Car accidents are stressful and difficult at the best of times. 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.
● Give assistance to anyone who needs it and who may have been injured in the accident. If you are not trained in first aid it is best to administer only rudimentary assistance and await an ambulance.
● Do not move anyone who has been injured. Leave them where they are, just in case there is any kind of spinal injury which could be worsened.
● If you are injured, it is best to stay where you are and wait for medical attention. Let someone know that you are injured, and ask them to call an ambulance.
If someone has been injured in a car accident, or if the other driver has left the scene you will need to notify the nearest police station.
You need to exchange details with the other party. This is so that you can make a claim for personal injury or property damage in the event that either has taken place. Vital details you need to gather from the other party include:
● Vehicle registration details/licence plate details
● Licence details of the other party. Take a photo of both sides of their licence.
● Description of the vehicle
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 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.
It is important to get as much information about the accident as possible. Things like the make, model, colour, and style of vehicle are all important, as are:
● The time and date of the crash
● Any driving conditions, such as missing road signs, whether it was raining, road quality, muddy roads, lighting on the road
● What sort of damage was caused to each vehicle
If your vehicle is unable to be driven you may need to seek the services of a tow truck. You may be covered through roadside assistance with your vehicle or through a provider like RACQ. If a tow truck is on the scene you are no obliged to have your vehicle towed by them.
Once you have left the scene of the accident having gathered all the necessary information, you will need to take some steps to get back on track.
This needs to be done as soon as possible, and can be done from the scene of the accident. Doing this as soon as possible means that your insurer can begin the process of liaising with the other party and recovering payment for damage. If you have no insurance and you are not at fault you can still recover for the cost of damage to your vehicle.
If you are injured and it was not immediately apparent at the scene of your accident, you may need to seek medical attention. You may have suffered whiplash which can take some hours or days to set in, or you might have some more serious medical condition which has been caused by a seatbelt.
If you have been injured after an accident you may be wondering if you need a lawyer. If you are looking at making a claim for personal injury compensation then a discussion with a lawyer can be a great place to start finding out what your rights are and how you may be able to claim. Your injuries may have led to a loss in wages, or medical expenses, in which case a personal injury claim may be something you would consider pursuing.
Speaking to a lawyer does not mean you are not obliged to go through with a personal injury claim. A chat to a personal injury lawyer can be a good way to get some clarification on whether you have a claim, and how the process will take place. You can read more about personal injury law claims here and find out about what happens when making a claim for road accident compensation with Smith’s Lawyers.
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.
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