When involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to stay calm and mindful of what you do next as it influences your claims as well as your stand if a lawsuit is filed. Motor vehicle laws are diverse and can be complex. At Dick Byl Law Corporation, our motor vehicle accident lawyers in Prince George have meticulously laid out general guidelines and steps for you to take after an accident so that your basic rights and interests are protected. Read further to understand the basic steps that you can follow, and never think of fleeing the site as this can bring serious legal consequences.
If it is safe to do so, and the damage is minor, get your vehicle off the travelled portion of the roadway. Turn on your hazard lights. Put out cones or triangles if you have them. If the 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 their name, address, telephone number, driver’s 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.
If you are able, record the scene with your phone. A picture is worth a thousand words, and 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 offence to do so and will result in a breach of your insurance coverage.
At Dick Byl Law Corporation, the 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 as low as possible. When it comes to assembling and presenting a personal injury claim, they will not help you.
If there are no doctor/physiotherapy/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 even medical consequences if you do not.
Keep receipts and invoices for medical and rehabilitation costs. Keep track of your wage loss. Keep a journal.