What to do if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident
You can be a driver/rider, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist and, providing there is a driver of a vehicle whose negligent actions has caused your injury you can make a claim for compensation.
If you are reading this you have probably already been involved in an accident. You may be thinking that your injury isn’t sufficient enough to justify making a claim. This may or may not be the case BUT in any event you should take the following simple steps to make sure you preserve your rights and strengthen your case should you wish to pursue compensation.
Before we start, even though you may make a claim there is generally no real involvement with the driver at fault as it is the Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) who “steps into the shoes” of the negligent driver.
You may have a claim for damages to your vehicle. Such claims will be against the negligent driver’s property damage insurer or the driver personally. ICWA are not involved is such claims. They are only involved in the claims which relate to the injury to the person NOT the property (the vehicle).
Know who was involved
If you can, make sure you gather the details of the names of the other drivers and witnesses and vehicle registrations.
This is so that if there is a question as to who was at fault all the parties can be questioned.
If you were hit from behind then in almost all cases the driver of the rear vehicle will be considered at fault. In these cases don’t be too stressed if you can’t find or have the witness details.
Don’t admit fault
Don’t admit fault at the site of the accident or if you have any further conversations with anyone else involved and/or investigators.
This may sound strange but it boils down to this: what you may consider as being at fault may not be what the police and/or ICWA considers as being at fault. It is their opinions which will dictate whether you claim is accepted or not.
Report the accident to the police
This step is not optional and must be one of the first things you should do. You may contact the nearest station or report it online at www.crashreport.com.au.
Get checked for injuries
Whether you are injured or are feeling some type of pain or other symptoms, make sure to report it to your GP right away. Not all injuries will be visible or become immediately prominent. For example, if you have a muscle injury, you may leave it for a while to see how it goes and then finally see a doctor four weeks later.
However, if you do this, the ICWA may take the position that the injury cannot be that significant as there has been a gap of four weeks before obtaining treatment.
Making a pre-existing condition worse is also considered an injury.
Be mindful of how you are mentally after an accident. Report any anxiety or change in your mental state to your GP.
New injuries, aggravations of pre-existing conditions and psychological conditions are all things that you can be compensated for.
Lodge your claim
If you do have an injury and you wish to make a claim, make sure to lodge it by going to the ICWA website. Click on the “Report A Crash / Make An Injury Claim” button at the following address: www.crashreport.com.au
Get help from experienced professionals
If you are unsure of your rights, how to manage or progress your claim, or even if you have been provided with an offer or told by ICWA that you don’t have a claim book in for an obligation free consultation. It is always best to make an informed decision.
Please do not hesitate to contact us and book a free initial consultation.
North Perth: 9443 5312
Mandurah: 9581 4339