Road accidents can happen at any time and it is extremely important to act appropriately in the aftermath. How you act or don’t act may have implications relating to your car insurance, injury compensation or road accident claim.
For further information regarding injury compensation and for free advice and claim forms call 1300 188 784. This independent helpline is operated by the Australian Injury Helpline. We are completely on YOUR side.
An insurance company may try to make claiming a difficult task. It doesn’t have to be, when help is at hand. Let us do the hard work for you and you can focus on your recovery. By talking with us, you may gain a peace of mind having all your questions answered.
Here is a list below of the mistakes to avoid;
Check the damage to your car first – no! people first
People are a priority following a road accident. Stop and consider them, before you think about an accident claim. Check yourself, your passengers and any pedestrians are ok before doing anything. Check the other driver is ok immediately. Call an ambulance if required and ensure everyone gets a thorough medical examination. Even if you doubt the injuries are serious you can have whiplash which can be long lasting if it goes untreated. Medical treatment is a priority. Injured persons may be entitled to injury compensation and all medical attention must be documented in support of any accident claim or insurance claim.
Challenge the other driver – no! it’s not worth it
Emotions run high when a road accident has happened. If you or the other driver is angry it is best to approach the situation in a calm and controlled manner. The situation of being involved in a road accident is bad enough, without adding more fuel to the fire. Road rage can be dangerous and must be avoided. You do not know if the other driver is intoxicated or what they might do. Steer clear of conflict and try to exchange details calmly after you have switched on your hazard lights.
Keep the engine running – absolutely not
This is a great mistake. Always switch off the engine and put your car in park with the handbrake on. Then switch on your hazard lights.
Abandon your car regardless – no! first check it ‘s safe to do so
Before you leave your car make sure it is in a safe place. If the car is in the middle of the road and is drivable it might be e good idea to move it to the nearest shoulder. Only if someone is fit enough to drive safety then this is recommended providing it is safe to do so. If your car is abandoned it may cause a hazard and another accident.
Don’t call the police – BIG mistake you may affect your right to claim
This is a mistake many people make. A CTP Green Slip insurer may not accept your claim if you fail to report the accident to the relevant authorities. In many parts of Australia, car accidents must be reported within 28 days. Failure to do so may affect your ability to claim on your insurance and your legal rights regarding injury compensation.
Leave everything to the police – no! offer a helping hand
Never assume the police will do a great job proving who was negligent. You yourself can collect information that will support any accident claim. Details you can collect include, the other drivers’ details and their insurance provider and policy number (if possible). Gather witness statements and contact details for witnesses. If you have a camera on your phone take photos of the accident scene. Supporting photos might include the rego of the other driver, the position of the cars and any skid marks on the road. Only take photos if it is safe to do so.
Admit it was your fault – Never
This is a definite ‘no no’. Never admit fault when you have been in a car accident. Negligence will be determined when all the details have been reviewed. Even if you think you are to blame other factors may suggest otherwise. You may be penalised by your insurance company who may increase your premium regardless.
Fail to seek independent advice – you MUST if you want justice
It is recommended you seek advice from an injury helpline. They will provide fact sheets, claim forms and tell you if you need to discuss your accident with a lawyer. Making once phone call can make a big difference to an injury compensation claim.
Forget to contact your insurance company – no! contact them straight away
Never wait to call your insurance company. Call them straight away as they may be able to assist in many ways depending on your policy. You may affect your ability to claim if you contact them too late or not at all.