Motor vehicle accidents are something we don’t expect will happen to us. However, according to research, 77% of drivers have been involved in at least one.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident it is important that you know what you are entitled to and the process to follow. If you don’t, you may end up being denied compensation, or even face fines or an unfair at-fault ruling.
To avoid these outcomes, keep reading as we guide you through what to do if you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident in New South Wales.
Avoid Apologising or Admitting Fault for Motor Vehicle Accidents
One of the first things you need to know about is the danger of admitting blame at the scene of the accident, or even of apologizing.
After a collision, it may be a knee-jerk reaction to apologise for your part in the accident, even if you did not necessarily cause it. It’s normal to feel concerned for the other party, and you may automatically find yourself saying “I’m sorry.”
Unfortunately, this is not a good idea. Statements like this from the scene of the accident could be used to build a case against you. Therefore, when interacting with the other parties involved, do not apologise, and do not admit fault.
Get Medical Assistance for Yourself or Other Injured Parties
The first priority at the scene of a motor vehicle accident is to gain medical assistance for anyone who is injured. This might be yourself, your passengers, occupants of the other vehicle, or pedestrians.
Failing to stop and provide assistance to the other party if they have suffered injuries can incur a fine of up to $3,300. So be sure that you check whether or not they have been injured and if an ambulance is required.
For yourself and any passengers, it is also important to seek medical assistance, even if you have only suffered a minor injury. For minor injuries that can wait, there is no need to call an ambulance.
However, you will want to visit your doctor as soon as possible. During your examination ensure that you request a certificate of fitness from your doctor. You will need this when making a motor vehicle accident compensation claim.
Speaking of evidence, besides calling any required medical assistance, you have another task while at the scene of the accident. This is collecting evidence.
Possible evidence that you could gather includes:
- Pictures of the damages to the vehicles
- Witness statements or contact details of witnesses
Other evidence you can assemble is a written statement from yourself and a diagram of the vehicles and their post-collision positions.
Report the Accident to the Police
Another crucial piece of evidence is a police report of the accident. After accidents (non-fatal), you have 28 days in which to file a motor vehicle accident report. However, it is best to do this as soon as possible.
If the police are on the scene, the report can be filed immediately. If no police were in attendance, you should phone or visit your local police station as soon as you can.
If the accident is serious (involving fatalities, serious injuries, or vehicle towing) then you are required by law to report it.
Exchange Contact Details With the Other Party
Road Rule 287 (2) stipulates that all parties involved in a motor vehicle accident must exchange personal details with each other.
- Names and addresses
- The name and address of the owner of the car if the driver is not the owner
- Registration numbers
Failure to provide one’s details as a driver can attract a fine of up to $2,000. Therefore, be sure that you provide the other party with your particulars.
Applying for Benefits
Another important component of what to do after a motor vehicle accident is applying for any CTP benefits.
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident in New South Wales, you are entitled to compensation claim regardless of whether you were the at-fault party.
To start the compensation claim process you will need to find out which insurance provider to contact. To find out which provider to apply for green slip (CTP) insurance you must have the registration number of the other vehicle.
You can then enquire with State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) by speaking to the CTP assist on 1300 656 919.
Once you have established which insurer to apply to you must fill out a personal injury claim form and send this to the provider.
This will allow you to claim for qualifying medical expenses associated with any sustained injuries. It will also allow you to claim for loss of wages you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
In particular circumstances you may be entitled to further compensation. You should seek legal advice within 20 months of the date of accident to determine if that is the case.
Get Legal Assistance
Another step you should take if you have been in a motor vehicle accident is to seek out a good motor vehicle accident law firm.
Legal assistance can ensure that you get all the compensation you deserve and protect your interests in court if necessary.
A motor vehicle accident lawyer will be able to advise whether you should apply for compensation. They will also be able to assist you with the application process. This will ensure that you meet the stipulated submission deadlines.
If expert witnesses are needed (such as doctors or specialists), a motor vehicle accident lawyer will be able to arrange these for you.
Furthermore, a motor vehicle accident lawyer will also be able to carry out any court proceedings, should they become necessary.
Do You Need a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Lawyer on Your Side?
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident? If so, we are here to help.
The claim processes that commence after a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. Without the right advice of a motor vehicle accident lawyer, you may miss out on vital compensation.
This is where we come in.
Here at Bourke Love, we believe that everyone has a right to legal assistance and representation.
That is why we operate on a no win no pay policy.
If you engage our services, in most cases you won’t have to pay us anything until we win your case for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation.