Car accidents are never fun and if you’re not sure to do it, it can become stressful fast. Regardless of how careful you are when you drive, you can still be involved in a car accident. We’ve compiled a list of things you should do if you find yourself in this predicament.
Pull over if you can
Getting out of your car when it is stopped in the middle of the road can be dangerous, so if you can, pull over to where it is safe. This not only minimises further risk to yourself but prevents other cars crashing into yours and the other person’s car. If you cannot get out of your car safely, you should proceed to turn your hazards lights on to alert others that are driving.
Check if any injuries have been sustained
Check yourself for injuries and the other people in your car. Make sure everyone is ok before proceeding to check on the other people involved in the crash. If everyone, including yourself, are injury-free, you can then assess whether the passengers in the other car are ok too or need help. If you, your passengers or people in the other car are injured, call 000 for emergency assistance, if you can’t get to your phone and someone else can, direct them to call for help.
All people involved in the crash or have had their vehicle damaged in the incident should exchange details with one another. Make sure you get their full name, address, vehicle registration number and the make and model of the car. If someone has been injured as a result of the crash or the other party refuses to swap details, grab their registration number and report it to police as soon as you can. You should know that while you’re not required to give your details to the other party, you will be by the police.
If you have walked away with only minor injuries, it’s a good idea to get checked over by a medical professional just in case as your symptoms may worsen over the next few hours to days. Not seeking medical advice can see you struggle to gather relevant evidence for a compensation claim as there is no record of it occurring. Emergency services can assess you and let you know of any silent symptoms you may be experiencing. It not only gives you peace of mind but if you do have an injury and want to claim compensation, you will have evidence of the event and the documentation to support it. Wait for the police to arrive and if the other party leaves, notify the police of this.
If you have your phone with you, take photos of the damage, any injuries you or your passengers sustained and anything else that relates to the accident that may be relevant. Dashcam footage is extremely helpful when claiming insurance and compensation, especially if the other party was a fault and dismissing responsibility.
Ask any witnesses to wait for the police to arrive
If there were people around when the accident happened, ask them to stay until the police arrive. Witness statements are very beneficial to have on record if you happen to get injured in the accident. Police will take down an account of the event from you and any people that saw the incident occur. If you need to claim for compensation, this can support your case greatly.
Documentation of the car accident
Without supporting evidence that corroborates the fact that you were not at fault, the chances of you receiving compensation are low unless your injuries are significant, then you will be covered by the National Injury Insurance Scheme in Queensland.
Notify your insurance provider
You will need to let your insurance company know about the accident as soon after as you can. They will ask you a series of questions and make contact with the other driver’s insurance company on your behalf. In Queensland, most people either have Comprehensive Insurance or Third Party Only. Comprehensive Insurance covers both you and the other driver if the accident was your fault and Third Party Only Insurance will pay the expenses to cover damages to the other driver’s car but not yours.
Acquire medical records
The extent of your medical records can be the difference between you receiving compensation or not. It is vitally important that you seek medical attention for your injuries immediately, make regular appointments to see your GP and follow up on all aftercare. Ensure that everything is documented for your records. This will be one of the first things your lawyer asks for.
Have a chat with an injury lawyer
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Following the steps outlined above can help you build a strong case. It is better to start the claim process as soon after the event as you can as time frames do apply. Your lawyer can advise you of the steps you should take to ensure you receive a settlement that you are happy with. Leaving it too long can see key details being lost or forgotten. South East Injury Lawyers have helped thousands of people across South East Queensland with their car accident injury claims. Don’t delay, contact us today for your free consultation.