Over the course of your driving life, it’s likely that you will be in a motor accident at some point. Whether it’s a result of your error or of someone else’s, collisions often catch us off guard. While accidents can be stressful and unexpected, there are some important points to remember if you find yourself in a bingle.
1. Stop and exchange details with the other party
If you are involved in a motor accident, you are required to stop at the scene and exchange personal details with other driver involved in the collision. This includes your name, address, telephone number and your car’s registration. If you are not the car’s owner, you should provide their details too.
If the other party is being aggressive or you don’t feel safe to approach them, you should call the police. If the other driver does not stop at the scene, you should attempt to obtain their car’s registration, and a photograph of it if possible, and report the matter to police.
2. Take photographs
If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident and also the damaged vehicles. These photos can assist you when dealing with insurance companies, especially if there is argument regarding who was at fault.
3. Remove any hazards from the road
If possible, the damaged vehicles should be moved from the road so as to not obstruct traffic. If this is not possible, a tow truck should be called for.
You should only drive your car if it is mechanically sound. If it doesn’t seem quite right, or if an airbag was deployed, you should have it towed.
If it is safe to do so, you should remove any significant debris from the road, so that it does not cause a hazard to other motorists. If it is not safe to do so, you should call police or the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service and ask for their assistance.
4. Report the accident to Police
If someone is badly injured in the accident, you should call the police to report the situation. They may then attend.
Regardless, the law requires that a police report be made for a car accident if someone is injured in the collision or if the damage is likely to exceed $1,500. You can lodge a report in person at a local police station or online here.
5. Seek medical assistance for any injury
If anyone is seriously injured, you should call for an ambulance immediately. However, most injuries don’t require an ambulance, some injuries require attention later down the track.
It is important that you see a doctor for any injury as soon as possible. Make sure that you inform them of the circumstances of the accident and your medical issues. You may not immediately recognise some injuries, such as a concussion, but they can have some severe consequences. Similarly, whiplash injuries often present days after an accident – causing pain, requiring treatment and often affecting your ability to work.
6. Seek out professional advice
If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible, as time limits apply to any compensation claim. At Claimify we provide free advice to ensure that you know where you stand after a car accident.