Important steps to take after a car accident

This article discusses information to gather at the scene of a car crash and the importance of consulting with a lawyer to seek benefits and compensation.

Whether British Columbia residents see the impact coming or not, being involved in a car accident can be shocking and upsetting. Those few seconds usually go by quickly and slowly at the same time. Most people don't even know what happened until the vehicles come to a stop.

The emotions involved in such an event can cause its victims to forget that taking certain steps in the immediate aftermath of a crash can help preserve important information at the scene that could prove useful if making a claim with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia or if the circumstances warrant litigation. It may not seem important at the time, but it certainly could end up providing the key to a successful claim.

Useful information to gather after a car accident

Even if an individual thinks he or she is only going to make a claim through ICBC, gathering the following information is essential, especially since taking such action could actually warrant more than just an insurance claim:

· While the incident remains fresh in a person's mind, he or she should write down or otherwise record the details of what happened. More details may be remembered later, but first impressions often provide useful information.

· Obviously, it's necessary to obtain pertinent information about the other driver, such as his or her driver's license, the identifying information about the vehicle and its license plate number. In order to avoid any mistakes, photographs of this information would more than likely be better in order to preclude any miscommunication later.

· Identifying any witnesses and obtaining their information could also prove invaluable since it provides an independent and unbiased account of what happened from those not involved in the crash.

· Even if an individual does not believe he or she suffered any severe injuries, seeking medical attention right away could rule out any potentially severe and life-threatening injuries for which signs may not readily appear. In addition, it provides the beginnings of a paper trail for a future claim.

It would also be wise to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. What an individual may think are minor injuries could prove more serious. In some cases, only time will reveal whether certain injuries will have life-altering repercussions. Headaches, sleep problems and more may seem "normal" after a car accident, but they could signal a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, which is just one example of how certain symptoms may lull an individual into a false sense of security.

Seeking support after a car accident

For this and other reasons, anyone in this situation may want to obtain at least an explanation of his or her rights, a thorough evaluation of the circumstances and advice regarding the potential legal options available. Working with a lawyer can help ensure that a victim receives all of the benefits and/or compensation he or she deserves regardless of the appropriate legal action, especially since litigation can quickly become complex.

Even if the answer is to file a claim with ICBC, the process is not always as simple as it sounds. ICBC often denies certain benefits, offers low settlements or stops providing benefits too early, which can lead to frustration and stress an injured party does not need during recovery.