Unfortunately motor vehicle accidents are a fact of life, which means there’s a good chance that at some point you or someone you know will be involved in one. Whether you’re injured as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, you’re entitled to certain ICBC accident benefits including medical and rehabilitation benefits, and possibly compensation for your injuries.
What You Should Do
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle-related accident we recommend taking these steps immediately:
1. Seek medical attention – the most important thing is to make sure that you and anyone else injured in the accident receive the necessary medical attention. Call 911 if anyone is injured;
2. Stay Safe – if possible, move your vehicle, and yourself, out of traffic and to a safe place on the side of the road;
3. Take photographs – of the accident scene and vehicle damage. Do this before moving the vehicles only if it is safe to do so. If not, move vehicles to a safe area first;
4. Get details – record the name, driver’s license number, and contact information for all drivers. Also get the name and contact information of any witnesses. Record the license plate number, year, make, model and colour of all vehicles involved;
5. Don’t admit fault – while you may feel a sense of regret following an accident and even think it’s your fault, you may be wrong and admitting fault to the other driver will only damage a potential injury claim. There will be plenty of time to apologize down the road if appropriate;
6. Take notes– jot down details of the accident including: how it happened, time of day, date, location, direction of travel for each vehicle, lane of travel for each vehicle, and the weather conditions;
7. Call a lawyer – we recommend that you speak with a lawyer before reporting the accident to ICBC so that you are fully informed of your legal rights and obligations; and
8. Report to ICBC – The accident must be reported to ICBC, ideally within 24 hours after the accident. If you have retained a lawyer, they can report the accident for you.
According to ICBC there are approximately 260,000 car accidents in British Columbia every year. Of those accidents, approximately 52,000 result in an injury or fatality to at least one person involved. Whether you are injured as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, you are entitled to certain ICBC accident benefits to help you recover from your injuries. Also, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
As motorcycle riding in our Province grows in popularity, so too does the number of motorcycle accidents. But the unfortunate reality is that the freedom enjoyed while riding a motorcycle comes at a cost, as a lack of protection and visibility exposes riders to dangers and injuries not faced by other road users. Add in the fact that many vehicle drivers simply do not know how to share the road with motorcyclists, and you’ve got potential for disaster. Given the severity of injuries often suffered by motorcyclists it is important to speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following an accident to discuss your legal rights.
Vancouver has some of the worst traffic congestion in North America. That’s why more and more people are turning to buses to get them where they need to go. And whether it’s on transit, coach, shuttle or school buses, it’s common for bus passengers to suffer injuries due to the negligence of bus drivers or other road users. Bus accident claims can result from jerky or erratic bus driving, sudden stopping or slippery floors. If you have been injured while riding on a bus, even if there was no collision with another vehicle, you should be making an ICBC claim.
Whether it’s for commuting, exercise, or pure fun, more and more people are getting out on their bikes these days. Unfortunately this increase in cycling has resulted in a rise in collisions between cars and cyclists. The reasons are obvious: low visibility, inattentive drivers, and drivers who don’t know how (or simply don’t want) to share the road with cyclists. And it may go without saying but the numbers show that it’s the cyclists that come in second place in this battle. Fortunately, as a cyclist, if you’ve been injured as a result of a negligent driver you’re entitled to the same ICBC accident benefits and injury compensation as a vehicle occupant.
Of all the people using our roads, pedestrians are the most vulnerable. According to ICBC, each year there are over 2000 accidents involving pedestrians. The cause of these accidents is often clear: drivers are simply not paying attention. But no matter the cause, pedestrians who have been hit by vehicles are often left with severe injures. Fortunately, in most circumstances pedestrians are entitled to the same accident benefits and compensation as vehicle occupants.
How We Can Help
The days and months following an accident are often a stressful and confusing time. You may be in the hospital, or at home recovering. Then there are the inevitable doctor’s visits and therapy sessions. On top of it all, you must be sure you are taking the necessary steps to start your ICBC claim, so that you’re able to access the insurance benefits you are entitled to and begin the path towards fair compensation for your injuries.
At Poyner and Company, our personal injury lawyers have experience helping people who have been in a wide range of motor vehicle-related accidents. With our help, you can focus on recovering from your injuries while we represent your interests with ICBC, making sure that you are receiving the ICBC accident benefits that you are entitled to, when the time is right, ensuring that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and other losses.
We're Ready When You Are
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle-related accident, we can help you. Contact us today to discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer. Initial consultations are free of charge, and legal fees are based on a percentage of your overall settlement, and not collected until your claim is resolved. We are conveniently located near Capilano Mall in North Vancouver.