As a driver, you are responsible for ensuring your own safety when you hit the road. Unfortunately, there are times when being careful is not enough to prevent an accident. When you share the road with a reckless driver, getting into a road mishap is always a possibility.
If a road accident caused by some reckless, over-speeding, or drunk driver leaves you injured, you have the right to make a claim and receive compensation from the party at fault. But how?
In this guide, you will know what to do following a car accident to make a successful claim.
What to do right after the accident
It is normal to feel bewildered after getting involved in an accident, but it is imperative that you know how to handle the situation when it occurs. Remember, every decision you make from the moment of the accident will matter when it’s time to make a claim. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when entangled in this situation:
- Stabilize your situation
Before you even assess the road situation, the first thing you need to do is to seek medical treatment, especially if you have been injured due to the accident.
- Assess the situation and notify the police
The fact that you are injured means that you can make a claim for personal injury. This may sound tricky, but it would help to take as many photos of the road situation as you can following the accident. It would also be best to take photos of the damages on your car and the car of the responsible party. In the near future, these photos will help with the investigation of your claim. If possible, call the nearest police station and obtain a case number.
- Exchange details with the other party
Knowing the details of the party at fault is crucial when making a claim. After the accident, make sure to get the details of the responsible party, including his name, address, and plate number. If the party refuses to provide you with his personal details, you can simply take note of his vehicle registration number and then report the incident to the police. In the event that the other driver refuses to cooperate with you, you may have to make a claim against him through your own insurance company—but only if you have a full comprehensive car insurance.
- Inform your insurance company of the incident
Once you have informed your insurer of the incident, you will need to fill out a personal injury claim form to be provided by them. As they start looking into your claim, they will assess whether or not you have a fault in the accident. If your insurer discovers that you are partly responsible for the mishap, they will notify you through a notice stating that you are acknowledging a certain degree of blame for what happened. If you were not at fault, then you do not have any liability to admit. In cases like this, whether or not you have a fault in the accident can have tremendous implications on your claim.
What compensation you can claim for
Before we talk about the compensation that you will receive, it is important to note that how much you can claim for will depend on several factors, including the total value of your claim, how severe your injuries are, the degree of your and the other party’s responsibility in the accident, the circumstances under which the mishap occurred, and whether or not your insurance can cover your compensation.
If you are found to be not in any way at fault, then you are entitled to the following compensation:
- All your hospital expenses, including the cost of your future treatment
- The cost of repairing your car
- Loss of earnings, including loss of job
- Loss of support, in case the accident took away the principal breadwinner of the family
- Psychological effects of the accident
- Funeral costs
Remember that most insurers have a limit for how much they will cover when you make a road accident claim, so there is no assurance that you can receive your compensation in full. If you are partly involved in the accident, then both you and the other responsible party may claim compensation from each other’s insurance.
Making a claim following a car accident is usually a long process that may take up to a year. Since this process can be very complex, it is important that you seek legal advice from a lawyer specializing in road accident claims like Turner Freeman, Adelaide car accident lawyers. Your lawyer will let you know what to expect out of your claim and make sure that you don’t get tricked by the other party in the process.