We all hope we never have to worry about what happens after a car accident. But should the worst happen, we asked Partner James Treloar to give us a cheat sheet of what to do.
Check everyone is okay
The safety of everyone after an accident is paramount. In an emergency, call 000 for ambulance and police assistance; especially if someone is injured, there’s major damage or if the road is blocked or obscured by debris.
After taking a moment to ensure you are out of harm’s way, check that everyone is okay. If you are a driver, and if it’s safe to do so, you should move your car off the road and turn your hazard lights on and your ignition off. If it’s a serious crash and unsafe to move your car, causing a road blockage, call the police for assistance.
If someone is injured, it’s best to call the police. In some areas, police authorities may respond directly to the accident. Police will often consider factors such as the severity and location of the accident, and the nature and severity of a person’s injuries, on whether an attendance is required.
Exchange details with the other drivers
Useful information you should also record includes the date, time and location of the accident as well as the weather, road and light conditions.
Getting the details of the other driver, or drivers, is also important when it comes to making a claim. You’ll need to get their:
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- Registration number. Ask to see driver’s license(s) and vehicle registration(s) to verify the information is accurate
- Insurance details
If the other driver refuses to share these details with you and they were at fault, take note of their registration number, as you can make a report with the police if needed.
If possible, it is best to obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of other passengers and any witnesses.
If you have a camera or a mobile phone, take photographs of the damage, and the accident scene (traffic controls, visual obstacles).
Report the accident
If you have been involved in a collision in the ACT, you must by law report it to police within 24 hours.
You can do this via the online reporting form here: https://forms.act.gov.au/smartforms/servlet/SmartForm.html?formCode=1021
Completing the online form will generate a collision report number that can be used in insurance claims. Remember to keep a printed copy of the report for your records.
If you are unable to complete the online form, or require assistance, please visit your local police station.
If the vehicles involved in a collision require a tow truck, but are not blocking the roadway, the parties in the collision can arrange their own tows if they wish. ACT Policing can arrange tows from a towing roster where the owner or driver is:
· Unable to arrange a particular firm to tow the vehicle;
· Not present at the scene; or
· Injured and unable to nominate a towing firm.
For police attendance at a collision, please contact ACT Policing on 131 444.
It is also advisable to report the accident to your insurer as soon as possible so that your recollection of the accident is still fresh in your mind. Also, depending on your car insurance policy, you may have some form of vehicle towing coverage, if required.
Talk to the experts at MEJ
If someone is injured, you may need to make a Compulsory Third Party (CTP) or Motor Accident Injuries (MAI) Insurance claim. Strict time limits apply, so it’s best to make a claim as soon as you can following your accident.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, whether you were the driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or cyclist in the accident, you have a right to claim compensation for your injuries, even if it was partly your own fault. This also applies if you are a dependant of someone who has been killed as a result of a motor accident.
As long as your injury was caused by the negligence of another person in the control of a motor vehicle, you have a valid claim. If you suffer psychological damage, stress or anxiety, as the result of witnessing or being made aware of an accident, you may also have a claim.
Our experienced team of professionals at MEJ can help you get the treatment you and your family needs and can assist you to claim loss of income and other expenses.
At MEJ, we have an experienced and dedicated CTP legal team committed to ensuring you get proper compensation. We know what it’s like to take on the insurance companies and win. We do it every day, and we look forward to using our experience to work with you to ensure you get maximum compensation.