Being involved in a serious car accident can be a very confronting, emotional and downright frightening experience for everyone involved.
But in the heat of the moment, it is important to keep a clear head and try not to get overwhelmed by the situation you find yourself in.
This of course is easier said than done, especially if the accident has resulted in life-threatening injuries.
In this article, we’ll highlight some of the best courses of action you can take, both in the immediate aftermath of the crash, and the subsequent period after it, to best protect yourself from its consequences.
What to do immediately after the accident
If, while exploring Perth, you find yourself involved in an accident, stop your car immediately and turn on your hazard lights.
Do not stand in the middle of the road by the car, instead go to the side of the road, out of the way of any potential oncoming vehicles.
At this time, some of the things you will need to do include the following:
- Call the emergency services immediately if anyone needs urgent medical attention
- Take a photograph or video of both vehicles – if possible, while still in the crash positions
- Exchange personal details with the other driver(s)
- Call a tow truck or roadside motor assistance if required
If you can, taking photos of the crash scene can be very helpful.
Not only does this showcase the precise location of the crash site and the damage inflicted on all cars, but it can also highlight surrounding traffic signs, speed limits and the degree to which the crash is blocking traffic.
When it comes to exchanging your personal details, do not admit liability to anyone in the immediate vicinity. Doing so could have negative implications further down the line should you decide to make a compensation claim.
Instead, calmly try and ascertain as much information as you can. This includes their full name and mobile phone number – which you may want to verify on the spot by calling them. Be sure to also make a note of their car registration number and the make and model.
Should you need to call upon a tow truck company, be sure to get a quote for their services. Be aware too, that if a tow truck arrives on the scene from a company you did not phone, you are not obliged to use them, if you do not want to.
When you get home
Once you get home and have had a chance to mentally process what has just happened, you will have to decide whether to make a claim for compensation from the other driver.
If you decide not to make a claim but need minor repairs to your car, you might want to get in touch with a local car body shop using www.dinggo.com.au.
However, if you would like to make a claim you should call your car insurance provider to tell them exactly what has happened.
Once you have done that you are required by law to report the accident to both the police and the Insurance Commission of Western Australia.
When doing so, be thorough in the information you give them and include all the details you ascertained from the other driver. This will help the ICWA greatly with their investigation.
As soon as you have done this make an appointment to see your GP immediately. This is important because if you do have any injuries that were caused by the accident your doctor can verify this, and thus nullify any allegations that they are not related to the crash. They will also be able to test you for a concussion and the presence of internal injuries as well.
The longer you leave visiting a doctor, or indeed if you don’t see one, the less helpful it is to your cause.
If you do decide to make a claim for compensation – on account of the accident not being your fault, and you sustained injuries that resulted in loss of income – you will have to notify the ICWA of your intention to do so.
They will provide you with a ‘notice of intention to make claim’ form, which you will need to fill out.
Once you have done this, the last thing you will need to do is find yourself a good lawyer to assist you with your claim for compensation.
There are plenty of accomplished and experienced ones around, so do your research online or ask your friends for a referral.
There is a lot to think about in the immediate fallout from an accident, and it can be a scary and confusing time for you.
However, if you can collect your thoughts and follow the steps outlined above, it will go a long way to help you manage its often-stressful repercussions.
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