If you have sustained an injury because of a motor vehicle accident (MVA) and are thinking of making a claim for your injuries, it is important to know the “Dos and don’ts” of trying to claim compensation.
Many people think claiming compensation for MVA injuries is an easy process, however it can leave you exposed to insurance companies who have plenty of experience in defending compensation claims.
You have one shot at obtaining the best compensation outcome, so we strongly recommend you obtain legal advice from our personal injury lawyers before proceeding with your claim.
Below is a list of the dos and don’ts when it comes to claiming compensation for MVA injuries.
DON’T go it alone – seek advice from a specialist MVA injury claims lawyer
As mentioned above, insurance companies and specialist insurance investigators have extensive experience when defending MVA compensation claims. It is in their best interests to pay out as little compensation as possible for your injuries. Obtaining legal advice from an experienced lawyer who specialises in MVA compensation claims is vital, so the insurer does not have the upper hand with your claim.
People are sometimes tempted to choose a lawyer solely based on price and location. It is important to choose a lawyer based on their track record and experience. When searching for a lawyer, you should ask if they have experience dealing with personal injury claims. You can usually find this information on their website or via the Law Society.
Most lawyers these days are flexible and will represent clients regardless of their location. Most lawyers are also happy to have remote meetings with their clients so don’t be put off by a lawyer that is not local to you.
It is vital to choose the correct lawyer so that you receive the maximum amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
DO report the accident to the police
You must report the MVA to the police as soon as possible from the date of the MVA. This is very important as it assists in proving that your claim is genuine and not exaggerated. Once you have reported the MVA to the police you will be provided with an Event Number. The insurer will require this to open an MVA compensation claim on your behalf. If police did not attend the scene of the MVA, you should call them as soon as possible and report the MVA.
If you have not reported the MVA within the specified time frame of the incident occurring, we strongly recommend you speak with one of our specialist lawyers who will be able to assist you.
DO keep records, especially photographs
It is vital to take photos or video of the location of the accident, all the vehicles involved (and especially their registration plates) and the drivers and their licences.
It is very important to keep documentation of any damages and injuries sustained from the MVA. This will assist in proving the extent of your injuries. It is also important to document any receipts for medical expenses incurred from receiving treatment for your MVA injuries. We recommend you keep a folder containing these images.
DON’T settle too soon
As mentioned previously, insurance companies will try and settle your matter as quickly as possible by offering you a compensation amount upfront.
We do not recommend you accept an insurer’s first offer as our experience shows that when a person appoints a lawyer to assist with their MVA claim, they can receive a much better financial settlement.
This is another reason why it is so important to seek advice from a personal injury lawyer.
DON’T delay claiming and seeking legal advice.
MVAs need to be reported to police as soon as possible. If you don’t report the MVA because you believe your injury is insignificant and not worth making a claim for compensation, you should still seek legal advice as to your entitlements. There have been instances where injuries have worsened over time leaving the injured person with significant loss. We recommend you speak with one of our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to prevent this from happening to you.
MVA injuries are common, and many people receive injuries as a result. Many of these people also attempt to resolve their MVA claims on their own without the advice or support of a lawyer. Making a claim for compensation for an injury sustained because of an MVA can be confusing, complex and overwhelming, not to mention dealing with insurance companies who do not have your best interests at heart. Therefore we strongly recommend seeking legal advice for anyone wishing to make an MVA compensation claim.
If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice, please contact us on (07) 4724 1152 or email [email protected].