Car accidents have become an increasingly common phenomenon on Australian roads. For example, in 2019, RAC insurance processed more than 50,000 motor vehicle crash claims in Western Australia. This means 140 crashes happened every day in the state. It can be difficult to think clearly at an accident scene, so we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to help you:
It can be difficult to think clearly at an accident scene, so we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to help you:
- Stop Your Car and Park it in a Safe Place
The first thing you want to do is to park the vehicle in a safe place. According to Australian laws, it’s a criminal offense to flee an accident scene. And, if it’s dark, switch on the hazard lights to warn other motorists.
- Check on the Other Motorists
If you’ve not sustained severe injuries, check on the other drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. If hurt, avoid moving their bodies unless there’s immediate danger. Next, call emergency services
In case of a minor accident, you may not need to call emergency services. However if:
- The other driver is intoxicated, e.g., is on drugs or alcohol,
- The other motorist Is hurt,
- The other party refuses to give details or,
- The car is seriously damaged, call emergency services.
- Provide Crucial Details
The law requires drivers involved in a car accident to provide their names and address to the other driver or police. If the driver isn’t the vehicle’s owner, they should provide the owner’s name and address. If they’re defiant, call the police.
Also, if the driver has sustained severe injuries and can’t talk, they can use it as a defense for not providing the details at the crash site. Apart from the names and addresses, the drivers must provide other contact details, including their email addresses, phone numbers, and car license numbers.
Next, record their registration number, make and model of their vehicles, and the names of their insurance companies. It’s also important to record the date, time, and location of the crash and everything you remember about the accident. Taking photos goes a long way in narrating the scene during the trial.
- Engaging the Police
In case of a minor accident, you don’t need to report the case to the police, but it’s important if engaging an insurance company. Insurers often require the motorist to provide a police report number if filing a compensation claim. Conversely, you must report a major accident to the police within 24 hours. A major accident is defined as:
- One that led to bodily harm to the person
- An incident that caused property damage exceeding $3000
- An accident where the owner or representative of the damaged property is absent
If the accident fits this criterion, you must report it to the police and file an injury claim with the insurance. It may be a good time to enlist the help of a car accident lawyer. The next section explains their role.
What an Australian Car Accident Lawyer Does
Helps File an Insurance Claim
A car accident lawyer helps you determine the type of insurance claim you should make depending on the facts of the case. This is because there different types of compensation claims available to victims of a car accident:
- Personal injury claim: It’s the most common claim and is suitable if the victims’ expenses exceed $5000 or their recovery time is more than six months
- Accident notification claim: This claim awards victims up to $5000 in compensation for hospital expenses incurred. The victim must lodge the claim with the insurance company within 28 days
- Fatal motor vehicle accident claim: If family members have lost a loved one in a fatal car crash, they can file this claim. The time limit for filing such a claim is six months from the loved one’s date of death or the date of the accident
Help You Navigate the Claims Process
After identifying a suitable claim, the lawyer helps you navigate the process. They’ll help you collect crucial evidence required to file a successful claim, including witness statements, medical records, and registration numbers for the cars involved.
For an effective car accident lawyer that specialises in this field, Car Accident Helpline offer free claim assessments and have a no win no fee service if you’re requiring legal advice in the Brisbane region.
Maximizes the Compensation
A personal injury compensation covers specific expenses, including income loss, medical bills, and compensation for pain and suffering. Lawyers help victims identify relevant expenses allowing them to secure maximum compensation.
This brief overview should help you know what to do after a car accident. Don’t forget to enlist the help of a car accident lawyer. They may make the difference between getting an insurance company or the party at fault to compensate for damages.