Being in a car accident can be a very stressful experience. From a minor fender-bender to a major catastrophic accident, the reactions of the people involved can be very different. I have been in two car accidents and it was really unnerving. The first one was major and I didn’t have any knowledge of what to do at the scene of the accident. It was traumatic and very scary. The second accident was a rear-end accident, which happened after I got involved with Klein Lawyers. It was a relief to be able to make it through the post-accident process knowing the best way to handle things at the scene of an accident.
If you find yourself in a car accident and you’re able to exit the car and do not need medical attention, here are five actions that are essential to take at the scene of an accident. The key underlying point to remember is that ICBC will allocate “fault” in an accident and you want to ensure you have the facts of your accident documented. First and foremost, however, it is essential to ensure that no one has been severely injured. If there is any doubt, call 911 immediately.
Assuming that an ambulance is not required at the scene of your accident, here is a priority checklist:
- Take pictures of the car-accident scene, the surrounding areas, even the street signs and the weather. Don’t miss car parts on the road, skid marks, or other elements of the accident. Take pictures of license plates of anyone who has stopped to help.
- Get proper documentation from the other driver involved in the accident and write down their information. If you have a smart phone, take pictures of the driver’s license and insurance papers.
- Record the names and contact information of as many witnesses as possible.
- Call 911 and report the accident. Police and RCMP in Vancouver may not attend the scene of an accident, but there will be a record of the call.
- Keep your cool. Do not admit fault or have a heated exchange with the other driver or passengers. It is in everyone’s best interest to be civil and polite.
Often after an accident, the shock sends adrenaline pumping, but try to focus on the important things and keep your emotions in check.
Want to share your At the Scene of A Car Accident story? Write us today or post a comment.
More next week: What NOT to Do at the Scene of a Car Accident.