Post Crash Checklist

If you are involved in a crash consider the following initial steps:

  • Ensure that the vehicle has come to a complete stop, the engine is turned off, and the parking brake is on.
  • Determine whether you or the other occupants of the vehicle are injured.
  • If you or the other occupants of the vehicle are injured determine whether or not it is safe for any of you to move. If there is any concern about a serious spinal injury or your ability to stand without falling then do not move and wait for professional medical assistance. If you are unable to obtain the necessary information or take the necessary steps set out below because of your injuries, try to have another trusted and reliable person do that for you.
  • Call 911 for ambulance and police.
  • If you are physically able to exit your vehicle, determine if it is safe for you to do so taking into account traffic, road, and weather conditions before exiting your vehicle.
  • Determine if the occupants of the other vehicle (s) are injured and who was driving which vehicle.

Exchange particulars with the driver of the other vehicle (s) including:

  • Full name.
  • Address.
  • Telephone numbers.
  • E-mail address.
  • Make, model, and year of vehicle.
  • Drivers license number, class, restrictions, and expiry date.
  • Name and address of the owner of the vehicle.
  • Check all of the above against the driver’s license and the insurance/registration papers.

For each potential witness to the crash obtain:

  • Full name.
  • Address.
  • Telephone numbers.
  • E-mail address.
  • Whether they were a driver or occupant of a vehicle or whether they were a pedestrian.
  • Where they were when they observed the crash.
  • A brief summary of what they observed.

Observe and make notes on:

  • The damage to all vehicles in the crash.
  • The resting position of the vehicles in the crash including the direction they are facing and where on the road they have come to rest.
  • The scattering of debris on the road.
  • Skid marks on the road.
  • Roadway and intersection layout including traffic control devices, roadway markings (i.e. sidewalks), temporary obstructions, hazards or detours, and whether the road is flat, curved, or on a hill.
  • Weather conditions and condition of road (wet, dry, slippery).
  • Whether there are any cameras pointed in the direction of the crash scene including cameras placed by the municipality at an intersection or cameras in commercial premises that may have captured a recording of the crash (for example a bank or convenience store camera).

If a tow truck arrives at the scene get the business card from the tow truck driver so you can later collect your personal items from the vehicle.

Pay careful attention to the condition of your body, mind and emotions and describe as accurately as possible to the paramedics how you are feeling being careful not to exaggerate or downplay your symptoms. Remember to always cooperate fully with police and paramedics and follow their advice. Obtain a business cards with incident file number from the investigating police officers.

If possible take photographs or video/digital recordings (i.e. using a camera, camcorder, or cell phone) of the interior damage to all vehicles, the exterior damage to all vehicles, the crash scene generally including the resting position of all vehicles on the road, any debris or skid marks on the road, and any observable injuries of everyone at the scene (i.e. cuts, bruises, abrasions).

If the paramedics advise you to take an ambulance to the hospital then do so. Afterward, follow-up as quickly as possible with your family physician.

Contact your personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Download our helpful crash checklist pamphlet. Keep this document in your glove compartment as it contains a handy checklist to follow in case you are involved in a car crash.

Next Steps

Step 2: Meet a personal injury lawyer & process ICBC documents

Step 3: Examination for discovery

Step 4: Focus on your recovery and gather information 

Step 5: Settlement or trial 

Step 6: Final Accounts