No matter how careful a driver, there may come a time when you are involved in a car accident which may or may not be your fault. Anyone involved in an accident who is the driver must stop at the scene and give their name, address, owner of the vehicle’s name and registration details to the other driver or to the owner of property damaged in the incident.
Australian Road Rules (regulation 287- 2) also apply if anyone is injured or killed, if the vehicle is towed away or carried by another vehicle, if the estimated cost of repair to any damaged property comes to $3000 or more, or if you have not given or exchanged details with the other driver. However, some drivers may not be clear on when to hire a lawyer after having a car accident. Let’s look at the factors that highlight the need to take any legal advice from a personal injury lawyer in Adelaide.
Rights And Obligations
Drivers must provide relevant information and documentation to the police when questioned following an accident. In Southern Australia, the police have the right to ask you to provide certain documents and the right to ask questions that will help them investigate an accident, along with general questions regarding you and your contact details, date of birth etc. If this is a minor incident and you have stopped, assisted any injured persons and helped the police with their enquiries and the incident does not fall under the Australian Road Rules, then other than contacting your insurance company, you should not need to hire a lawyer.
However, if you have been driving without taking the proper care and attention, you could be charged under Section 45 of the Australian Road Traffic Act (1961). The penalties faced depend on the nature of the damage and any injury or fatalities. In this case, you could face higher penalties including jail so that getting the proper legal advice and representation, if taken to court, is key.
Breaking Other Road Laws
If you are not insured and caused the accident, the insurance company for the other driver may well try to take you to court to recover money to pay for the damages. If your vehicle is not registered, then again, you face penalties and will need to seek legal advice. Insurance policies do not cover drivers who drive whilst over the legal limit or are affected by drugs, or who have refused to be breathalysed or tested for drugs in the system.
Compensation For Injuries
If you were on the receiving end of an injury through no fault of your own, either by being a passenger or driver injured by another vehicle, or an innocent bystander (cyclist or pedestrian, for example) then hiring a lawyer after the accident should be on the “to do” list. You could be entitled to compensation to help pay for medical expenses and rehabilitation, as well as loss of earnings and an experienced lawyer can support you through this process.
Compensation For Damaged Vehicles
If the accident was not of your making, then you may well be able to sue the other driver for damages. Once you have gotten a quote for repairs, then you may decide to take the other person to court. A lawyer will be able to review your case and represent you.
When in doubt, always seek the advice of lawyers experienced in dealing with personal injury claims and car accident victims.