctor in your community by visiting BC’s College of Physicians and Surgeons at www.cpsbc.ca.