What should I do if I’m in a motor vehicle accident?

Do you know what to do if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident? It’s important to keep the following things in mind if you’re ever in this situation.

Do I need to call the police?

Police no longer need to be involved in minor traffic incidents that just involve property damage – where vehicles require towing or can be driven away.

However, you’ll still need to call the police in the following circumstances:

  1. Injury: If someone is injured or killed
  2. Under the Influence: If one of the drivers is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or
  3. No Details Exchanged: If a driver involved in the incident doesn’t exchange details including name, driver’s licence number and insurance details.

And if a vehicle needs to be towed away from the scene, you will need to report the incident to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. This can be done later once you are safely away from the site of the incident.

28-Day Time Limit

If you have been injured in a car accident, then you have 28 days to report the accident to the police in order to lodge a valid claim for compensation. Otherwise you’ll need to show there were exceptional circumstances that prevented you from doing so within the time limit.

Make Sure You Swap Details With the Other Drivers

You are required by law to share your details with the other drivers or the police, especially when there’s property damage or a serious injury involved. Be sure to get details like the driver’s name, driver’s licence number, phone number, insurance information and licence plate number.

Record the Scene

If you are able to, take a photo of the scene of the accident to record the damage to the vehicles and their relative position before the vehicles are moved off the road. Make sure to get the contact details of any witnesses to the accident.

Talk to Your Lawyer

If you will be seeking compensation for your injuries, then don’t delay in seeking legal advice – there are strict time limits for making a claim.

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