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If another driver has caused an accident and you suffer from an injury, you are entitled to claim compensation from that driver’s insurance company (or in some cases, the nominal defendant) to help pay for your losses including any income loss from your injuries, medical expenses, out of pocket costs and pain and suffering.

To be successful in a car accident claim, you will have to prove that the other driver was liable for the accident, that the accident caused your injuries, and that the compensation that you are claiming is a result of the accident.

Contrary to what some clients may believe damages do not include moral principles or if the driver or his insurance company was being rude and hurt your feelings. Emotions are a critical challenge in a personal injury claim and it is important to keep a clear mind when handling a car accident scene.

Here are some suggestions:

Safety first!

If possible, make sure that all affected vehicles in the accident are off the road. If there are injured people, then make sure they are away from potential threats such as other cars or any debris or hazards within the accident scene.

However, before you move the cars and only if it is safe to do so, try to take a picture of the original accident scene if you have a camera handy. It will be helpful later on when you make a personal injury claim.

Call 000

If there are serious injuries or damage, contact emergency services right away. If the negligent driver is apprehensive and wants to make an arrangement that does not involve filing an accident report, do not agree to those arrangements.

Even if the at-fault-driver has personal reasons for not making an accident report, you do not want to assist them in evading the law. Doing so may result in adverse effects to your legal rights.

Comfort the injured and any dependents. But also be careful.

While waiting for the police, ambulance and other emergency services, make reasonable efforts to comfort others. Even if you are not at fault, avoid saying things that imply fault such as “I’m sorry” or “This was my fault.”

Later on when the police arrive, you want to make sure that any following statements are as objective as possible. Do not give others an opportunity to misconstrue your own words.

Make sure that information is exchanged with the other driver

It is a good idea to exchange contact information, driver’s insurance and license information with the negligent driver. If the driver does not have a licence, it may be helpful to try to get photo ID or some other form of identification.

It is important that you get the negligent driver’s full name and address. Contact information such as mobile, email and home phone numbers are also helpful. If possible, it may also be useful to request an alternative contact from the driver such as a partner, family member or friend in case they are unreachable.

Get photos and/or videos of the accident scene.

It is true when they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Capturing images of the accident scene exactly as they are will be helpful to proving your claim after. This is especially true if the claim is supported if the driver engaged in unsafe or illegal driving. Make sure to record the accident scene exactly as it is right after the accident if it is safe and possible to do so.

Other helpful pictures include recording any injuries, damage to the cars, skid marks, broken car parts, damage to guardrails or trees or other stationary objects.

Listen for admissions of guilt.

If the other driver is being difficult and failing to provide information, it may be helpful to use your phone to record verbal statements or the conversation you are having with the driver. Such evidence at the time of the accident, especially statements that admit fault, may be useful in proving your claim especially if the other driver is being difficult or aggressive towards you.

Get the contact information for any witnesses.

If you can, passengers and other witnesses should be spoken to and have their contact information collected. They may be contacted later on to serve as witnesses to the accident. If they are reluctant to talk, then ask them to write down what they saw and date and sign every page of their statement.

Record your own statement for YOUR OWN lawyer

You may be shaken up from the accident and later on it may be difficult to recall information from the accident. Thus, it is important to write down your own information ASAP while it is still fresh in your head. Describe in detail how the accident happened and what your injuries were.

Do NOT provide this statement to the insurance company or others until you have first consulted with a lawyer.

Make sure you can access the police report

Before the police allow you to leave or clear the accident scene, ask them for their contact details so you can call them to obtain the reference number of their report so your lawyer can get a copy of the police report as soon as possible.

This is important because the report will provide your personal injury lawyer with a description of the collision, and the officer’s own notes and assessment of fault.

The police report may also include traffic violations the officer thinks may have contributed to the accident as well as any citations issued.

Accept immediate medical care, or get medical care ASAP.

If paramedics recommend that you go to the hospital, then comply and go with them. Often, adrenaline will mask the pain from a serious injury so it is important that you are assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

If an ambulance is not required, then make sure you follow up as soon as possible with medical treatment from your family doctor. Your physician may be able to refer you to additional treatment to help with your injuries. This is also an important step in establishing your medical record for evidence in your personal injury claim.

See a Brisbane personal injury lawyer

Do not try to contact the other driver’s insurance company on your own. If they contact you first and request a recorded statement, then politely let them know that you’re still a bit shaken up and need a few more days.

In this way, you can have a bit of time to sort out your thoughts and seek legal advice.

Even if you feel that your injuries are minor, you should still consult a personal injury lawyer. Most initial consultations for a personal injury claim are free and can be an invaluable resource to help you understand your legal rights and potential for compensation.

East Coast Injury Lawyers

Questions? Contact us by filling out our review form or giving us a call.

Free Instant Case Review

    • No Win, No Fee
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    • Free initial consultation
    • Home visits
    • Hospital visits
    • Videoconference meetings (via Zoom or Microsoft Teams) where preferred
    • After hours visits
    • 30% cap on legal fees
    • No uplift fees charged
    • No litigation lenders or interest charges on outlays / disbursements
    • Complete confidentiality
    • Immediate assessment of your claim

    *Strict time limits apply when making a claim. Do not delay.

    Managing Director

    Sean Delpopolo

    Sean Delpopolo

    Sean is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

    Sean specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, brain and head injury claims, spinal injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    He has been running personal injury claims in Queensland for over 25 years. Sean founded our firm in 2004 and the firm has grown and gone from strength to strength on the background of outstanding service, incredible results and charging really fair fees.

    With an innate sense of fairness and justice, this motivates Sean and his team to do everything they can to ensure that the results they achieve for their clients are something that they can all be proud of. In Sean’s mind, the interests of the firm’s clients come first, before anything else, and this value has flowed on through to the entire team.

    As a father of two daughters, Sean understands that his clients’ personal injury claims can make a huge difference to their lives and the lives of those around them. This is why he has made it his life’s work to fight for the “little guy” to obtain the compensation they deserve.

    * To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

    Director

    Helen Ashton

    Helen Ashton

    Helen is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.*

    As an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, having been awarded the highest achiever award for the course in 2015, Helen has a high level of knowledge and technical expertise. Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2001, she also has extensive experience in running all types of personal injury claims.

    Helen specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, medical negligence claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Helen has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to ensure that her clients are kept well informed and are provided with quality and practical legal advice.

    As a mother of three young children, Helen understands the impact events can have on a family unit and works proactively to achieve the right result for her clients in the shortest possible timeframe. Helen has the ability and the experience to assist clients with a wide variety of claims, including any personal injury claims with a high level of complexity and those that have had catastrophic consequences.

    * To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

    Special Counsel

    Nickelle Morris

    Nickelle Morris

    Nickelle is an expert in personal injury claims and has been recognised by the Queensland Law Society as an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law.* She was awarded the highest achiever award for the accreditation course which she completed in 2022. Nickelle was also a finalist in the Special Counsel of the Year category in the Australian Law Awards in 2019.

    Nickelle has been practising exclusively in personal injury litigation for over 20 years. She has extensive experience in catastrophic claims and fatality claims across all practice areas.

    Nickelle specialises in catastrophic injury claims (including traumatic brain injuries, acquired brain injuries and other head injuries, amputations, severe burns and spinal cord injuries resulting in tetraplegia, paraplegia and the like), National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, medical negligence claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Nickelle prides herself on being a technical, yet practical and compassionate lawyer. She takes her time to understand her client’s situation and to ensure that they have an understanding of their rights and entitlements. Nickelle is a tenacious and passionate advocate for her clients and is dedicated to being proactive in ensuring her client’s needs are met and achieving the best outcome for her clients.

    Outside of work, Nickelle is a mother of two children and is a member of a number of committees both within the legal industry and community.

    * To find out more about what it takes to become an Accredited Specialist click here.

    Special Counsel

    Barry Mcgee

    Barry has always loved a spirited debate, and, with over 20 years specialising exclusively in personal injury litigation, his passion, skill and ability to assist his clients is well known throughout the Queensland profession.

    Barry specialises in work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Barry’s legal career began in his native Scotland, where he qualified as a Solicitor in 1998. Upon qualifying, he worked for a boutique practice, and then a top-tier national firm, representing a number of different insurers across a variety of industries. With years of working for insurers under his belt, Barry is able to see matters through the eyes of his legal opponents. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say!

    He was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2007. In Australia, he commenced working for a large national firm, where he spent 15 years practicing in personal injury litigation. He was made a Partner of the firm in 2011 and spent 11 years as the firm’s dedicated in-house Special Counsel. As Special Counsel, Barry provided expert advocacy and strategical advice and assistance to the firm’s personal injury lawyers and clients of the firm alike.

    Barry has significant and extensive experience across a wide variety of personal injury claims. He is compassionate, personable and straightforward, with a keen sense of what is fair and just and a reputation for not settling for anything less than his client deserves.

    Outside of work he enjoys surfing, the outdoors, music and spending time with his wife and 3 young children.

    Special Counsel

    Charlotte Evans

    Charlotte has practised exclusively in personal injury compensation litigation for over 20 years.

    Charlotte specialises in sexual abuse claims, work injury claims, workplace injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, motorcycle accident injury claims, other road accident injury claims, construction accident claims, mining accident claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatal injury claims, psychiatric and psychological injury claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    She is committed to fighting for the rights of plaintiffs and helping her clients through the legal maze, to achieve outcomes that put people back in control of their lives. She has had experience in taking a number of personal injury cases to Trial and winning hard fought cases for her clients and she does not shy away from a challenge.

    Charlotte has a friendly and approachable personality and strives to cut through the legal jargon to make the personal injury claim process understandable for her clients whilst ensuring that her clients are also kept well informed throughout their claim.

    Out of the office Charlotte is a busy Mum, who now enjoys the privileges of living in beautiful Queensland and making the most of all it has to offer.

    Special Counsel

    Prue Prescott

    Prue has been running personal injury claims for nearly 20 years. This has involved acting for injured claimants in most areas of personal injury law including workers’ compensation injury claims, motor vehicle accident injury claims, public liability injury claims, death and fatality claims, psychiatric injury claims, National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIISQ) claims and total and permanent disability claims.

    Prue enjoys handling the more complex claims, such as traumatic brain injury, fatal injury and nervous shock claims, as well as claims involving complex legal principles. Prue seeks to use her Masters qualification in writing and literature to tell each and every client’s individual story, ensuring they are treated fairly by insurers and that they obtain the compensation they deserve.

    In 2019, Prue was nominated by the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland Inc as an Inspirational Lawyer.

    Outside of work, Prue is a busy mum of boys but also tries to find the time to read, write and explore nature.

    Office Manager

    Julie Hollonds

    Julie is a highly dedicated and experienced office manager who has been an integral part of our team for the past 14 years. Bringing a wealth of knowledge with over 35 years of experience in administration, Julie keeps our office running smoothly and efficiently.

    Outside of work, Julie loves to walk, snorkel, spend time with friends and explore the beautiful Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

    Legal Assistant

    Aleisha Harrigan

    Having worked as a legal assistant for over five years, Aleisha has a wealth of experience in the field of personal injury. Since joining East Coast Lawyers, she has been an essential part of providing invaluable support to solicitors and our clients. Her abilities extend beyond legal matters with Aleisha providing training to our assistants and administrative team, and streamlining processes and procedures, ensuring that the workflows operate smoothly and effectively.

    Outside of work, Aleisha has a passion for reading and music. She can often be found immersed in a good book or a live concert. She values spending quality time with her family, friends and her beloved dog, Kevin.

    Legal Assistant

    Kym Arrowsmith

    Kym is a knowledgeable legal assistant with fifteen years of expertise in the field of personal injury law. She is passionate about supporting clients through the process and obtaining the best possible outcome for them. As a valued member of our team, Kym takes pride in her work and is committed to sharing her extensive experience and knowledge with our other team members.

    When Kym is not busy with work, she loves spending time with her family and friends, and enjoys discovering new places, whether it be through the pages of a biography or on her push bike.

    Legal Assistant

    Alece Turner

    Alece is a law student who is extremely motivated and passionate about personal injury law. She is hardworking, and always strives to produce the best possible results for our clients.

    Her dedication and eagerness to learn more about the law makes Alece a great addition to our team.

    When not working or studying, she loves spending time with her son at the beach or at one of our amazing theme parks.

    Legal Assistant

    Georgia Ryan

    Georgia recently joined the team in February 2023 and has been working within the industry for the last three years. She is enthusiastic about helping new and existing clients, and with her bubbly personality and can-do approach makes her an excellent addition to our team.

    Raised in Tasmania, Georgia moved to Queensland in early 2017 and hasn’t regretted it since. She loves the warm weather and lifestyle. Outside of work, Georgia loves travelling, dining out and spending time with family and friends.

    Legal Assistant

    Claire Rezny

    Claire is one of our hard working and devoted Legal Assistants. With over 25 years’ administrative experience, her attention to detail, willingness to help others, and calm demeanour makes her a real asset to our team.

    Claire is well travelled and, during her time in the USA, Claire discovered a newfound love for reading, which led her to become a proofreader for several published novels. Claire also enjoys landscape and wildlife photography and spending time with her family and puppy.

    Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

    Ella Donnelly

    Meet Ella, our receptionist and administrative assistant, with a passion for law and criminology. She is currently working towards a career in the police force. Ella is always eager to help others and is dedicated to providing excellent customer service to our clients.

    Ella’s bubbly and outgoing personality shines, making her a perfect receptionist. Despite her busy timetable with working and studying, Ella finds time to pursue her love of acting. Being a performer at heart, Ella has had a chance to showcase her natural flair for the arts in theatre productions.

    RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

    Shayla Riley

    Shayla joined our team in September 2023, coming from an extensive background in customer service.

    Shayla is a law student who is very passionate about personal injury law. With her bubbly personality and can-do attitude this makes her the perfect person for her administration support role.

    When Shayla is not in the office you can find her enjoying all things outdoors, getting lost in a good book or spending time with her two rescue dogs Bear and Ella. 

    RECEPTIONIST AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

    Brooke

    Meet Brooke, our receptionist and administration assistant. Brooke has over 3 years’ administration experience in personal injury law and is eager to provide high quality customer service to our clients.

    Brooke finds joy in helping others and is extremely hard working making her a real asset to our team.

    Out of the office you may find Brooke at a racetrack as she has a passion for fast cars. Brooke also likes spending her time enjoying outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking but will never pass up the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy.