Car accidents can be scary and complex; particularly if you sustain injuries and need to make a CTP claim. Immediately following an accident, you may be unsure of what to do, or the shock may stop you from thinking clearly. To help you, we’ve put together this guide on what you should do immediately following a car accident in Queensland.
At The Scene
Seek Medical Attention
Remember that any action you take at the scene of the accident is dependent on the injuries sustained by you and other parties. Having any injuries assessed should be your number one priority. If the injuries are minor, then first aid should be sufficient until you can be seen by a doctor. However, if the injuries are more serious, you should call an ambulance on 000 as soon as possible.
If anyone else on the scene is seriously injured, then you should not attempt to move them, as this could worsen their injuries. Instead, ask all other injured parties for symptoms and any information you need to pass to the emergency services.
Report the Accident
If you want to make a CTP claim for injuries sustained in the accident, then you’ll need to report the accident to the police. However, you’re also required to do this by law. Depending on the severity of the accident, there are a number of ways you can report the accident:
- Dial 000 if there’s been a death, injury or medical attention is required
- Dial 131 444 if you believe drugs or alcohol have contributed to the accident, or if a driver does not produce their licence, contact information and insurance information, or if a disabled driver requires assistance
- Via this link, the Policelink App, or visiting the local station if the crash isn’t serious
Gather Information and Evidence
Once you’re satisfied that everyone is safe and that the accident has been correctly reported, you should begin to gather information and collect evidence to support any car accident claims you subsequently make.
You’re likely to have adrenaline running through your body and, after the incident, it can be easy to forget certain details. Start by jotting down key points on paper or in your phone, such as the time and date of the accident and the location. If you don’t know where you are, then you can use a maps app, such as Google Maps.
You should also jot down the weather conditions and whether they had any impact on the accident. For example, if it was raining, was the road wet, causing the car to skid?
Once you have this basic information, it’s time to swap details with the other drivers. Before you leave the scene, you should make sure that you have the following information:
- Make and model of all vehicles involved
- Registration plates of all vehicles
- Names of the drivers and passengers
- Licence numbers
- Insurance information
- Phone number or email details
After this, you should get the details of any witnesses who may be able to support your motor vehicle accident claims. You should also then check to see whether there are any CCTV cameras that may have witnessed the accident, or whether any of the cars involved have dash cams.
Even if you believe that there is footage of the accident, you should take photographs to be sure. This should include photographs of the scene and the cars involved, including broader shots and close ups from multiple angles. Make sure that the licence plate of each vehicle is visible in at least one of the photos.
After You’ve Returned Home
Tell Your Insurer
Even if you don’t intend to make a car accident injury claim following the accident, you should still report the incident to your insurer. Most policies specify that you must do this, but even if yours doesn’t, it’s still useful in case one of the other parties attempts to make a claim against you.
Make a Claim with the Relevant CTP Insurer and Seek Legal Help
If you’re lodging vehicle accident claims for the injuries you sustained in the accident, then you must lodge this claim with the relevant party’s CTP insurer.
If you obtained all of the details of the other drivers involved, then this should be a simple process for you, as you’ll already have the driver’s name, registration details and insurance details.
If, for some reason, you do not have these details, then there’s no need to panic. You can lodge your car accident injury claim with the Nominal Defendant instead.
Either before or immediately after lodging your CTP claim, you should also seek legal help. You’re not required to have a car accident lawyer by law, but it can be extremely helpful in reaching a settlement, or helping in matters where claims are complex. Contact us to arrange a consultation.
Visit a Doctor
As part of your vehicle accident claim, you’ll need to submit a medical certificate from your doctor. You should visit your doctor as soon as possible following the accident in order to receive a thorough examination, especially if an ambulance wasn’t called to the scene.
However, due to the adrenaline and the shock of the accident, you may not immediately notice your injuries, or your injuries may worsen in the following days. If this is the case, you should arrange for a follow up appointment.
During this time before your injuries either heal or stabilise, you should also seek rehabilitation and keep all associated receipts.
Car accidents can be a difficult time for all involved. However, if you intend to make a claim following the incident, then by following these points at the scene and when you return home, you’ll have all the information you require. If you require any advice on an accident you’ve been part of, or would like information on whether you can make a claim, then please contact us to discuss your circumstances with a car accident lawyer.