No one plans to get into a car accident—which means most of us avoid doing our “car accident” homework. But it’s important to know what to do before an accident occurs.
With any luck, you’ll never need to put this list into practice. However, being prepared for the worst means you’ll know how to achieve the best possible outcome in a bad situation.
1. Assess Immediate Danger
First things first: find out if anyone in your car or the other car is injured or in danger of becoming injured. If so, call emergency services immediately.
2. Take a Moment to Breathe
Whether the accident is major or minor, take a moment to collect yourself. Adrenaline is high, everyone is rattled, and emotions are stirred. A few deep breaths are important.
3. Name, Address, Phone Number, Licence
As soon as possible, get the contact information of the driver and/or registered owner of each car involved in the car crash, along with their licence number, licence plate, and insurance information. This is important for ICBC proceedings as well as any possible personal injury suits that may arise.
4. Move Your Vehicle
If you’ve been in a fender bender and it’s safe to do so, move all vehicles out of the way of traffic.
5. Ask for Witnesses
While bystanders who saw the car accident are still on the scene, gather the contact information of a few willing witnesses.
6. Write Down Notes
When you get the opportunity, write down everything you can about the situation: road conditions, traffic conditions, time of day, your speed, etc.
7. Take Photos of Vehicle Damage
If you’re able, take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicles as soon as possible. This is important for insurance and if you need to launch a personal injury lawsuit.
8. Take Photos of Yourself
Equally as important in the event of a personal injury escalation following a car accident is documenting any cuts, bruises, or other injuries, and continuing to do so for several days, as injuries might not be immediately apparent.
9. Speak with a Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer who represents your best interests—not those of ICBC—will ensure you are awarded the proper settlement and that no damages you are entitled to are overlooked.
For more information on personal injury law, contact us here.