Being involved and injured in a car accident is a traumatic experience. It can affect your physical health, mental health and your financial status. In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car accident, it is important to gather as much information as you can regarding the process from there onwards.
Consulting with a legal practitioner is essential, they will be able to evaluate the best way for you to receive the compensation you deserve. At Schreuders, we have put together a list of some important things to keep in mind if you are involved and injured in a car accident.
Keep Calm and Assess your Injuries
Although being injured in a car accident can be overwhelming and emotional, it is important you remain calm. What happens after the car accident may impact the amount of compensation you receive from your insurance provider, so you will need to address the following facts accordingly.
The safety of yourself, any passengers and the public should be the utmost of importance after a car accident. You should ensure that everyone around you is not seriously injured. Turn on your hazard lights and if possible, and move your vehicle out of the way of other motorists.
First and foremost, call the police and report the car accident. This is very important to help you receive full reimbursement from the insurance company. Under NSW laws, it is recommended that you collect the following information when involved in a car accident:
- The other parties personal contact details (Name, Address, Phone Number)
- Driver’s license
- Make and Model of their car
- License plate number
- Insurance details
- Photos of the damage to BOTH cars
- Photo of the other driver
When the police arrive, both drivers will need to fill out an accident report. This will have the full details of the lead-up to the crash. Ensure you receive a copy of this from the police to help with your insurance claim later.
If there were any witnesses to the incident, it is often valuable to collect their contact information. Many drivers have dash cams, so if there are any drivers lingering around that were present at the time of the accident, ask them if they have any video footage that can support your car accident claim.
Never Admit Fault or Guilt
While motor vehicle injuries are not so black and white, in order to ensure you do not jeopardise your insurance claim, it is important that you never admit that the accident was your fault.
Only state the facts and try to limit the discussion to details of what has occurred. It can be easy to be intimidated into making an incorrect decision. Be sure not to agree to any settlements until you have consulted with your insurance company and lawyer.
Claiming Loss of Earnings
Unfortunately, a car accident can put you out of action for quite some time. Victims may suffer injuries that require them to take time off work, which can lead to some financial implications and potential loss of work income.
In such cases, file a personal injury claim so that you are not put at a significant disadvantage due to the negligence of another driver. Consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer about how you can develop your case.
Often, you can easily prove loss of earnings if you are employed by a business. Gather payslips dating at least six months prior to the accident so that the court has a sufficient amount of information when calculating your net loss.
If you are self-employed, the process is more difficult but not impossible. You will have to notify your accountant that you will be unable to work and your business will be suffering a loss. Find documents such as work diaries, invoices and contracts that demonstrate that you are suffering a loss.
Time Limit for Your Claim
Your loss of earnings will be filed as a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims cover a wide range of things, so consult with your attorney as to whether you are entitled to claim under any other criteria.
You must lodge your personal injury claim within six months of the car accident. If you miss the deadline, you can attempt to have the court grant you an extension. However, extensions are only given to individuals who can prove that they had special circumstance that delayed them from filing their claim earlier
If you have been injured in a car accident and are seeking a personal injury claim, contact Schreuders today. You will receive a fair entitlement via our “No Win No Fee”* policy, with the highest level of customer service possible.