I’ve Had An Accident – What Do I Do?


By Emily Billiau.

Being involved in a motor vehicle collision can be very stressful and upsetting. Knowing what steps to take is extremely important, particularly where you or any other person involved in the collision is injured or if your vehicle sustains significant damage.

Below are some tips on what to do if you are involved in an accident:

1. Secure the Scene

Where possible, ensure the scene is safe and the hazard lights of the vehicles involved are switched on.

At the scene of an accident it is likely that emotions will run high.  While it can be difficult, it is best to try and remain calm.

2. Alert Emergency Services

Check to see how many people are injured and what injuries they have. Avoid moving anyone who is injured unless absolutely necessary.

Call emergency services (on 000) and advise of the location, the number of people injured and whether police, ambulance or fire services are needed.

You will need to call the police if there is an injury, death, a vehicle needs to be towed, a party refuses to provide their details or if the repairs are likely to cost more than $2,500.00.

3. Record the details

It is important to record as many details as possible, including:

  • the time and date;
  • the full name, address, phone number and driver’s licence number of the driver at fault and any other vehicle involved;
  • the vehicle registration number, the make and model of the vehicle at fault;
  • insurance details of the vehicle at fault;
  • the full name and address, phone number of the owner of the motor vehicle (if this is a different from the driver); and
  • names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident.

4. After the accident

As soon as possible after the accident you will need to:

  • Take steps to ascertain whether the driver was charged with a traffic or criminal offence;
  • Take photographs of the accident scene and photographs of damage to your vehicle sustained in the accident. Photographs taken of the accident scene should ideally be taken in similar weather and lighting conditions to those that existed at the time of the accident;
  • Make a note of your recollection of events, including your recollection of any statements made by the driver or witnesses at the time of the accident.

5. Contact a lawyer

If you are not responsible for causing the accident and you are injured, you may be entitled to compensation by bringing a claim for damages for personal injuries.

Such claims can be quite complex and the time limits that apply to bringing a claim are strict.  If you are considering bringing a claim, it is advised that you consult a solicitor as soon as possible.

If you require more specific information on the law of negligence as it relates to this article, and indeed your own personal circumstances, please contact us for a free case review.