Being involved in a car accident is undoubtedly a stressful experience, and for some, the stress can continue long after the car accident has occurred. It’s certainly not uncommon for people to be unsure and worried about what they need to do after a car accident.
From seeking medical attention straight after the car accident, to making a car accident claim in the weeks or months that follow, read on to find out more about the 7 steps to follow if you have been involved in a car accident.
Step 1: Seek medical attention for any sustained injuries
Your health is a top priority, and so it is important to ensure that any injuries you have sustained from the car accident receive immediate medical treatment. Even if you feel as though you have not suffered any harm, it can sometimes take time for any injuries to appear, and medical treatment can help identify potential injuries. You should keep any medical records and receipts from this medical treatment as these are required for any car accident claims you wish to make (see steps 5-7).
Step 2: Obtain the details of the other parties involved in the car accident
You should obtain the registration number of any other cars involved in the car accident, their Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurers, and their contact details. In circumstances where you are unable to acquire the registration number or insurance details of a car, you can ask any witnesses, the police or the Motor Accidents Authority for details.
Step 3: Report the car accident to the police
If you are involved in a car accident you should report the car accident to the police as soon as possible because if you have failed to report the car accident within 28 days, you will be required to justify this delay when making any car accident claims. Ensure that once you have reported the car accident, you have been given a police event number.
Step 4: Seek legal help
As the next few steps involving making car accident claims, which can be a complex area of law, it is advisable that you obtain the help of a lawyer who is experienced in the area of motor vehicle personal injury claims.
Keep in mind that you will only have one chance to bring forth a car accident claim and once the claim is finalised, you are generally not allowed to make any further claims. Therefore, an experienced lawyer can help to ensure your claim truly reflects the nature of your injuries and expenses, because you will only be entitled to one compensation payout.
Step 5: Determine if you are eligible to make a car accident claim, and what you need compensation for
Under the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme, all car owners in Australia are required to have CTP insurance. This scheme covers any drivers, passengers or pedestrians injured in a car accident, making them all eligible to make a car compensation claim.
Compensation claims can be made against the CTP insurer of the negligent driver or car owner, the details of which you would have obtained in Step 2.
If your car compensation claim is successful, you can receive compensation for:
- Medical, rehabilitation and hospital expenses (including any potential future expenses)
- Loss of earnings or earning capacity (including any potential future loss of earning capacity)
- Replacement or repair of damaged property
- Home modification and attendant care expenses
- Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life (if you have suffered a whole person impairment over the 10% threshold)
Step 6: Lodge an accident notification claim
This claim must be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver, within 28 days of the car accident. For this claim, you can receive up to $5000 in compensation for expenses incurred up to 6 months after the car accident occurred.
Step 7: Lodge a personal injury claim
This claim must be also be lodged with the CTP insurer of the negligent driver, and within 6 months of the car accident. This claim is for when you expect your expenses to amount more than $5000, or that your recovery time will be greater than 6 months.
If you were involved in a car accident, for more information about a motor vehicle personal injury claim, contact Schreuder Partners today.