We have all seen the devastation car accidents can cause people, whether they are involved personally or a family member or personal friend is involved, car accident injuries can have a horrific and life altering affect on not only those involved but those around them. At Gouldson Legal, we run many Brisbane Car Accident Claims for these individuals and their families.
With the holiday period fast approaching it seems timely to advise on what to do when involved in a traffic accident or when you have witnessed one.
Did you know that drivers are legally required to stop immediately and offer assistance when involved in a traffic accident; if you fail to stop you can be charged with a criminal offence or someone may not get the assistance that they need in a timely fashion. It is imperative that you stop and offer assistance at the scene of the accident.
Drivers must also provide their name, address and the name of the registered owner of the vehicle to the other drivers involved in the collision this is especially so to people who are injured as a result of your driving or those with property damage as a result of your driving.
You may not be aware that the accident and full details of the collision and how to contact you must be given to the police if there is more than $2,500 worth of property damage, or if any person is killed or injured as a result of the collision. If the police have not been called or do not attend at the scene of the accident then it must be reported within 24 hours of having happened. This is the responsibility of all the drivers involved in the collision so you are best to err on the side of caution and ensure you report it to the police yourself.
Another thing that many drivers are not aware of is the responsibility to remove any dangerous items from the scene of the accident; this can include such items as oil, fuel, glass, plastics etc. There are certain actions that a driver can do directly after an accident that will make it easier for him or her to lodge their own insurance claim, this is the case whether the claim is for personal injuries or property damage, these actions are as follows:
1. Ensure you take down the names, contact details and registrations details of all vehicles involved in the accident;
2. Record the details of any conversations you have with any witnesses or other drivers so that you may refer to them at a later time if it becomes necessary;
3. If you are able to it is always advisable to take photographs of the scene, the damage to the vehicle and the area or roadway in which the accident happened, this will assist with you recreating the accident at a later stage if it becomes necessary. It may also help to determine whose fault the accident was if the circumstances surrounding the collision are in contention. Photographs taken on a mobile phone are just as good as any other so most people have a camera with them all of the time;
4. Finally you should never admit that you are at fault for a collision, even if you have run into the rear end of the car in front of you, who is at fault and why should always be determined by the relevant insurance company. If you do admit fault at the scene of the accident then your insurance company may not indemnify you for the damage caused by the collision. This could end up being a very expensive exercise for you.
Gouldson Legal – Car accident Injury lawyers with specialised experience in CTP claims.