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I’ve Been in a Car Accident! Now What?

Dealing with a car accident is without a doubt a difficult ordeal. If you were in your vehicle during the accident, not only is your vehicle damaged but more importantly, you may have sustained injuries, which may prevent you from living life the way that you normally would. Whether you were in your vehicle, in someone else’s vehicle or a cyclist or pedestrian struck by a vehicle, it helps to know you still have insurance coverage through ICBC benefits.


With thousands of car crashes every month in the BC Southern Interior, accidents involving vehicles, unfortunately, happen every day. Even though people are aware that car accidents are common, many aren’t prepared if they are involved in such a situation. Facing stress and injury after an accident, can leave you feeling unsure about what to do to get better. To prepare yourself with an understanding of what needs to be done following a car accident, read our overview below.



Collect information


After an accident, if you don’t have any injuries that require medical attention, you should collect all the information relevant to the situation that you can. You should also write down the licence plate numbers and driver’s licence numbers of everybody involved in the accident. If the vehicle is from outside of BC, write down the vehicle insurance information as well.


If police are present, you should keep note of the police report number. Also, make sure you take plenty of photos of both the damage from the accident and the accident scene. Finally, don’t forget to seek out some witnesses and request for their names and contact information.


Seek medical attention


It may be obvious that you should seek medical attention if you sustained serious injuries. Even if your injuries don’t seem major to you, it would still be good to get a medical checkup. Let your doctor know all the symptoms that you are experiencing from the injury. Information about how the accident happened may be useful to the doctor as well.


Document everything and report the claim


After the accident, you should make notes about everything about the accident, especially when your view of the accident is still fresh in your mind. This is important because you may forget the details later. Having contact information of witnesses to your accident can also be helpful.


Also, you should mark down all the symptoms that you experienced from the onset of the accident until the present. Include photos of your injuries as well. When you speak with any healthcare professionals, make notes of all the conversations.



Make sense of existing coverage


After an accident, you would want to know what your insurance covers. In addition to any personal health insurance plans that you may have, you could check the services provided by ICBC. If you were a cyclist or a pedestrian struck by a vehicle, you also have insurance coverage through ICBC’s benefits.


An especially valuable referral, which you could get from your physician or request directly from ICBC, is an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists will meet you at your home to assess not only your physical well-being, but also your environment and how your injuries may impact your ability to care for yourself, your home and family. They will also look at how the accident may have affected your work and make recommendations to minimize additional complications.


As it can be overwhelming to know who to reach out to after an injury, occupational therapists can also support your recovery by helping you navigate and determine who else you should see and when you should see them. Not every therapy company in town directly bills ICBC for services. Knowing which companies do bill ICBC is helpful so you don’t have to use money out of your pocket to get better. These benefits are covered under Part 7 benefits through ICBC. Your occupational therapist should know which medical professionals do direct billing to ICBC.


ICBC covers a range of health services as a benefit to assist your recovery that you may not be aware of. Some of these include medical treatments, various rehabilitation treatments, kinesiology treatments, medication, transportation, personal care support, homemaking support, medical supplies and even fitness passes and home modifications. Again, with an occupational therapist assessing your situation and completing a report on your behalf, they can make recommendations for the above treatments and support.


Put together a rehab team and work toward recovery


After finding out what coverage you have, you can now put together a team of specialists to help with every stage of the recovery process. Regardless of whether you receive medical treatment, active rehabilitation may prove to be useful. Perhaps you may want to consult with a psychologist or clinical counsellor in regards to your recovery. After selecting your rehab team, you now just need to take the time to regularly see the specialists and work towards recovering so you can get back to living your life.


Follow-up


As you work towards your recovery, submit any remaining documents that your insurance provider requires. During this process, you should report any changes to your health and make sure that no injury was potentially overlooked by your healthcare providers.


If the injury is more catastrophic, a life care plan can be created from a professional to outline the services needed and costs for the duration of your life. If you have a lawyer, they can also make referrals to an occupational therapist or kinesiologist directly to support your recovery.



SMART Rehab is here to help with your rehabilitation


As specialists in rehabilitation services, SMART Rehab will support you every step of the way in your recovery after a car accident. From assisting you in your transition home after being discharged from the hospital to assessing equipment that you need or easing your return to work, we are here to help.


From our dedicated team of professionals, our diversified practice includes a range of therapies appropriate to anybody who has been in a car accident. Our focus remains on your individual needs, whether it’s active rehabilitation, aquatic therapy, occupational therapy or something more appropriate. Following through until the end, we can submit comprehensive assessments to ICBC for you, help determine if a longer treatment period than the referred treatment period is needed and help you create engaging goals or a life care plan.


We understand that car accidents are difficult, but we make the road to recovery as easy as possible. Contact us to see how we can help.

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