Posted by & filed under Tips.

A car accident can be a dangerous and critical experience for a person and their family. Here are a few tips that should be considered if you ever find yourself in that kind of situation.

Prevention is the best protection

  • It is important to be alert and focused on the road. Under no circumstances should you be distracted by factors such as your cell phone, fatigue or any activities that can wait until after you have stopped the car. Also, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
  • Before leaving on a journey that you may be unfamiliar with, it is a good idea to plan your route and make note of any potential impediments in the news such as road blocks, current accidents, weather or traffic congestion that may affect the journey. This also reduces the chance of being lost or having to detour and thus, the amount of time driving.
  • An emergency road kit in your car can be an invaluable tool to protect you or your family if you are ever stuck on the road or if you get into an accident. Some items for your kit should include:
    - First aid kit
    - Compact fire extinguisher
    - Warning light, hazard triangle or flares (to warn motorists ahead of time that you are stuck, especially at night.)
    - Tire gauge, jack and lug wrench, tire sealant, spare fuses, portable, battery booster or jumper cables
    - Flashlight
    - Gloves, hand cleaner and clean rags
    - Disposable flash camera (to ensure you can get visual records in an accident)
    - $20 in small bills and change
    - Pen and paper
    - Roadside assistance number
    - Rain poncho and blanket

After an accident

  • Remain calm and stay put. DO NOT flee from an accident.
  • Move your car out of the way if the car is in a high traffic area unless the car is so badly damaged that it cannot be moved out.
  • Check yourself and your passengers. If anyone needs medical assistance, call 000 immediately and give the exact location and details of the accident and injuries.
  • Do not admit fault. The circumstances can bring a high amount of stress and you may blurt out something inaccurate that may later be used against you.
  • Warn other motorists by using flares, hazard triangles or your car’s hazard lights. If possible, you may also lift your hood so other motorists can see your situation and steer clear of you.
  • Exchange information with the other driver including names, addresses, contact numbers, date of birth, driver’s license numbers of all drivers, names and addresses of witnesses, insurance company information, license plate numbers, and the car year, make and model.
  • Draw a detailed diagram of the accident if possible in order to retain information while it is still fresh in your mind. If you have a camera, take pictures of the accident scene such as the road, the vehicles, any skid marks, traffic lights, stop signs, etc.

Who should I contact after an accident?

  • Report the accident to the police. Contact the police immediately to report the accident. Stay calm, speak clearly and give your location of the accident.
  • Contact your insurance company to report the claim.

Conclusion

Nobody ever wants to be caught in an accident. However, preparedness and planning can be invaluable in preventing and dealing with a car accident. Safety for yourself and your family should always be the primary concern.

If you have been injured in a car accident, it is also important that you speak with a Specialist in Personal Injury to be properly informed of your rights.

Posted by & filed under Pregnant Mothers, Unborn Babies.

 

Pregnancy is a wonderful gift for a family that ushers in a new life into the world. The safety of both the mother and the baby is a paramount concern for many aspiring fathers, especially when it comes to driving around on Brisbane, Gold Coast and other Queensland roads and highways.

But as careful and skilled as many fathers are in handling their vehicle, what happens if an accident were to occur? How can the parents utilize every resources they have to protect their unborn child?

Properly Wear Your Seatbelt

A great article on this topic addresses the importance of pregnant mothers properly wearing their seatbelt. To quickly summarize the article, world-renowed safety expert and global chairperson of the International Organisation for Standardisation, Lotta Jakobsson, recommends that properly wearing a seatbelt is one of the most important primary safety systems to protect a mother and her child in a crash situation. Failing to do so can maximize the force of the crash and potential injuries. If the seatbelt is improperly worn across the belly, an impact can cause direct force to the stomach that can injure the unborn child. The most common mistake that is made when wearing seatbelts is forgetting to adjust the belt position.

She highlights a few of the following tips to prevent seatbelt injuries:

      • Removing bulky clothes so the seatbelt can be fastened as closely to the body as possible
      • Pull the lap belt over the thighs and flat underneath the belly
      • Ensure that the torso belt is positioned between the breasts
      • Pull tight

Lotta Jakobsson also points out a short walkthrough on how to fasten a seatbelt while pregnant

      • Adjust the seat so you can reach the pedals comfortably while maintaining as much distance between your belly and the steering wheel as possible.
      • Pull the lap belt over your thighs, buckle it in and pull tightly. It is important to make sure that the lap belt does not run across the belly, but rather, lies flat underneath the curve.
      • Position the torso belt across your chest between the breasts and to the side of the belly. Pull tight.
      • NEVER tuck the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back. Doing so may cause injury to yourself and the baby.

Be Aware of Your Legal Rights

Lotta Jakobsson says that the most common potential injury risk that is most documented for unborn babies in a car collision is separated placenta. This leads to Foetal distress and early delivery that can result in breathing and nervous system disorders.

An operator of a car in Queensland has a duty to drive their vehicle responsibly and with a reasonable amount of skill and care. If another driver fails to do so and causes you and your baby harm, then they may be liable to compensate you for your losses.

What if my husband caused the accident?

It is not uncommon for a wife to make a compensation claim against their husband if a car accident results. The claim is made against the CTP insurer and not the driver/owner of the vehicle. In this way, the wife can be compensated without seriously disadvantaging the husband.

What can I claim if my unborn baby is injured or worse?

Generally speaking, a mother can claim medical compensation and general damages such as pain and suffering if the accident leads to injury that causes complications in child birth.

If the accident also results in the mother being unable to work, she may also be able to claim for loss of future income.

If the accident causes a fatal injury to an unborn child, a family member of the child may be eligible for ‘nervous shock’ compensation if the loss of the child results in the family member suffering a recognizable psychiatric illness.

An Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Can Help

If a car accident causes serious injury and/or complication in child birth, it is highly recommended that you speak to an accredited specialist in personal injury to be advised of your legal rights that apply to your unique circumstances.

Please feel free to contact East Coast Injury Lawyers today if you need more information on how our firm can answer your questions with a free, no obligation consultation.