What to do after a Car Accident/Crash
If anyone is injured: Call 911
Move the vehicles off the road if it’s safe to do so (out of the way of traffic), and if the damage is minor. If the damage is severe, do not move the vehicles.
Get details even if you think it was minor and you are not injured (Sometimes injuries take time to develop, and if you agree with the other driver that everything is fine and not to record information, your claim may be denied if injuries later develop.) Record the following for all vehicles and drivers involved. Try to see the info for yourself to avoid the other person giving you false information.
- driver’s name,
- driver’s licence no.,
- contact info
- licence plate and year, make and model of vehicle
- insurance details if the vehicle isn’t from B.C.
- You may also need to provide this information to the police.
See if there were any witnesses. Record names and contact info.
Record the scene
Describe the crash scene. Take photos or use a diagram. Use a camera from your phone or keep a disposable camera in the car. Make backup copies of any digital photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a lot of photos of everything and from many different angles. Take some close up shots and some establishing shots. Be careful to do this safely. Write down other details:
- Where was the other vehicle?
- Where was your vehicle and what lane were you using?
- What direction were you both travelling?
- What was the location?
- Street name, number, relative locations of nearby landmarks e.g. street lights, fire hydrants, etc
- What was the time, date and weather conditions? Lighting conditions?
- Unusual conditions? Oil on the road? Street light out?
- Were there skid marks, broken glass? Record locations.
- If there is significant damage to your vehicle (over $1000 for cars or $600 for motorcycles), you must report the accident to Police within 24 hours.
- Call police if you need traffic control. Use a hazard triangle if available and hazard lights.
- Obtain name and badge number of any Police who attended the scene.
Call your doctor
See your family doctor if you do not go to the emergency room, for injuries and to be referred to the appropriate treatment specialists. It is good to get a check up even if you don’t think you are injured.
Report to ICBC by phone. It is best to do this within 24 hours. Dial-a-Claim 24/7:
Phone: 604-520-8222 in the Lower Mainland
Phone: 1-800-910-4222 anywhere in Canada or the U.S.
Translation services are available.
- Do not discuss who is at fault
- Do not lie. It’s just not worth it, and most likely, someone will have a way to find out the truth anyway.
- Do not leave the crash scene. This is the worst thing you could do. No matter how bad it is, leaving the scene will only make things worse in more ways than one.
- Do not stand in between vehicles while exchanging information. Get off the roadway to a safe place to avoid further incidents. There have been many incidents where someone has had a very minor mishap, and is standing on the road exchanging information and are then injured or even killed by a passing vehicle who has crashed into the stopped vehicles or people.
- Note that if you leave the scene of the accident without reporting to the police and/or exchanging information with the other parties, you may be charged under the Motor Vehicle Act or may be held in breach of your contract of insurance with ICBC. The later result could cost you thousands of dollars when ICBC comes to you for the money they pay out under a claim.
- Of particular note, if you are in a single vehicle accident, especially at night, the last thing you should do is walk from the scene. ICBC will assume you have something to hide like impaired driving and may breach you of your contract of insurance. The better approach is to call the police and wait for their instructions.
- ICBC's Learner and New Driver Restrictions - Get the Facts
- Top 8 Tips for Reversing and Backing a Car
- Pass Your Driving Test Now! Endless Tips for New Drivers
- 8 Things to Remember about Turning Right on a Green Light
- Q: Basic Right or Left Turns Not Awesome? How to Stop Cutting Corners and Turning Wide
- Lane Changing Tips
- Parking Your Car In the Proper Gear - Standard and Automatic Vehicles
- 10+ Juicy Tips to Turn Left at a Traffic Light Safely
- Q: Is It Illegal to Drive with High Beams?
- How to Hold [and NOT hold] Your Steering Wheel
- Question: Driving Without Passenger Side Mirror
- BC Driving Blog Most Popular Content Since The Beginning of Time
- Check Your Truck Awareness
- Question On Caulfield Highway Exit ‘4-Way-Stop Intersection’ – West Vancouver
- Right Turn at W King Edward and MacDonald
- Question: Can I take my B.C. road test using a vehicle with an Alberta license plate?
- Tips for Driving & Road Testing With Manual Transmission Vehicle
- Q: I have my ‘N’ – Can my supervisor be drunk?