Things to Do After a Car Accident

Experiencing a car accident can be a jarring and stressful event. Knowing what steps to take in the aftermath is crucial for ensuring everyone's safety and navigating the process smoothly.

This article covers what to do after a car accident, providing you with a quick and practical checklist to follow. From prioritizing safety to documenting the scene and submitting your claim, we've got you covered every step of the way.

3 Most Important Things to Do after a Collision

1: Make Sure You and Everyone Else is Safe

Safety and wellbeing of everyone involved is the first priority. By doing this, you can minimize the chance of further injury or more accidents.

Here are the three most important things to do immediately to be safe:

Remain Calm:

Regardless of the severity of the accident, it's essential to stay composed. Keeping a clear head can help you make rational decisions and respond effectively to the situation.

Assess Injuries & Move Your Vehicle:

If possible, activate your emergency flashers/hazard lights and move your vehicle to the side of the road to prevent further accidents or traffic disruptions.

Check yourself and passengers for any injuries immediately. If there are any signs of injury, especially in high-speed collisions, dial 911 and stay on the line with the dispatcher for emergency assistance. Remember not to remove younger children from their car seats until help arrives.

Look for Other Hazards: 

Take a moment to assess the scene. Look for any immediate hazards such as leaking fluids, smoke, or fire. If it's safe to do so, exit your vehicle and move to a secure location away from traffic.

Once everyone is safe, you can proceed with documenting the accident and exchanging information with the other party involved.

2: Document the Scene & Collect Information 

Once everyone is safe, it’s best to start gathering information from the scene and the other driver.

Speaking with the Other Driver(s)

When speaking with the other driver(s), maintain a professional and calm demeanor, despite the emotional stress of the situation.

Try to gather the following information:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Licence plate number
  • Driver's licence number
  • Driver's insurance company and details (if not insured by ICBC)

Additionally, check for any witnesses present and collect their contact information.

Documenting the Crash Scene

This is imperative for Using your smartphone or camera, take clear photos of:

  • Your vehicle, including the area of impact and damages (including property damage)
  • The other driver's vehicle
  • Surroundings: This includes traffic signs, road conditions, and any contributing factors to the accident (ice, construction, debris)

Tips for Taking Accident Photos:

  • Use an object for scale (e.g., a coin, hand, watch)
  • Take multiple photos from different angles and distances
  • Capture injuries sustained by you and your passengers
  • Document elements that may have contributed to the crash, such as road conditions

Remember to note down details such as the location, road conditions, direction of travel, time of day, and any other relevant information about the accident scene.

Here a Tip: If visual aids help, consider drawing the accident on a piece of paper, which can be especially useful when communicating with insurance companies or ICBC. Many offices provide accident handout cards for this purpose.

3: Submit Your Claim 

Once the entire scene is over and you’ve had time to collect yourself, it’s time to start an accident claim. Try to submit your claim as soon as possible to ensure accuracy.

You have two primary options for reporting your claim to ICBC:

  1. Online Reporting: Visit ICBC's website and fill out the online claim report form. The online portal offers a convenient way to submit your claim details, accessible anytime and anywhere.some text
  2. Phone Reporting: If you prefer speaking with a representative directly, you can call ICBC to report your claim. Refer to ICBC's contact page for the appropriate phone number based on your location.some text

Ensure to provide accurate and complete information when reporting your claim. Include details such as:

  • Your insurance policy number
  • Vehicle information (make, model, year)
  • Description of the accident, including injuries, passengers involved, and damages
  • Information of the other driver(s) involved
  • Police report information, if an officer documented the accident at the scene

Any additional details you documented during the accident, such as photos and witness statements, can also be included in your claim submission (or later on when you update your claim).

Don't worry if you lack some information (like crash witness statements). These will be gathered by your ICBC adjuster.

By providing comprehensive information, you facilitate a smoother claims process and expedite the resolution of your case.

Read Also: Everything you need to Know about ICBC Claim


Experiencing an accident can be a jolting experience. Throughout this blog, we've outlined essential steps to take after a collision. We hope you feel more prepared if you ever find yourself in this scenario.

Don't forget you can learn more about our ICBC claim process.

Go to an ICBC Accredited Repair Shop Like Cerna Collision

If you find yourself in need of vehicle repair and a courtesy car, look no further than Cerna Collision. We're one of the top ICBC body shops in Surrey. Our ICBC-approved auto center repair services ensure a smooth process, guiding you through insurance coverage and claim procedures.

We understand the stress of car accidents, and our team is dedicated to providing support every step of the way. Contact us for expert auto repair service and a free on-site estimate.

Let us help alleviate the burden of post-accident aftermath and get you back on the road with confidence.

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