Car accidents are a deeply unfortunate part of life. Typically, they involve property damage — that is, damage to the vehicle, and thankfully, not to the occupants. But one in three accidents involve personal injury to the driver or passengers.
If you’re involved in a car accident, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are the very first things you should do if you’ve been in an accident.
Stop. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, no matter how minor it may appear. Put on your flashers right away, and immediately write down the license plate number of the other car. The vehicles involved in the accident should remain where they are, unless they interfere with traffic.
Call the police. Even if there are no serious injuries, it’s a good idea to call the police. You may need to file a police report with ICBC, even if it’s just to make a claim for vehicle damage.
Make a careful record. When the police arrive, tell the investigating officer exactly what happened, to the best of your ability. Don’t guess or misstate any of the facts. If you’re asked if you’re injured, and you’re not sure, say you aren’t sure. Often, the pain and injuries from motor vehicle accidents appear hours or days after the collision.
Take pictures. Since so many of us have smartphones with a photo app, use it to document visible damage or the positions of the vehicles. And if you have visible injuries, you should photograph them, too. However, don’t interfere with police procedure — take photos when you’re not talking to the investigating officer.
Exchange information. Typically, an investigating police officer will do so, but if the police don’t respond to the accident, you should get the name, address and phone number of the other driver. If there are witnesses, you should get information from them, as well.
Consult a lawyer first. A personal injury lawyer is your first line of defense for any injury claims you may make after the accident. You don’t need to contact ICBC right away: you can do so in a “reasonable” amount of time. Seeking legal counsel quickly — usually with a free initial consultation — is a very prudent move.
This is where the professional experience and expertise of Helpforme can help you. Solely devoted to personal legal services, Helpforme’s team of lawyers — one of BC’s largest under one roof — can give you the advice you need, when you need it. And the legal team works on a contingency basis, which means there are no legal fees to worry about until your case is resolved successfully. The service is warm, direct and personal; Helpforme advocates are passionate about protecting the rights of their clients, and making sure those people get the settlements they deserve.
Find out how https://www.helpforme.ca/ can help you with your particular and personal legal issue: helpforme.ca