According to the World Health Organization, approximately 20 to 50 million people around the world are injured or disabled in car accidents, annually.
An estimated 1.25 million people die, which averages to about 3,287 fatalities a day due to car accidents.
In other words, car accidents are not rare occurrences. There’s a pretty decent chance you will be involved in one at one point or another in your life. (Even self-driving cars may not solve that problem.)
You should always utilize safe driving practices, of course, but sometimes it’s not you. Sometimes it’s the other person, which is not something you can really control.
However, what you can control is what you do after an accident.
Here are 5 critical steps you should take immediately after a car accident.
5 Things To Do After A Car Accident
1. Remain Calm and Do Not Drive Away
First and foremost, do not drive away. Regardless of who’s at fault, it will only makes things worse, or prolong the process. Remain calm. Do not immediately go confront the other driver.
2. Check For Injuries
Check for and attend to any injuries. If the accident is anything more serious than a light fender bender, call 911. If you or anybody in your vehicle suffered any injuries, take stock of them. Oftentimes there can be a delay before symptoms occur, so keep that in mind.
3. Exchange Information With All Parties Involved
Once you’re okay and ready, check in with the other party involved in the accident and exchange information, regardless of who you think is at fault. Besides basic contact info, you should also, according to ICBC, exchange:
- License plate numbers,
- Driver’s License numbers; and
- Insurance information, particularly if not insured by ICBC
4. Document The Situation
This may seem like it goes without saying, but take a moment to gather yourself and document the situation. Take note of the specific location, date, and time, as well as road and weather conditions. Lawyers also advise that, if possible, you take some photos of the scene, as well as of all of the vehicles involved, and even your injuries if you have some. If there are witnesses still around, try to get their contact information.
5. Speak To The Police And Get In Touch With A Personal Injury Lawyer
If you called 911 during Step 2, the police should probably be on the scene by now. (If not you should still contact the non emergency line to report the accident as soon as possible.) Speak to them. Answer their questions. Provide them with information they might need that you gathered in Step 3 and Step 4. Also, you should get the information of the officer(s) you spoke to. Additionally, you should get in touch with a Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as possible to begin your claim and discuss your rights!
Make sure you are taking the right steps and exercising your rights after a car accident in B.C. Representing thousands who have been injured in car accidents or hazardous environments and needing help navigating through the complexities of the law, contact leading personal injury lawyers at Slater Vecchio LLP.
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