Motor Vehicle Accidents
So you’ve been in an accident.
If it is safe to do so, and the damage is minor, get your vehicle off the traveled portion of the roadway. Turn on your hazard lights. Put out cones or triangles if you have them. If damage is significant, do not move the vehicles. If traffic control is required, call 911. If people need medical attention, call 911. Get information from the other driver, including his name, address, telephone number, drivers license number, plate number and insurance details. Only get out of your car if it is safe to do so. Do not stand on the roadway or between vehicles when doing this. Minor accidents can lead to serious accidents. If the damages are greater than $1,000, you must report the accident to the police.
Record the scene with your phone.
If you are able, record the scene with your phone. A picture is worth a thousand words; a video is worth a thousand pictures. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of witnesses. Typically many people will observe the accident, but if you do not get their names they may as well not exist. Do not leave the scene. It is an offense to do so and will result in a breach of your insurance coverage.
Call the ICBC dial-a-claim line.
ICBC’s dial-a-claim line number is 1-800-910-4222 You can report a claim on line at >https://services.icbc.com/OnlineVerification/. They will need information about the particulars of the accident, the insurance coverages and so on. Be careful with the words you use. This telephone conversation is usually recorded. ICBC will give you information with respect to repairing your vehicle.
If you are injured, call a lawyer.
At Dick Byl Law Corporation an initial lawyer/client interview is provided free of charge. Personal injury law is complex and rapidly changing. ICBC will assist you to a point, but their primary interest is to keep the payout of damage claims a low as possible. When it comes to assembling and presenting a personal injury claim they will not help you.
If you are injured, seek medical attention.
If there are no doctor/physio/treatment visits ICBC will assume that you are not injured. Do what your medical advisors tell you to do. There can be serious legal (and medical) consequences if you do not.
Keep track of your expenses.
Keep receipts and invoices for medical and rehabilitation costs. Keep track of your wage loss. Keep a journal.
Tell the truth.
Above all else, be absolutely truthful when making a statement, whether it is to the police, a medical professional, an insurance adjuster or a lawyer. A case burdened by untruthful statements seldom ends well. However, say no more than you need to.