What should I do immediately after a car accident in the ACT?

Published 05 Jul 2018

It takes only a second to suffer a serious motor vehicle collision. While the initial shock of such an aggressive disturbance can cloud your judgement, it’s vital that you follow these steps immediately after a car accident. Not only will they help to ensure the safety of everyone involved, following these five suggestions also improves your likelihood of winning compensation for medical expenses further down the track.

1) Stop and assess the damage
This is the most important step of all. By law, any motor vehicle involved in a collision, no matter how minor it may seem, must stop where it’s safe to do so. If you fail to do this, you may be putting other drivers at risk by using a vehicle that is not road-safe.

Once you’ve come to a complete stop, check if anyone is seriously injured. If so, call emergency services immediately. Even if you or your passengers have only received minor injuries, these can manifest as much more serious problems later, so it’s better to err on the side of caution. Then, check if anyone else involved in the motor vehicle collision is hurt and requires help.

2) Exchange insurance details
All of the vehicle owners involved in a car accident should share their details with each other. This information includes:

  • The names and home addresses of all vehicle owners.
  • Motor vehicle registration numbers.
  • Insurance provider names, numbers and policy details.

It’s important that you don’t expressly admit liability for any damage caused until you have spoken to your insurance provider and an expert lawyer about the situation.

3) Gather evidence for a claim
Once you’ve exchanged insurance details, you should gather evidence that will help support any future compensation claim. This includes taking photos of the car to show any damage caused, pictures of your injuries and looking for witnesses to the incident.

4) Asses the damage
Before you move your car, it’s important to asses the damage to determine if it’s still roadworthy. If the vehicle looks obviously damaged or you think driving may be unsafe, call a tow truck to move it. Your choice could have an impact on the safety of other drivers, so it makes sense to be cautious before taking your vehicle back out onto the road.

5) Report the incident
In the ACT, you (or someone you know if you’re incapacitated) are legally required to inform the police about any motor vehicle collision within the first 24 hours. This can be done online by filling out a report form, including details like:

  • The accident location.
  • Weather, light and road conditions.
  • Facts about the collision.

From there, you can use this report to support a claim for compensation. You should also speak to car accident lawyer about the best steps to take when seeking damages. For more information, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation Lawyers today.