Dealing With The Aftermath Of Car Accidents - Car Repairs & Legal Shenanigans
Being involved in a car accident is a traumatic time in a person’s life. After the trauma of such an experience, the last thing that a person needs is to deal with difficulties in claiming compensation, whether through insurance or through the court system for the damages to their vehicle. Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident with the help of a legal professional, can help make the process involved easier to manage.
The Immediate Aftermath
There are a number of small things that you can do immediately following a car accident to help make the process of insurance claims quicker, and make possible legal issues easier to resolve
- Report the accident to the police: This must occur if anyones property is damaged or if the other car involved refuses to stop or to give their details. If anyone is injured the police will attend the scene and will perform tests for alcohol and other drugs
- Write careful details of the time, date and location where the accident occurred and the contact details of any witnesses. Note down the weather conditions and try and take pictures of the vehicles if possible
- Do not admit the accident was your fault. This could be used as evidence against you if there is later a dispute over which driver was at fault.
The Question Of Damages
If your property is damaged in a motor vehicle accident, you must decide whether to claim on insurance, to sue for damages or to pay your own costs. It is necessary to consider the financial advantages of each alternative, depending on whether you have comprehensive insurance, third party insurance, or are uninsured.
It is best to let your insurer know of the accident as soon as practicable after it has occurred. This is necessary even if you decide initially not to make a claim against your insurance, and allows you to make a claim later if the damages cost more than you initially thought. Most insurance policies also contain a duty of disclosure to inform the insurer of all accidents.
If The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance
If the other driver is determined to be at fault and does not have insurance, you may sue the other driver for the damages to your vehicle. However, taking the other party to court can be difficult and recovering the amount can also be hard even if you do succeed at court. It is therefore advisable to speak to a lawyer regarding your options to receive the amount, and your likelihood of success at court.
Claims For Damages
In order to sue for damages as a result of the other driver's negligence, it is necessary to prove that their negligence caused the collision. This evidence can be given by the two drivers, however it is best given by an independent witness, who was not involved in the accident. However, many claims for damages arising from car accidents are settled before they reach court as a way to reduce the amount of legal costs involved. A lawyer can help provide advice about whether a claim for damages is the best choice financially.
There is a requirement to keep your losses as small as possible and also a requirement to prove that the damages were caused by the collision itself. Before making a claim for damages, whether through court or through insurance, it is best to obtain two or more detailed quotes for repairs to your car. If the car is so badly damaged that it will cost more to repair than the car is worth, then it will be considered a ‘write off’. You are then obligated to provide evidence of the market value of the car at the time of the collision.
If you cannot work while the vehicle is being repaired, you may be eligible to claim loss of wages or profits. Furthermore, if it is necessary for you to hire a vehicle for business purposes whilst your vehicle is being repaired, you may be eligible to make a claim for the cost of the vehicle hire.
If You Are Injured: Claiming With The Transport Accident Commission
Insurance for personal injury is included in the cost of vehicle registration and is provided by the Transport Accident Commission. If your claim with the TAC is successful, they will provide payment for reasonable medical treatment resulting from your injuries in the accident.
There are many aspects to take into consideration before choosing the avenue to pursue the damages to your vehicle. Obtaining the advice of a lawyer can help ensure that you choose the most financially viable option available in the circumstances.