Motor Vehicle Accidents

What are you rights and obligations?

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident whether it is as a passenger, a driver or a pedestrian is a traumatic event. Commonly, when involved in an accident, you can experience sudden shock, fear, anxiety and pain if you are injured. It is important that you try and stay as calm as possible as what you do immediately afterwards can impact upon your legal liability and even your health.

Below are a few tips on what you should do after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

1.      Assess the damage to vehicles and any injured persons

  • Make sure you, your passengers and any other persons are not injured.
  • Phone a doctor or ambulance immediately if anyone is injured.
  • Make sure your vehicle is switched off and not causing any hazard to other vehicles.

2.      Report the accident to the police

  • You must notify the police if anyone is injured or if the total damage to vehicles or property is more than $2500.00.
  • After seeking approval from the police, if they attend the scene, clear the accident scene of any materials from damaged vehicles as soon as you can do so safely.
  • If the police have been called to the scene, wait until they arrive to provide them with your version of the accident.

3.      Give your details to the other driver

  • If there is another vehicle involved in the accident, you must exchange details with the driver, such as registrations numbers, license numbers, insurance details and contact details.
  • If you leave the scene of an accident you are involved in before exchanging information or rendering assistance to an injured person, you may be criminally liable for leaving the scene of an accident.

4.      Contact your insurance company

  • Make sure you provide your insurance company with the same facts about how the accident happened that you told the police.
  • If you provide your insurance company with false or inconsistent information, your claim may be rejected.
  • Provide the insurance company the details of all vehicles involved in the accident.

5.      Make sure you get medical attention

  • Attend your Doctor for an examination, even if you are not seriously injured.
  • Continue to see your Doctor if you experience ongoing symptoms.

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who you believe is at fault or even if you are a passenger or pedestrian, you should contact your solicitor for advice on your legal rights and obligations.

The information in this article is merely a guide and is not a full explanation of the law.  This firm cannot take responsibility for any action readers take based on this information.  When making decisions that could affect your legal rights, please contact us for professional advice.