Thousands of people are involved in car accidents every year. Regardless of whether it’s a simple rear ender, or a major collision, it will mostly likely entail a claim for damages. Whilst not all accidents are alike, there are common steps that you should take to ensure proper compensation for your losses.
At the scene of the accident
First of all, check the safety of all your passengers and other individuals involved. If anyone appears to be injured, call the police and ambulance immediately. Often, injuries can happen even in the simplest accidents. Victims should seek prompt medical attention for health reasons, and also to ensure that their injuries are recorded by a recognised medical practitioner.
Regardless of any apparent injury, you should call the police and ask for an officer to be present at the scene. Having a police report is extremely important in assessing which driver is at fault.
Make sure to get the name, address, driver’s license number, vehicle registration and insurance information of all the drivers involved. You should also gather the names and contact details of any witnesses.
You can also take photographs at the scene. You should include photos of all the vehicles involved, location of the traffic signal lights, and any other obvious evidence such as debris and skid marks. You can also take note of the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident.
Lastly, it is better if you avoid taking any statements from any witnesses who appear to be supporting of the other driver involved, as these could be used against you in the future.
Seeking medical attention
It is very important that you seek medical treatment without delay. You should inform your attending physician that you were involved in a car accident. You should also follow through on all the prescribed medication and treatment.
It is important that you take care to report all of your injuries to the doctor, no matter how minor they may seem. Failing to report or seek treatment for an injury immediately can cause major problems later on, and as such early reporting is very important in such circumstances.
If the symptoms you’re experiencing do not seem to be resolving, and your doctor does not seem to be investigating them sufficiently, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion. It is also recommended that you keep a journal of any pain and symptoms, medications you have taken, and treatments.
Your claim’s success will depend heavily on a very comprehensive medical record detailing your injuries, its relation to the accident, and how they have impacted on your life and everyday living activities, including in particular, your employment.
Contact a personal injury lawyer
One of the most important steps following a motor vehicle accident is to contact us at The Personal Injury Lawyers so we can immediately take steps to lodge your claim upon the at-fault driver's CTP insurer and to ensure your personal injury claim is protected. Commencing a claim will also assist with your treatment expenses, as once your claim is lodged, the insurer has an obligation under the relevant legislation to meet your reasonable treatment and rehabilitation costs.
Dealing with insurers - we can help you with recovery of car repair / replacement costs
In relation to property damage to your motor vehicle, this is a separate claim to your claim for personal injury sustained in the accident.
Insurance that covers car repairs or property damage is called "comprehensive insurance". Insurance that covers personal injury sustained in an accident is termed "CTP insurance" or Compulsory Third Party Insurance. Often a vehicles comprehensive insurer is different to the CTP insurer.
If you wish to claim under your or the other vehicle’s comprehensive insurance, then you need to contact your comprehensive car insurance company immediately after the accident and inform them that you were involved in a car accident. You will then be assigned a claim number and an adjuster that will handle all the aspects of your claim.
You will need to provide as much information as you can to your insurer about the details of the accident. Providing details of supportive witnesses is also important, and you may be asked to make a recorded statement of your version of the events.
The insurance company will appoint someone to evaluate the damage to your vehicle, or you may be required to organise your own quotes as to the damage repair costs. Your insurer will tell you what you need to do in this regard. Depending on the insurance policy that you have, you may be provided with a rental car, or you may be able to seek reimbursement from the at-fault party at a later time.
If you do not have your own comprehensive insurance to cover your car repair costs, then you will need to make demands for payment of your repair costs, or replacement of your vehicle if it is unrepairable, to the party at fault or their comprehensive insurer. Of course, if you have engaged The Personal Injury Lawyers to manage your motor accident injury claim, then we will look after this for you. If you do take steps yourself in this regard, then you need to be careful when dealing with the at-fault driver's insurer, and in particular, in providing details of how the accident occurred, to ensure that there is no confusion or question as to who was at fault for the accident.
Hiring a Lawyer
It can be difficult to deal with insurers about your claim. Facing the task of providing all the requisite evidence and legal documentation to support your case, and gathering all of the necessary medical evidence and expert evidence required to ensure you are successful in your claim can be very overwhelming. Further, understanding and undertaking the process of assessing and submitting your damages claim and engaging in settlement negotiations can be daunting and requires legal and practical experience. Hiring The Personal Injury Lawyers, who are experienced car accident lawyers in Queensland, can ease you the burden of finding relevant facts about the case, gathering the necessary evidence and drafting concise and thorough demands for your personal injury claim. Most importantly, it will ensure that you achieve all of the damages you are entitled to and maximum compensation for your claim. Contact Us today on 1300 782 202 to speak to one of our lawyers who specialise in personal injury, and to ask for our FREE Personal Injury claim Pack to get your claim started.