We are just days into the year 2017, but five years ago in the year 2012, 92 individuals per day lost their life here in the United States (on average), in 30,800 deadly crashes throughout the whole year. And while the number of deaths of those behind the wheel (or in the vehicle in general) have declined steadily over the last two decades, we would still prefer to see no one have to lose their life while driving.
And not only would a driver not want to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after having been out drinking, he or she would also want to think twice about operating an automobile when sleep deprived. Drowsy driving contributes to up to 30 percent of crashes, so if you have not received an adequate amount of sleep, consider having someone drive you or stay home.
Another way for a driver to stay as safe as possible when operating a vehicle is to practice defensive driving. You may be a great driver, but not everyone is paying attention. Do not just always trust others to do the right thing. Be on your guard, and you’re reaction time will be better than if you are not watching the world around you.
Car accidents are common, and it’s fortunate when everyone involved in one makes it out with their life. Be a factor in causing the decline in car accidents, especially fatal ones, today.
Road accidents are frightening things, even if you’re not directly involved in them. When you get involved in an accident – or even just witness one – there are certain crucial steps you should take afterward. This guide will help you see to the crucial details without overlooking anything important:
1) Don’t Be Too Quick To Apologize
It’s become pretty widely known that you shouldn’t rush to take responsibility in the aftermath of an accident. Canadians are well known for politeness, but you need to resist the temptation to apologize immediately when you’re involved in an accident. The question of who is at fault isn’t always cut and dried in a serious accident. Hold off on your apologies and let ICBC decide which parties – if any – are at fault.
2) Dial 911
You want to get emergency services (particularly the police) involved sooner rather than later if the accident has caused any injuries or caused serious property damage. (As a rule of thumb, you should call 911 if you think the damages exceed $1,000.) Go ahead and dial 911 at the scene of the accident if you think the police might be needed. The dispatcher you speak to can make the ultimate call about which emergency services to dispatch. Remember that the priority for first respondents is to deliver medical attention where it’s needed, so calling 911 will allow them to swing into action.
Note that if you decide a call to 911 isn’t needed (i.e. there are no injuries and minimal damage), you should still exchange contact info with the other people involved in the accident. All road accidents need to be reported to ICBC; you might get yourself in trouble with your insurance company if you ignore the Motor Vehicle Act by failing to report an accident.
3) Collect Documentation
As long as you have the means to do so, you should document the scene of the accident as thoroughly as possible. Now that most people are carrying decent cameras with them everywhere they go (e.g. smartphones), it’s a lot easier to record pertinent information after an accident.
Here’s a list of key photos you should take:
* Driver’s licenses and insurance records for all drivers
* The scene of the accident
* Any vehicular damage
* Tire tracks and debris in the road
* License plates
* IDs for any witnesses (with their consent)
You should also try to gather contact information for any and all emergency personnel who show up at the accident. Make some general observations about the precise location of the accident and the weather conditions at the time, too.
4) Report In To ICBC
As noted above, you have a responsibility to report all accidents to ICBC within 24 hours, even if you don’t need to call emergency services. You can reach them online at icbc.com or call them at 1-800-910-4222. Leaving an accident unreported or not contacting ICBC promptly can cause problems. They need to hear about all BC accidents. At this early stage, ICBC will start gathering general information about the accident.
Bear in mind that the ICBC representative will record everything you say, and your statements could carry legal weight in the future. Limit yourself to the information you know to be correct; don’t make any speculations at this time.
5) Seek Medical Attention
If you have any non-emergency medical needs following the accident, this is the time to make an appointment with your doctor.
6) Seek Legal Counsel
Find yourself a lawyer once you feel ready to work with them. Consultations on personal injury cases related to accidents are usually free. Lawyers are extremely helpful, as they’ll help you deal with insurance companies, fulfill your responsibilities, and secure the fair compensation you deserve.
A personal injury attorney will be your representative when you are filing a case against someone else for an accidental injury they have caused. Also, a personal injury lawyer can defend you against anyone filing a lawsuit against you for injuries you may have caused. Either way, it is incredibly vital to choose a personal injury attorney that you feel comfortable with and can afford.
When finding the right candidate, you need to work carefully and yet diligently since there is a certain period that a case must be, filed failure to which, the statute of limitation will run and filing the case will not be possible.
Here are tips on choosing the right personal injury lawyer
Identify your needs
To get the best candidate; it is wise to consider the case you have. Your case will determine the type of lawyer you need. Most personal injury lawyers can handle a car crash lawsuit with modest injuries. However, death cases or severe injury calls for the attention of highly experienced lawyers with good track records.
When deciding how much to offer, insurance firms take into account the reputation of your attorney. Therefore, it is wise to hire an experienced lawyer.
When it comes to choosing the best personal injury lawyer, it is advisable to consult family, friends, and professional contacts. Your relatives and friends can be a reliable source and a good starting point for finding personal injury lawyer in your local area. Get in touch with your close contacts for referrals and see to it you get to know how satisfied they were with their case. Your friends might be having professional legal contacts that can help you build a perfect attorney profile and can even recommend the best man for the job depending on your needs.
Know what to avert
There are certain things that you need to avoid when choosing personal injury attorney. Some lawyers exhibit traits that can be a downfall to your lawsuit. Seek out another lawyer to help you with your case if you spot an attorney with the following characteristics.
Fails to pick your calls and reply your emails.
Fails to pay court bills.
Unrealistic compensation guarantees.
Neglects to keep you updated.
Interview your lawyer
It is wise that you use office visits and lawyer interviews to make an informed decision on personal injury lawyer selections. Come up with good questions and inquires that are unique to your case, to ascertain whether or not a lawyer is a good fit for your lawsuit needs. Interview at least three lawyers suitable for your case and ensure that you weigh their specializations, experiences, and responses.
Ask your attorney questions
Before meeting your prospective lawyer, it is important that you come up with a list of questions for them. Ensure that the list you generate is made of relevant questions for your case. The response to the questions can help you decide whether the attorney is the right one for you.
Here are some of the important questions that you can ask:
How you ever been suspended or disciplined from practice?
Will anyone else be working with you on my case?
How long will my case take?
What payment procedures do you take?
What are you specialized in?
Positive connection and Trust
The connection you feel when you meet with a lawyer can help you know if you can trust them with your case. Check if the attorney is focused on you, if he or she is always being distracted or interrupted, whether they keep in mind what you are saying, and be keen to note they have the right eye contact. What you need is a lawyer you can trust.
Choose a lawyers whose personality is compatible with yours, who doesn’t keep you waiting for long, who is supportive and readily available, and who is welcoming and friendly. A lawyer who treats you with respect is likely to handle your case in a professional way. Let your instincts be your guide.
You need to hire someone you can trust despite the size of your case which is the person you will be working with for the entire claim processes.
Check out their track record
If your personal injury case is complicated, where death has resulted or injuries are severe, it is important that you ask the attorney to show you their track record. Highly experienced and reputable lawyers maintain lists of crucial cases they have resolved and handled. If you need your case to be filed as a lawsuit and tried, make sure the attorney you will be working with has a history of good trial results regarding settlements and verdicts.