Have you been injured in a car accident?
If you are in an accident, a few things you need to be sure to do.
- Remain calm. Turn on your hazard lights and in the case of a minor accident, if safe, move your car to the side of the road and shut off the engine. If the accident is severe, allow the professionals to attend the accident for investigation purposes before moving your vehicle.
- Check yourself and your passengers to determine if anyone is injured. If so, call 911, provide your location and request assistance. If you can safely do so, provide aid to anyone in need.
- Call for the police. A police report may assist you with collecting the information you need about the other party as well as assist in determining liability for the accident. If the other party has fled the scene of the accident, call the police immediately and provide your location and a description of the other vehicle. A damaged vehicle and an intoxicated driver can be found a lot easier if reported immediately.
- Once you are certain everyone is safe, obtain information. This includes
- The full name of the other driver(s) involved;
- Contact information including addresses and phone numbers;
- Driver license number;
- The name of the owner if not the same as the driver;
- The make, model and license plate of all vehicles;
- The insurance company and policy number for the other vehicles; and
- Witness names and contact information.
- If you have a camera or a cell phone with a camera, take pictures of the vehicles, the location and the surrounding area. You may also wish to take a photo of the other parties license and insurance documents.
- If your car is immobile, call your towing company. If you have CAA or other emergency auto protection this service may be covered. Make sure to remove all your valuables from the vehicle before it is towed and only leave your vehicle keys with the towing company. Remember, you still need keys to get into your home.
- If you feel any pain, nausea, stiffness or experience any headaches see a doctor immediately either by going to a hospital emergency room, a walk-in-clinic or your family doctor. Do not wait to see a doctor as initial feelings of pain and discomfort may be symptoms of more serious injuries.
- As soon as you have time, and a chance to reflect on the accident, write down or make a voice recording of all details that you recall from the accident.
- Speak to your lawyer, especially if you received a ticket from the police. Your lawyer may be able to help you with preparing your accident statement for your insurance company.
- Call your insurer and report your claim. Your vehicle may need repairs or, if the damages are more serious, may be considered a total loss. If repairable, ask your family and friends to recommend a reliable repair facility. If a total loss, research the replacement value of your vehicle to assure you receive reasonable value from your insurer for your vehicle.
- If you are injured your insurance company may offer you a quick and early settlement to compensate you for your injuries. Although a few dollars may look good at the moment, be leery. Even minor injuries have long term effects. A simple lower back pain can have long term implications affecting both your ability to work in your chosen field and your ability to enjoy your recreational activities. Follow through with the treatment plan put in place by your health care professionals to achieve the best recovery possible.
Often people have very strong emotions at the time of an accident. Its important that you remain calm and only deal with the situation at hand. You may have feelings of guilt that you, your passengers or other people are hurt and scared. However, indicating that you are sorry or that its all your fault may be considered an admission of fault and held against you irregardless of the facts related to the accident. Certainly your insurance company will be more than happy to hear other people at the scene provide statements that you admitted fault and took responsibility as they can use this admission to limit or deny you coverage. In addition, talking about blame at the scene of the accident can lead to arguments and aggression between parties which will only further aggravate and escalate an already troublesome situation. Its best to leave the determination of liability to a time and place removed from the accident scene.
If you were injured, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity and expenses. Whether you were the driver or the passenger, you should speak to a lawyer. Call our office and we will arrange to meet with you at your convenience.
We accept cases involving all injuries including:
- Whiplash, neck, and back pain
- Spinal Cord injuries
- Brain injuries from concussions to severe trauma
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety, depression and PTSD
Its our belief that the monetary value of a claim is only realized after recovery is either complete or at a significant plateau. Then, with sharing of knowledge between yourself, your healthcare professionals and your lawyer discussions can begin respecting an appropriate valuation of the claim.
We offer free consultation for victims of motor vehicle accidents.
If we agree to take on your case our fee for a personal injury claim will be based on a contingency fee agreement. Essentially, you pay us a percentage of the result achieved in your case. We do not charge you any legal fees until your case is complete. The Law Society of British Columbia stipulates that,
In a claim for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the maximum contingency fee allowed is one-third of the amount recovered. In all other cases involving personal injury or wrongful death, the maximum allowed is 40% of the amount recovered.
In many cases we are able to conclude your claim for even less than the 33% maximum. During your consultation we will discuss the structure of the fee agreement in detail.