The number one question I get asked daily is “I have been an accident – what do I do”? Depending if you are still at the scene of the accident or the accident happened a few days ago or longer, below are the necessary steps you need to know to ensure you get the legal representation, fair compensation and the care that you are entitled to following an injury in British Columbia.
AT THE SCENE OF ACCIDENT
-GET MEDICAL HELP
Listen to the paramedics or other emergency services personnel if they suggest or recommend you go to the hospital. If they suggest you go, you should go.
I recommend pulling out your phone and using your camera to document as much as possible. If you don’t have a phone, pen and paper will do.
Take Photos of:
- Other drivers’ information and licence plates
- Location of the accident – streets, number of lanes, colour of lights, type of lights
- Take Photos of everything including: Injuries
- Vehicle damage
- The location where the accident occurred
- Police File Number and Report – ask the police for a file number and if possible a copy of the police report;
- Witnesses – Get witnesses names, phone numbers and email addresses.
- Location of the accident (anything you could not document with your phone/camera) streets, number of lanes, colour of lights, type of lights
- Details – the weather, the road conditions, the traffic conditions, etc.
- Ask for the contact information of anyone you speak to at the scene including emergency personnel and other onlookers.
- Write down as many details of how the accident happened as possible.
AFTER THE ACCIDENT
-DOCUMENT EVERYTHING IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO
I realize I have already said document everything but if you have already been in an accident and didn’t think about documenting everything at the scene of the accident, now is the time to do so. Please see above and document as best you can. You would be surprised how many details can be forgotten in a short time.
GET MEDICAL HELP AND ASSESSMENT
· See your family doctor as soon as possible. Tell your doctor about all of your injuries regardless of how minor you think they are. Include any problems you’re having with sleeping, fatigue, headaches and other symptoms that you have started to feel after the accident. Be sure to advise your doctor if you cannot remember parts of what happened immediately after the accident. Discuss and write down everything – ensure your doctor has a complete record of all your symptoms and treatments you have or will be doing.
· Remember that not all injuries are physical. Accidents can result in mental anguish, stress, and depression. All of these conditions will be part of your claim and compensation.
· Continue to see your family doctor regularly. If your doctor doesn’t know your current or ongoing condition, your doctor cannot help you. If you don’t go, your doctor cannot track your improvements and setbacks and may not recognize if you should be seen by a specialist.
· Ensure you get all necessary tests and specialist referrals – if you don’t think you are getting the proper recommendations – tell us. We work with your doctor to ensure that your injuries are fully investigated.
· Discuss major decisions with your doctor, such as whether you should or should not be working or you should be trying a different type of treatment.
· Follow all of your doctor’s and therapist’s recommendations. If you have any questions, ask.
SPEAK TO A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
Speak to us before calling the insurance company – remember ICBC or the insurance company is not on your side. We will tell you what you should or should not say to ICBC. If you decide to hire us we can even report the accident for you so you never have to deal with ICBC about your injury claim. Consultations are free. Not all people injured in Vancouver accidents need a injury lawyer but you should know your rights so that ICBC cannot take advantage of you.
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