3 Things You Must Do after a Car Accident

Been Injured In A Car Accident?

A car accident is one of the most confronting situations a person could ever encounter. Even if you’ve experienced a minor prang with no injuries, the aftermath can be confusing, stressful and potentially volatile. Understandably, drivers are confused, emotional and may have competing beliefs about what should happen at the scene of the accident.

When a person is injured as a result of an accident, it’s even more crucial to adhere to procedure. It is vital you abide by the motor vehicle accident laws in your state, meet the requirements of insurance companies, and ensure any claims for compensation are completed and lodged within applicable time limits.

Here are three key tips to remember:

1. REPORTING TO POLICE

Police will not always attend the scene of a car accident. They are more likely to attend if a person is trapped, killed or injured, a driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drivers have failed to exchange details or other traffic needs to be diverted.

If police do not attend the scene and a person has been killed or injured, in NSW you are legally required to report the accident to police within 24 hours to receive an Event Number. It is advised you seek legal advice before making any statements. Do this as soon as possible, especially if you plan to claim compensation for your injuries. If you haven’t reported the incident within 28 days, this delay will be questioned as part of the claims process.

2. IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS…

After an accident takes place, where feasible it’s advised that you gather as much specific information from the scene; such as date, time and location, photos of any vehicle damage, details of attending police and any witnesses. All drivers involved must exchange their licence and contact details, but in many cases additional information is shared such as insurance details and vehicle specifics (make, model, colour, registration number).

(C) CTP INSURANCE
Compulsory for all vehicles registered in NSW, NSW CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance (also known as a green slip) provides compensation for persons that are killed or injured if your vehicle is involved in an accident.

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If you are injured and plan to claim compensation, it’s vital to get the other driver’s CTP details to speed up the process. If for any reason this information isn’t shared or not instantly at-hand, you can source CTP details yourself. Just get the other car’s number plate and call the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Claims Advisory Service (CAS) on 1300 656 919.

If you were not the driver at fault and anticipate your medical expenses will exceed $5,000 or involve recovery longer than six months, claiming compensation involves completing a Personal Injury Claim form (download from the SIRA website) and lodging it with the other driver’s CTP insurer within six months of the accident.

3. THE FASTER ROUTE TO COMPENSATION

The effects of an injury are immediate; potentially adding medical bills to your budget and affecting your ability to work and go about your normal life. Claiming compensation can also be a lengthy process. After receiving your Personal Injury Claim form, the other driver’s insurer can take up to three months to accept or reject your claim.

Did you know it’s possible to access early benefits for your injuries—in some cases within 10 days of the accident—even if you were the driver at fault? This entitlement is capped at $5,000 and covers medical expenses and loss of income for up to six months after the accident. The claims process involves completing an Accident Notification Form (download from the SIRA website) and sending it to the other driver’s CTP insurer within 28 days of the accident. The insurer will accept or deny the claim within 10 working days.

EXPERIENCE BEHIND THE WHEEL

We hope these tips provide some information on how to make a successful compensation claim, but every accident is different – and this stressful experience is only made worse by a web of complex procedures that need to be followed in the aftermath.

Maguire & McInerney has helped thousands of people who’ve suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents. We can look after everything from advising you of processes and time limits, collecting the necessary information, arranging witnesses and experts and settling your claim out of court or through court proceedings if necessary. Even if you are the driver at fault or partly at fault, there are still ways to claim compensation and get you back on the road to recovery.

To speak to our team, please contact Maguire & McInerney Lawyers on 02-4228 5911.