If you’ve just been in a serious car accident, you know how emotional, disorienting and painful, those first few hours can be. By following a handful of simple steps from our experienced personal injury lawyers within days of your accident, you can help ensure the best outcome for recovery and your claim.
1. Keep details from other drivers and witnesses in a safe place.
Hopefully you or someone from your vehicle was able to exchange information with the other driver(s), including:
- Full names
- Phone number
- Licence information
- Insurance company name and policy number
It’s important to protect these details; some clients have someone type and email the information to themselves so they’ve always got a copy of the information handy.
It’s also beneficial to have full contact information for any witnesses. If the accident leads to a claim, your personal injury lawyers will contact the witnesses for information that could help your case.
2. Email or save copies of the photos taken by you or witnesses of the accident scene. Ideally, you will have images of:
- Vehicle damage
- Road conditions
- Skid marks
3. If the other driver reaches out to you after the accident, do not:
X Take responsibility, assume liability or apologize for the accident to the other drivers. Accident lawyers advise against this because later on, when insurance companies or the courts are trying to determine who is responsible for the accident, an admission of being at fault could be used against you.
X Accept an offer of outright payment from one of the other drivers. It can be tempting, but at this stage you don’t yet know the extent of the damage to your vehicle or your personal injuries. It can take months to have a comprehensive understanding of how a personal injury can impact your health and your ability to work.
X Sign anything other than the police report.
4. Call ICBC.
It’s important to call ICBC as soon as you are able, preferably within 24 hours if possible. Caution: Everything that you tell ICBC will be recorded, so keep this in mind when you are reporting your claim.
Dial-a-Claim – 1-800-910-4222
5. Call a personal injury lawyer.
Before signing any documents or providing any statements for ICBC, it is a good idea to seek advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer regarding your rights and obligations.
The reality of it all—the pain, the impact an accident can have on your entire life—often begins to set in within a few days after a car accident.
If you’ve followed the steps above and you’re in touch with your insurance provider, it might seem like you’ve done all you can and you are in good hands.
In fact, the insurance adjuster represents the at-fault driver. Their job is to settle claims for the lowest amount of money that the injured person will accept, based on the information available.
It is not the insurance adjuster’s job to help you, act on your behalf or to advocate for you. That is the job of a personal injury lawyer.
At Gillespie, our goal is to:
- Ensure we have an accurate and comprehensive picture of how your health and life has been affected by your injuries before settling.
- Allow you to focus on recovery while we take on the stress of dealing with ICBC and others working on your file.
- Get you the treatment you need for the best recovery possible.
- Ensure you get the settlement you deserve. If we can’t reach a fair settlement out of court, we’re willing to go to court to help you get fair compensation.
By speaking with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, we can give you a better sense of how we put your interests first as we help. The sooner you call, the more we can do for you.
Are you looking for personal injury lawyers who offer experience, compassion and guidance at every step of your claim? At Gillespie, our personal injury team has a proven track record of ensuring the best outcomes for our clients. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay anything until your claim is resolved.
Call 1.250.374.4463 so we can help you.