Once the adrenaline that comes with being in a car accident dies down, a car-accident victim is left to deal with the realities of the situation: possible injuries, car repairs, medical attention and insurance. It can be very overwhelming. Here are a few tips to help you make it through the first 48 hours after a car crash:
1. The same day or the next day of an accident, write down as many details as possible about the accident. Think about it objectively. Critical elements are:
a. Accident time and date
b. Weather, lighting, and road conditions
c. Any immediate and noticeable injuries
d. What you were doing prior to the other car entering the scene
e. Your approximate travelling speed
f. Comments made by the other driver
g. Comments made by witnesses
h. Traffic-light patterns or other critical traffic-control indicators, such as crosswalk signs or driving restrictions in the area, such as no right turn on red lights.
2. Save, back up, and date any photographs taken at the scene of the accident.
3. Seek medical advice. Even if you don’t feel that you have been injured, make an appointment to see your family doctor or visit a walk-in clinic. You want to ensure you do not have internal injuries, a concussion, hairline fractures or spinal/neck trauma. Often injuries do not present themselves immediately.
4. Be patient with yourself and the claim process. It takes time to know the full extent of your injuries and/or damages and how to best navigate through the insurance process.
5. Before you call ICBC, call a car-accident lawyer. The sooner you do this, the better. There are requirements for filing an ICBC claim and a lawyer can advise you of the rules. One or two calls to find out if you need legal representation is worth the time. Once you determine whether you do or don’t want or need a lawyer, then you can get the ICBC process going. A car-accident lawyer can review your accident details and provide you with options. Dealing with an insurance company is not easy and can be extremely stressful if you are injured. Just knowing your options can put your mind at ease and allow you to make the clear, well-thought-out decisions.