What to do if injured in a car accident?
- December 2, 2016
- Adelaide Injury Lawyer
- No comments
A client rang the other day reporting that she had just been involved in a motor vehicle accident and had what she thought were minor injuries. She asked me what she should do.
As the chance of being involved in a motor vehicle accident is high over one’s driving life, this question is important to answer, in my opinion.
I recommend the following steps:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible, including calling an Ambulance, if you are injured. It will offer peace of mind to be checked out and a decision be made by a health professional as to management of your injury.
- Call the Police and if another person is at fault or even involved in the accident, obtain that person’s name, address, make, model and registration number of the other vehicle involved.
- Exchange your name and address and if the vehicle you were in at the time of the accident, was not yours, the make model, registration number and name and address of the registered owner.
- DO NOT ADMIT LIABILITY. This is partly because if you are injured and/or your vehicle is damaged, the insurance company who may be liable to pay damages for either your injuries or for the damage to vehicles would prefer no admission of liability to be made. It is also because of the possibility that an expert injury lawyer, obtaining full details of the accident, may form the view that even if you thought you were at fault, you in fact may not be at fault or only partially at fault. If you had made an admission of liability at that stage, this may be y prejudicial to your personal injury claim, or property damage claim and may therefore reduce the potential damages payable for your injuries.
- If possible, obtain details of any independent witnesses, including passengers, of vehicles involved in the accident.
- If another driver is at fault, it will be useful to write down the contents of any discussions between you and the other driver or the other driver and other persons. This may be of assistance if the other driver later attempts to change the version of events or retract any admission of liability.
- Only if it is safe and practicable, you could take photographs of the respective positions of the vehicles on the roadway, any skid marks, and any areas of damage to any vehicle involved. This is because if liability does become an issue, this information may assist accident reconstruction experts in commenting on the mechanism of the accident.
- Submit a claim for your injuries on the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurer. This is recommended even if it is a minor injury, because firstly legislation requires notification (time limits attach), and secondly what you may initially think is a minor injury, may turn out to be more serious than was initially thought, and therefore, you should not prejudice your future potential claim for compensation by failing to submit a claim soon after the accident.
- Remember, submitting a claim to the CTP insurer does not bind you in taking legal action to seek compensation for your injuries. It does preserve your entitlements to compensation and assist us, as compensation lawyers’, in ensuring that you receive maximum entitlements of compensation available to you from your accident related injuries.
- Seek legal advice shortly after the accident. Your expert compensation lawyer can then properly advise you, and as appropriate conduct necessary investigations, particularly if liability may be in dispute. Early action in our experience, produces better outcomes for our injured clients.
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, call Adelaide Injury Law Firm, for a no obligation initial consultation, or complete the free case appraisal form below.
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