Whether due to a car crash or a fall, accidents can be traumatic and the stress and pain often lead to confusion. You may be in shock. Keep calm and use these tips to best protect yourself and your family at the scene.
FIRST STEPS: AT THE SCENE
- Check to see if everyone is okay.
- Call 911 if anyone involved in the collision has injuries that require medical attention or if you require police involvement.
- Obtain (in writing and/or through photographs) the names, contact information, and driver’s license numbers of the other people involved in the collision.
- Note or photograph the license plate numbers, the insurance policy information, and the make and model of the other vehicles. You have an obligation to make your best effort to ascertain the identity of the other vehicles and their drivers.
- Photograph all vehicle damage and the resting positions of the vehicles.
- Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the collision.
- If your vehicle is too damaged to operate, call a tow truck. If there is gasoline or oil leaking from your vehicle, stand a safe distance away.
We strongly recommend that you talk to a lawyer before you call Dial-A-Claim and before you meet with ICBC. Make sure you are well informed about your rights before making any decisions. You are entitled to consult with a lawyer at any time. Getting preliminary legal advice will cost you nothing—and it could make a huge difference to your case..
Dealing with insurance companies
You are required to cooperate with ICBC in its investigation of your claim. From the minute you first interact with any insurance company your claim is “adjusted” by assessing fault and/or the nature and extent of your injuries. Be aware that the insurance company’s probable goal is to close each file for the lowest possible financial outlay. In most cases in BC, ICBC acts for all motorists involved in the collision. That means they are working not just on your behalf, but also on behalf of the person responsible for the accident. Use caution before you sign any medical or employment authorizations – these can allow insurance companies to obtain your complete medical and work history, not just information relevant to your claim. Once you have legal representation, the insurance company cannot contact you and must communicate only with your lawyer. This gives you the time and space you need in order to rest and heal.
do i need a lawyer?
You should, at the very least, speak to a lawyer to understand your legal rights and options. You can talk to one of our lawyers at no cost and with no obligation. Get the facts before you make any decisions. The longer you remain unrepresented, the more you may risk compromising your claim. Most lawsuits must be brought within two years; otherwise you may be prevented forever from pursuing damages.
What can RHE do for me?
We focus on providing you exceptional legal service, while you focus on getting better.