I Have Been Involved in a Car Accident. What Do I Do?!

On average, there are approximately 35,000 car accidents per year on Vancouver Island. That works out to be almost one hundred car accidents per day.  On the Island, there are almost 300 cyclists involved in in motor vehicle accidents per year.

In Victoria, the highest incidence of car accidents typically occurs at intersections along Douglas Street, the Island Highway and Burnside.

There are a number of steps you should consider taking to ensure optimal recovery and appropriate compensation following a car accident.

The following is a list of some of the steps that should be taken:

  • At the scene of the car accident you should assess injuries and call 9-1-1 if anyone is hurt;
  • You should exchange information with those involved in the vehicle accident and with potential witnesses;
  • If you are able to, take pictures of the accident scene including the damage to the vehicles, the positioning of the vehicles and any debris on the road;
  • If you are injured you should go to the hospital – if your injuries are only minor, you may wish to simply go to your general practitioner (GP);
    • Seeking medical help will not only help you with your recovery but will create a set of records if you seek compensation in the future for your injuries.  In Victoria, not everyone is fortunate enough to have a GP.  Even if you don’t have a GP you should still regularly attend a clinic to follow up and obtain treatment advice.  It is preferable to attend the same clinic for continuity of treatment and records
  • After meeting with the doctors, it is a good idea to consult a personal injury lawyer to determine your options;
    • The options are typically to negotiate a settlement with ICBC directly, or to hire a lawyer to assist you through the ICBC claims process up to and including final resolution of your claim.  If you plan to meet with a lawyer, feel free to review our prior blog regarding questions to ask when meeting with a personal injury lawyer: http://sitkalaw.ca/six-questions-to-ask-before-hiring-a-personal-injury-lawyer-2/
  • After you receive the necessary medical attention you should also promptly notify ICBC of the accident;
  • In the months that follow the accident, whether you hire a personal injury lawyer or not, you should focus on your recovery and monitor your improvements. You should also keep records of your out-of-pocket expenses relating to your injuries and treatment costs as these may be eligible for reimbursement by ICBC.

If you or someone you know has been in a car accident, please contact Sitka Law Group for a free consultation.  We will discuss your rights and your options so that you can make an informed decision.  Sitka Law Group is conveniently located on Shelbourne Street near the intersection of the borders of Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich.