What To Do After A Car Accident
Dealing with ICBC can be a full-time job. That’s why there are personal injury lawyers. There are so many steps to take post-accident that it is easy to forget something important. To ensure you deal with ICBC properly, understand your rights/obligations, maximize what you are entitled to, and obtain needed treatment, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer. It does not cost you anything up-front. There is little doubt that you will get more from your claim by having experienced professionals representing your interests.
However, even if you retain a personal injury lawyer, there is no substitute for doing your part. There are things your lawyer cannot do for you, but they are required to get the most out of your claim as possible.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of four key responsibilities for anyone making a personal injury claim:
Obtain all of the information you can post-accident:
- Exchange information with the other party. Call 911 if necessary.
- Check yourself, your passengers for injuries. The shock from an accident can take time to wear off. You still need to record information to protect your claim, even if you do feel fine at the moment.
- Look for witnesses and take their contact information.
- Record crucial information, like directions of travel of each vehicle, street names, weather conditions, time and date of the incident, and take photos of the resting positions of the vehicles.
- Draw a diagram so that it is easy to demonstrate to your lawyer or take pictures. These can be very effective in demonstrating who is liable for an accident.
- Report the claim to ICBC through dial-a-claim. A lawyer can also report your claim. It is a good idea to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Be open and comprehensive with your lawyer:
Make sure your tell your lawyer everything you can think of that might matter to the case. If you omit information that hurts you, it will likely come back to hurt you more. It is easier for a lawyer to prepare for a bad fact than to have it blindside them.
Start to build evidence:
What kind of pain you are feeling is difficult to measure. This is why the best way to present your pain as a fact is through evidence. Your main task as a personal injury claimant is to seek your doctor’s advice as soon as possible. By attending the doctor’s office and seeking treatment, you are creating evidence. Your doctor is creating a record of what you are telling him/her and what hurts and what does not. You do not want to be in a position where your pain is not solidly documented.
Adopt the right mindset:
You will get the quality representation you need for your claim if you commit yourself to it. You must be willing to attend the recommended therapy sessions you need, to gather and send receipts, and to send documents and information to your lawyer. Your claim will be all the better for it.