Steps to Take after Suffering a Personal Injury from a Car Accident
An automobile accident comes quite unexpectedly, but you should always be prepared in the event of an injury. Several first steps are provided here that will help in your New Westminster or Langley personal injury law case.
If you can avoid it, try to make sure that you do not remain in a vulnerable place on the road after an accident. Move your vehicle to the roadside if it is possible. Don't move if you are experiencing neck or back pain, however, and call out for help instead.
Call 911 if Needed or Otherwise Non-Emergency Police
If you or anyone else needs an ambulance, call 911 or ask someone to call for you. Doing so will dispatch a medical emergency response team and the police. Because someone is injured, still call the police if there is no medical emergency. Do not let another party talk you out of calling the police. Police will help to direct traffic to ensure your safety and document the facts, including the road and traffic conditions, the weather, and take statements from each of the witnesses.
Record the information of everyone involved. You cannot rely on having the police share information about the other party with you. You may not be able to obtain a copy of the police report while charges are outstanding until they are resolved (e.g., determined in court if fought).
It is critical to obtain the driver's name, telephone number, home address, email address, and any other additional contact information that may be relevant, such as information about any witnesses. Be sure to gather insurance information including the name of the driver's insurance company (if not ICBC) and policy number. Record the other driver's license plate and vehicle identification number as well as the date, time, location of the collision and your description of the accident. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is to use your cell phone camera to record the other driver's license and registration documents.
Photographs of the scene of the incident are also useful. Take photos of the damage to both vehicles, the location of the accident, any posted signs in the direction you were travelling, how the road looks (e.g., any parts or debris on the road, any skid marks), weather conditions, and any visible injuries.
See Your Physician
Visit your family physician as soon as possible after the accident to document your injuries. Briefly explain your injuries and ensure that you doctor records them. Keep a copy of any medical records you can obtain about your injuries going forward.
Notify Your Automobile Insurer
Your insurer must be notified as soon as possible after the accident (e.g., within 24-48 hours is ideal) so they can open a claim file. ICBC Dial A Claim can be reached 24/7 at 604-520-8222 or 1-800-910-4222. If you are injured you may qualify for Part 7 benefits from ICBC or another insurer involved in the accident.
Contact the Lawyers of Milne Selkirk
A personal injury lawyer in Langley, New Westminster or the surrounding areas can help you with your car accident insurance claim. At the offices of Milne Selkirk, our New Westminster and Langley law firm will provide you with a free consultation. We can report the accident and deal with ICBC or the other party's insurer, complete and submit the insurance forms, and file your tort claim if a personal injury case is warranted. We will only take a personal injury case if we believe you can achieve additional compensation by doing so. Contact us today at 604-882-5015 in Langley or 604-522-2785 in New Westminster.