car crash

How you respond to a car crash matters.

STEP 1 – After a car crash think “Safety First”

  • It is safe to do so, move the vehicles off the road.
  • If anyone is injured in the car crash, call 911.

STEP 2 – Details 

  • Record information:
  • Driver’s name, licence number, contact information;
  • The make, model, year, and licence plate for the other vehicle;
  • The Driver’s insurer, especially if the vehicle is from out of province.

STEP 3 – Witnesses

  • Were there any witnesses to the accident?  Bystanders?
  • Collect witness contact information (names, phone numbers, addresses).

STEP 4 – Records

  • Record additional details related to the crash:
  • Photos of your car, their car, injuries, or take notes (on paper, phone, tablet).
  • Consider the date and time of the accident, location, direction of travel, road conditions.
  • Use ICBC’s Crash Scene Details card to record details, or draw a diagram of your own.

STEP 5 – Health

  • Are you and your car in safe condition to drive home?
  • Do you have a friend to call, or a way to get home safely?
  • If you are injured in a car crash, or have any aches or pains afterwards, attend a clinic immediately.
  • Make an appointment with your family doctor.  Report all your symptoms.  Follow their recommendations.

STEP 6 – Report Claim

  • Call ICBC (or other insurer if you have an alternate).
  • Stick to the facts.
  • Be careful what you say-they will record everything.
  • Talk to a lawyer before you sign anything.
  • ICBC Dial-a-claim can be contacted toll-free by calling 1-800-910-4222, or by completing an on-line form.
  • ICBC will walk you through having your car assessed, so you can get it fixed.
  • It is mandatory to report all motor vehicle accidents that occur in BC to ICBC.

STEP 7 – Call a Lawyer

  • You can request a free consultation.
  • A lawyer can give you advice about how to interact with ICBC, and the kinds of compensation you may expect to receive for your accident.
  • We recommend you consult several lawyers before you choose one.
  • With Personal Injury Cases, lawyers usually charge a contingency fee, so you will not have to pay a lawyer up front.

What is a “contingency fee”?

Payment to an attorney for legal services that depends, or is contingent, upon there being some recovery or award in the case.

Michael Butterfield, a local Victoria lawyer advised, “If you are in a car crash, it is much better to have a lawyer from the beginning.  He emphasized, “Even small accidents can have big consequences.”

Jayne Embree

Jayne holds a Masters in Psychology and is a highly experienced Divorce Coach and Child Specialist.  She is currently the Office Manager of Butterfield Law.

Note:  Some information for this article was obtained from