A car accident is a scary experience for most people. The shock and confusion that it can cause is not comparable to many other situations. If you haven't suffered from any serious injuries, taking the right steps can enable you to safeguard the lives of others and to avoid any additional consequences that you may incur due to negligence.
Following the right steps will also make it easier for you to work with a personal injury lawyer and to claim any compensation that is owed to you. After an accident, here are the first steps that you should take.
The most important thing to do after any type of accident is to pull over immediately. Even if it is a very minor collision, you need to pull over so you can consult with the other driver and exchange contact information.
You can make things harder for yourself (a hit-and-run, license disqualification or additional fines) if you don't stop after any type of collision with another vehicle.
Offer assistance to others
In many Australian states, the law obligates you to assist others (if you're physically able) when you're involved in a car accident. Regardless of who is at fault, make sure you offer help to those who need it. It is also important to remove potentially harmful debris such as broken glass, vehicle bumpers and any other parts of the car that may have fallen off onto the road.
This can help you prevent any further damage to people and property, especially if you were at fault for the accident. Remember to take mental notes of all these steps so that you can explain them to a car accident injury lawyer.
Contact the police
In some cases of minor accidents, it may be enough to simply exchange contact information with the other driver and follow up on the claim later. However, any accident that involves a hit-and-run, an injury to persons or a need for any of the vehicles to be towed should have the police called immediately.
The police will fill out a police accident report that will be important for filing compensation claims with a car accident injury lawyer.
Exchange information with the other party
It is always important to get the other driver's contact information, vehicle registration and address. If the other driver was at fault, his/her insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for any damages to your vehicle or your person. It is therefore important for you to be able to contact the other party when preparing your claim.
Prepare a compensation claim
If you obtained an injury from the accident, you will need to fill out a compensation claim in order to claim any compensation from the accident. The claim will need to include the time/location of the accident, names and details of the parties involved, vehicle registration numbers and a brief explanation of what happened. You can use this form along with the expert advice of a car accident injury lawyer to prepare a claim for your compensation.