If you have been in an accident and are able to get out of the vehicle to deal with the aftermath of the collision the following checklist may be helpful in assisting you:
- If possible, do not move your vehicle after the accident unless it is blocking traffic. Generally speaking if the collision is significant the RCMP and other emergency responders may attend the accident scene and preservation of the evidence and the location of the vehicles can be important. If you have a cell phone camera or another camera it is a good idea to take photographs of the cars in the position where they ended up after the collision. Also try to get a photograph of the license plate of the other vehicle, which can be helpful to identify the vehicle if that becomes an issue.
- If you are able, assist anyone who has been injured. Make sure that if there are injuries involved that someone calls 911 to alert the police and any other emergency responders.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. If that is not done at the scene these people tend to simply leave the area and their valuable information can be lost.
- Exchange names, addresses and insurance particulars with all drivers involved. Make sure that you obtain the identity of the driver as well as the owner of the vehicles involved as they are not always the same person.
- Do not discuss who is at fault for the accident with any of the participants or witnesses.
- As soon as practical, make some notes about what happened in the accident with respect to the vehicles involved, what happened to you inside the vehicle at the point of impact. Make notes of any comments made by other drivers or witnesses at the scene.
- Report the accident to ICBC.
- If you are not able to take photographs of the vehicles at the accident scene it is a good idea to take a number of photographs of the damage to your vehicle as soon as possible after the accident has occurred. Similarly, if there are visible injuries try to obtain photographs of your injuries.
- Following the accident it is a good idea to keep notes with respect to how the accident has affected your life. Generally speaking it is not possible for people to remember pain. The degree to which people suffer pain is quite abstract and difficult to measure or explain. As such it is better to keep notes with respect to “impairment of function”, which means how your ability to do things the in your life which you were accustomed to doing prior to the accident has changed. This would include things such as your ability to work, do chores around the house, enjoy recreational activities, engage with family members or do other physical movements which you now have to stop doing or modify the way that you are doing them. You should keep the notes because it may become necessary for you to engage in litigation with the individual or individuals who caused the accident. The notes will assist you in that litigation by providing you a reminder of how you were feeling at various times after the accident. They will also assist your lawyer in conducting an preparing your case and they will provide a memory assist for you in the future when you are asked questions about how the injuries which occurred in the accident have affected your life.
- Call Morelli Chertkow for a free consultation to discuss the details surrounding the accident and any potential claims you may have. The sooner you enlist our help, the sooner you will have someone in your corner to help you navigate your recovery and ensure that you are properly compensated at all stages of the process.