Car accidents are stressful and difficult at the best of times. If you are injured in a car or road accident in Queensland then it is important to understand what to do immediately after the accident as well as your legal rights.
Follow this list of what to do if you have been involved in a traffic accident.
There will be a lot going on. Your first step is to stop your car, stop the engine and only get out of your vehicle if it is safe to do so. You may be in a crash on the highway where cars are going past. If so you might need to get out on the other side of the car. You want to prevent any further accidents taking place, so if possible make sure you park in a place where you are safely off the road.
Any action will depend on the extent of your injuries. The number priority should be seeking medical attention and preventing any further injuries.
Where possible though you should:
You should seek to reduce the risks of further accidents or injuries at the scene.
Not only are you required to do this by law, it is also necessary to report the accident if you are wanting to make a claim under a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance policy for any personal injuries you sustain in the accident.
Queensland Police Service provide the following advice for police involvement in the road accident.
If a vehicle requires / required towing then you need to report to attending officer or at local police station (to location of accident).
In other circumstance then accidents then police can be notified by:
To help lodge an insurance claim and any future compensation for injuries it is important to have detailed information from the scene when possible. Only do this if you are in a position to do so.
Note down key details of the incident such as:
If possible you should take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and to the other car. Note any tyre marks on the road and get the contact details of any witnesses to the accident. Witnessed can be helpful when corroborating your version of events in making an application for insurance compensation, or personal injury compensation. Be sure to take pictures from a range of angles, making sure you get all of the damage to your vehicle in the photos.
If you are able to do so, take photos of the scene using your smartphone or camera including:
If the other driver refuses to provide their details and you have their registration you can report this accident to the police, no matter how much damage you have sustained to your vehicle.
You should also report the accident to your insurer, even if you don’t plan to make a claim. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the other person may make a claim against you, and, secondly, most insurance policies place a duty on you to disclose any accidents and a breach of that duty could invalidate your insurance.
Claims for personal injuries (as opposed to damage to your car) must be lodged with the CTP insurer of the driver responsible for the accident. Find more information about what you can and can’t claim for in our 'Injured in a car accident, what are my rights?' knowledge base article.
Hopefully you will have obtained the details of the other driver, including their name, vehicle registration and insurance details, at the time of the accident. If they are uninsured or can’t be identified, your claim will be lodged with the Nominal Defendant.
Note – if you were solely responsible for the accident, you won’t be able to make a CTP claim.
Some injuries and shock take a while to kick in. Be sure to look out for any symptoms of injury and seek treatment and rehabilitation to aid your recovery.
If an ambulance wasn’t called to the accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Injuries are not always apparent and therefore even if you don’t appear hurt, you may still need treatment. In addition, if you want to seek compensation for any injuries you suffered as a result of the accident, you will need to submit a medical certificate as part of your claim. If initially you are given the all clear and symptoms then develop at a later date, see a doctor as soon as possible after that.
In the state of Queensland, all drivers must have CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance, this is attached to the cars registration. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queensland, and you were not the at-fault driver, you may be able to make a claim against the CTP insurance of the at-fault driver.
Strict time limits apply - seek legal advice ASAP - In most circumstances, the time limit to start a compensation claim is 3 years from the date of incident. Some processes need to be started much sooner. Seek expert legal advice ASAP. Call us on 1800 266 801 or start a live chat.
There are strict time limits for lodging a notice of claim for compensation for personal injury. It’s therefore important you don’t delay in taking the necessary steps, otherwise you run the risk of your claim being rejected. The deadlines for lodging your notice are as follows:
If you have been injured in a car accident in Queensland then you may choose to seek risk-free legal advice at any stage of the claims process.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
Information on your rights after a motorcycle accident in Queensland including rights for injured pillion riders.
Unsure if you should seek legal advice after a car accident in Queensland. Check tips for common scenarios here.