Car accidents can be a traumatic experience for everyone involved, both physically and emotionally. With this emotional and physical toll, it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you haven’t been in an accident before. If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a passenger or the driver, you may be eligible for a compensation claim.
Here we take you through five basic steps to follow after the accident, so you understand your legal obligations and how best to make a successful compensation claim.
1. Seek medical assistance as soon as possible
Firstly, seek a medical assessment and assistance from your doctor or the nearest hospital.
Even if you feel that you may not be seriously injured, it is important to get checked out by a medical practitioner just in case. Some injuries might not be readily visible and could require x-rays or other assessments to diagnose. If you need time off from work, ensure that you also request a medical certificate from your doctor as this will assist with claiming back any lost earnings as a result of the accident.
2. Report the accident to the WA police and Insurance Commission of WA
Once you have sought appropriate medical assistance, you should report the accident to the WA Police and Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA). ICWA is the compulsory third party insurer for motor vehicle accidents in WA and must be notified in the event of an accident. If you were not at fault, ICWA will pay for your medical treatment expenses for injuries you sustained in the accident.
We recommend completing an online crash report form here, where you can easily notifying both WA Police and ICWA.
Completing a police report alone will not notify ICWA of the accident and potential claim. This can delay investigations into the accident and in turn delay funding for any medical treatment that you may need.
3. Continue to see your doctor
It is important that you monitor any progress of your injuries after the crash by seeking medical advice from your medical practitioner.
Some injuries (particularly psychological conditions like post-traumatic disorder) from a car accident can have a delayed onset, particularly psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, it is important that you report all issues (both physical and emotional) to your doctor so that you can obtain referrals for treatment as early as possible. We also recommend that you keep a record of your complaints if any disputes arise during your compensation claim.
4. Keep receipts
If you incur any expenses for medical treatment (for example: painkillers, physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment or GP attendances) make sure to keep your receipts so that you can be reimbursed by the insurer.
These receipts can be uploaded through the ICWA website so that claiming a reimbursement is easy. To access visit: https://www.icwa.wa.gov.au/er/.
We recommend uploading your receipts straight away, so you can avoid losing them or having receipt details fade over time.
5. Find a good lawyer to assist you
Finding a good lawyer who you can trust and help guide you through the process is essential to getting the best possible compensation result. We understand that when you’re injured in a car accident the claims process can be very complex and difficult to navigate. This is particularly true when you’re dealing with pain from your injuries and the stress of attending various medical appointments on top of everyday life.
Stephen Browne are expert motor vehicle accident lawyers
Our team of experienced and compassionate motor vehicle lawyers will take the time to understand the individual circumstances of your claim and give you honest and practical advice. We care about our clients and do everything we can to achieve the compensation result that they deserve.
Contact one of our dedicated lawyers for an obligation and cost free consultation on your legal rights when injured in a car accident today.
Injured in a car accident without insurance – can I claim?
Yes, provided that another party was at fault for the accident.
You can also still claim for your injuries even if you may have been partially at fault for the accident. You should seek legal advice before agreeing to any apportionment of liability with the insurer or other party.
I was injured in a car accident that was not my fault – what are my rights?
You may be entitled to receive compensation for the injuries and any losses that you suffer as a result of injuries. We recommend that you seek legal advice about your potential entitlements as early as possible after the accident, as strict time limits apply.
I was injured in a car accident that was my fault – what should I do?
If you are at fault for the accident, you are not entitled to claim compensation for any injuries sustained.
However, as noted above, you should seek medical attention for your injuries and report the accident to the police and Insurance Commission of Western Australia as soon as practicable.