Getting into a car accident is a terrible time, although it can often be unavoidable. Unfortunately, slick roads, poor weather conditions, unexpected car issues, and the bad driving practices or situations of other drivers are things all out of your control that could easily make your fear of an accident into a reality. As awful as a car accident is, the situation can be made at least a little smoother and less stressful by knowing what steps to take afterwards and what information you’ll need.
The First Steps
While these initials steps may seem common sense, it’s easy to get frazzled and unsorted after an accident. So, as a reminder, right after an accident or wreck, make sure you and the other person(s) involved are okay. If not, immediately call 911 or have a witness call on your behalf. Once it is established that there’s no major injuries, survey the damage and try to pull over to the shoulder of the road or a safe parking lot if your car is blocking the road.
Gather the Other Person’s Info
Once all of the first steps have been accomplished, move on to gathering the info of whoever else was involved in the accident. You’ll need to make note of their name, plate numbers, phone numbers/email, license information, vehicle registration and information, and their insurance information. If there were any witnesses at the scene, make sure to gather their basic info as well! They will be important for your case, especially if there was any serious damage, serious injuries, or if liability is contested.
Make Note of the Accident Conditions
Gathering the circumstances around the incident is a crucial step, so make sure to not skip it. Make note of any bad weather conditions, road conditions, etcetera. On top of this, make note of where the accident happened, the actions of you and the other driver, the posted speed signs, and when the accident happened. While it can be difficult to remember and gather all of this just after a car accident, take a deep breath and do your best to make note of all the specifics.
It’s easy to forget about in the moment, but make sure to take plenty of pictures of the accident. These will make the odds of a successful claim much higher and will also just make the entire process easier. Take photos of your car’s damage as well as that of the other involved car(s). Ensure that the photos are not blurry and that they clearly show any scratches, dents, tears, or general breakage.
If you have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses related to your accident (for fixing your car’s damages or otherwise), make sure to keep all the receipts. Put them in a safe place you’ll remember, because they’ll most definitely come in handy later. Also keep track of any medical expenses, medical results/tests, and treatment plans if you were injured in the accident. The ICBC will want to go over all of that, so ensure you have it all on hand.