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What Legal Actions Should You Take After Being In A Car Accident In Vancouver?
A car accident can easily become your liability if you don’t know how to respond to one. As a vehicle driver, you should know the basic steps to take in you are involved in an accident as this can help you legally if a real situation occurs.
Check For Injuries & For Your Safety
It is important to do a quick assessment to determine if you or anyone else has been injured and if you are in a safe location where you ended up after the collision or if you are at risk for getting hit by another vehicle (e.g., on the highway). Call an ambulance for medical assistance if it’s needed.
Exchange Contact & Insurance Information
After an accident, each driver is required to provide identifying information (e.g., name, contact information, driver’s licence number) and insurance information. Try to get the other vehicle’s make, model, year and plate number as well. Don’t discuss the accident with the driver or payment or fault.
If the other driver refuses to provide information, write down what information you can get, including a description of the vehicle and driver.
Obtain Witness Information
If you see a witness, ask for his or her name and phone number. Witness evidence is valuable even if the witness only saw or heard what happened after the accident.
Report The Accident
Call 911 if anyone needs immediate medical help, which will also dispatch a police officer to come to the accident scene. If no one is injured, but you suspect that the other party may be impaired by alcohol, drugs, medication, or extreme fatigue/drowsiness, then it’s important to call the police to
come to the accident.
If no one appears to be hurt and there are no signs of impaired driving, then call the police if the combined damage to both vehicles exceeds $2,000. Otherwise, report the accident at your local collision centre.
Be sure to report the accident to your family physician if you are injured, explaining all your symptoms without exaggerating. If you discover injuries that are not immediate after the accident (e.g., whiplash, brain injuries), go and report the symptoms to your doctor when you discover them.
Notify ICBC of the accident (within 24 to 48 hours is ideal). Or, if you sustained injuries, you may be better off if your personal injury lawyer reports the accident for you. In fact, having your injury lawyer notify ICBC is a good idea as it ensures that you do not give unnecessary information to the adjuster that could be later used against you.
Record The Accident
It is valuable to record the facts, including the date, time, location, road and traffic conditions, the weather, who was driving and your observations.
Take pictures and video if possible, including of the vehicles, roadway, signs, and injuries. Write down where the vehicles were before and after accident, where the vehicle damage is, where your injuries are or were and what was said by who.
Seek Legal Advice
It is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer in Vancouver if you are injured from a Vancouver car accident. A lawyer at Paine Edmonds LLP will be able to assist you by assessing your situation to determine if you have a viable tort claim against the other driver in addition to an ICBC accident claim. We may be able to file a lawsuit if the other driver has some liability for the accident.
Keep in mind that determining fault is not always straightforward and you may disagree with the fault determination by ICBC. If we find the fault decision questionable, our lawyers at Paine Edmonds LLP may recommend a successful appeal through ICBC or the court.
Sometimes even a driver who has been charged with an offence will still be able to make a tort claim and, often, an injured victim is assigned some liability for contributory negligence. It is best to discuss the circumstances of your accident with your accident lawyer in Vancouver, who will be your legal advocate.
A Vancouver lawyer who deals with ICBC will also help you obtain the Part 7 benefits. These auto insurance benefits should be available to you regardless of who was at fault for the accident, but often it is difficult to fully obtain what you are rightfully entitled on your own.
Call Paine Edmonds For A Personal Injury Lawyer In Vancouver
If you are in need of a car accident lawyer in Vancouver, we can meet to discuss your situation with you. We offer a free initial legal consultation and charge fees on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only get paid if we win a settlement for you. Contact us at 604-683-1211.