A Real Life Story: What to do after a Car Accident

A Car Accident and Workers Compensation Case Example

Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience. Wondering what to do if you have been in a car accident? There are 5 steps that you can take after an accident to make sure that you get the best recovery and that any insurance claims progress smoothly.

Here is an example of how we helped one client get the best outcome from their compensation claim after a car accident:-

Brian* was a plumber, driving home from work along the M1.  He slowed down in the usual heavy peak-hour traffic.  Suddenly, Brian was hit from behind by a truck, which caused him to run into the back of the ute in front of him.  Immediately after the accident, Brian initially felt ok, but within an hour or so his neck and back were extremely sore, he had a massive headache and felt nauseas. He needed a couple of weeks off work before returning part time and on light duties.

Here are 5 steps that you should take if you are involved in a car accident:-

1.  Exchange details with the other driver

Make sure you obtain the other driver’s name, address, phone number and licence number. You must also make note of the registration number and the make and model of the other car.  If there were any witnesses to the accident, it is helpful to obtain their details as well.

2.  Seek medical treatment

As Brian found out, sometimes you don’t realise you’re injured until sometime after the accident. You should go to your doctor or the emergency department of your local hospital as soon as possible after the accident. If your injuries are more serious, you should call an ambulance.

3.  Contact the police

If the police do not attend the scene of the accident, you should attend your local police station and provide them with details of the accident.  Make a note of the police officer’s name and station and any reference or report number that they provide to you.

4.  Notify your insurer

If you need to arrange a tow truck, it is often best to call your insurer from the scene of the accident. Otherwise, if you need to arrange repairs to your car, contact your insurer as soon as possible.

5.  Contact GC Law for advice about payment of your medical treatment and any compensation entitlements

You may have a number of options with respect to payment of your medical expenses, lost wages and other insurance compensation entitlements.

What happened to Brian?

 Brian suffered soft tissue “whiplash” injuries to his neck and lower back.  He found it difficult to do many everyday things like gardening and mowing the lawn.  He suffered pain at work when he had to bend over or carry heavy items.  He couldn’t go deep sea fishing anymore.  Playing with his kids aggravated his back and neck pain.

We advised Brian about his entitlements to a WorkCover journey claim, as well as TPD superannuation entitlements, income protection insurance and he also had an entitlement to lump sum compensation under the CTP compensation scheme.

GC Law helped Brian get his wages covered while he was off work.  We arranged for the insurer to pay for his back scans and specialist appointments.  We made sure that Brian’s physiotherapy was approved and paid for up-front, and his medication and travel costs were reimbursed quickly.

Brian did not have to pay any legal fees up front, meaning that he could focus on his recovery and getting back to work.

Brian ultimately received a compensation payment once his injuries stabilised.  Brian and his wife put most of the compensation into their mortgage, which eased the financial strain caused after the accident, which set them up for a brighter future.


*Name changed for privacy reasons


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