What To Do If You’ve Been In a Motor Vehicle Accident in BC
Vancouver ICBC Lawyers, Motor Vehicle Accidents
While we all hope it will never happen to us, sooner or later we may find ourselves involved in a motor vehicle accident. Being prepared for the event is the best piece of advice we can offer. Reading the tips below will help you to plan your response following an accident, to ensure that you and your interests are protected. The fact that you’re doing your homework ahead of time already puts you in a better position than most drivers. Knowing what to do at the scene of a motor vehicle accident is powerful information for any driver (or passenger!).
What to do at the scene of the accident
- Seek medical help immediately, if you have been injured in the car accident.
- If you have not sustained any immediate injuries, then gather the following relevant information at the scene.
- Obtain and record the name and insurance information of any other drivers involved in the accident and record the license plate numbers of their vehicles
- Obtain and record the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Note down your recollection of how the accident took place. Draw a diagram. Note the location of your vehicle to nearby markers, such as crosswalks, stop signs, medians, buildings etc.
- Take photos at the scene from various angles with a camera or smartphone
- If the accident occurred on private property, obtain the name(s) and contact information for the property owner and their insurer
- Notify police that there has been an accident. It is important that there be an accident report prepared by the police.
- Notify ICBC that there has been an accident
Obtain medical examination or treatment following the accident
- If you did not receive immediate medical attention at the time of the accident, make sure to visit your family doctor soon afterwards. You may feel fine, but you should still visit your doctor so that he or she can determine if you have sustained any underlying injuries. Tell your physician that you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and be sure to relay even seemingly minor symptoms that you may be experiencing (ie. headaches, stiff neck, minor pain).
- Make sure to attend follow-up appointments with your doctor, as well as with any specialists or other health care professionals that your doctor has referred you to.
- Keep a record of all medical visits, including copies of all medical reports and information produced.
Consult with a legal professional
- Before you begin dealing with ICBC, contact a legal professional to determine your legal options. A lawyer can help assess your claim, determine the best way to proceed, and advise of the relevant limitation periods.
- Do not agree to any offers presented by ICBC before you discuss your claim with an independent lawyer.
- After a thorough discussion with a lawyer, you may decide to commence a lawsuit against the other driver, ICBC and/or another party.