Being involved in a traffic incident can be a traumatic event, particularly when you or someone around you has been hurt in the incident.
It is understandable that in the stress of that moment you may be more focused on the welfare of those in the incident rather than securing evidence of what had occurred.
With more serious incidents you can be reassured that emergency services will take care of most of the important steps. But what should you do if you’re involved in an incident and the police don’t (or won’t) attend?
In our experience, we have seen clients whose rights have been negatively affected by not obtaining the right evidence immediately following an incident.
To avoid this, here is a simple checklist if you ever find yourself in this situation.
- Obtain registration details for all vehicles and contact details for all people involved, not just the one that collided with you.
While the driver might be admitting fault today, and the circumstances might seem clear cut, there is every chance they may change their story when questioned later on. It is important that all witnesses are identified so that they can be contacted to verify your version of events.
And if you don’t have the correct registration details of the vehicle that is responsible, your time frame for making a claim is impacted.
- Take photos of the registrations and all damage to all vehicles.
Photos are important to not only confirm that an incident has occurred, but also the level of impact involved. Photographic evidence is a must where there is obvious damage to the cars involved.
This is even more crucial in the event of a hit-and-run or unidentified vehicle.
- Store all of the information in a secure way.
Paper gets lost. Phones get damaged. Passwords expire. And you can’t assume giving information to the police will mean it ends up on an electronic file.
We have seen cases fail because crucial information was given to police then unfortunately misplaced, and since no copy was taken beforehand the evidence is gone.
So ensure that you keep every bit of evidence in a secure way: preferably keep it in at least two places like a folder and on an online server like the cloud.
- See your doctor, even if its only minor.
Adrenalin and shock can sometimes mask how severe you may have been impacted. It can also take some time for a seemingly minor incident to have major effects on your life.
If you have reported the incident to your doctor in the days following and later need to bring a claim, there will be a clear link between the incident and your symptoms, and rehabilitation is easily accessed.
- Get information on your rights (time limits apply!)
There are strict time limits in Queensland, and some vary depending on whether you have identified the vehicle at fault.
It is important to seek advice following an incident to ensure you know the relevant time limits, your rights to bring a claim, and what evidence you will need in order to prove your entitlement to compensation. Logan Law offer a free claims assessment, and run our files on a No Win, No Fee basis, so there is no upfront costs for getting information on your rights and beginning the process with us.