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What To Do When You’re Injured Unexpectedly

Accidents and injuries are an unavoidable part of life. They can happen anywhere – on the road, in the supermarket, at work, in a park, or even on your holiday – and they often happen at the most inconvenient and unexpected times.

Because there’s no telling when and where you or a loved one might get injured, and it can be daunting and very distressing if you or a loved one suffers a mishap – especially if you were not the one at fault.

Many injuries occur because of someone else’s oversight, whether it’s a wonky staircase which hasn’t been fixed up properly or a bad driver who’s failed to indicate properly, and it can be difficult to figure out how to hold them accountable.

As well as coping with the emotional burden and shock of dealing with the accident, you’ll now likely have to consider your family’s legal and financial positions, and it can be frustrating if you’re not sure what the next step is or whether you even have options for compensation.

While working out the legal liability in the wake of an accident is a job for the lawyers and insurance companies, there are a few things you can do from the outset to give yourself the best chance of pursuing a successful personal injury claim.

 

  1. Take immediate action

Although you will most likely be angry and emotional after an accident, it is important to treat the injury immediately. If the injury looks serious, contact an ambulance or obtain other emergency medical treatment straight away. Not only could this save you or a loved one’s life, it could also prevent the injuries from worsening over time.

Ensure that you keep a record of all relevant evidence, such as medical expenses and records, pharmaceutical receipts, ambulance records, photographs and anything else you consider to be relevant.

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  1. Collect details

If the accident happened due to someone else’s actions, you need to collect their information. As much as you may want to avoid it – especially immediately after an accident — ensure that you grab the other party’s name, address and other details as soon as possible. The same applies to any witnesses who might have been at the scene. You should also confirm the time and location of the accident with any witnesses, and ask them about their version of events while they still have a fresh recollection of the accident.
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  1. Be aware of your obligations

You must contact police if somebody other than yourself is trapped or clearly injured, or if they appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, you must contact police if there is a traffic hazard and traffic needs to be directed, or if a vehicle needs to be towed.

  1. Admit nothing

Don’t admit to any partial fault or contributory negligence to witnesses or other parties, as it will almost certainly be used against you in any compensation claims you make in future. Similarly, do not sign any documents unless you have obtained legal advice first, as this could impact your ability to claim under your insurance. The most helpful thing you can do is collect information so that the police, the insurance company and your lawyers can assess it later.

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  1. Location, location, location

Make a note of where the accident took place – was it on public or private property? If the incident occurred on private property, then the homeowner may be liable for negligence. Conversely, if you are injured in a public area such as a shopping mall or a park, then public liability laws may apply. Again, it is not important that you figure out which laws apply to your injury, simply that you have collected all of the relevant information.

  1. Obtain legal advice

The claims process can be very complicated and has many potential pitfalls which a specialist personal injury lawyer can help you navigate. You can obtain advice on whether you are entitled to pursue a claim, how much compensation you can expect, and how you should go about making the claim.

 

These tips won’t help you avoid an accident or injury. However, if you follow these procedures afterwards, you will be helping the authorities and your lawyers to most efficiently determine liability and fault.

Ultimately, this increases the chances that your claim for compensation is resolved more quickly and smoothly and you can go back to your life worry-free.

 


By Chantille Khoury, Principal at Law Partners

Law Partners is a trusted specialist personal injury law firm that specialises in motor vehicle accident, workers compensation, superannuation/total and permanent disability and public liability claims. The firm has helped thousands of people who have suffered personal injury to access entitlements that make a difference to their quality of life. www.lawpartners.com.au