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Should I seek legal advice after my not-at-fault car accident?

One of the most commonly asked questions about not-at-fault accidents surrounds the need for legal advice. Although most people know who is in the wrong during these types of accidents, legal disputes can still occur. Though it isn’t necessary in all cases, legal advice can be beneficial to help manage your rights and ensure you get what you need to recover adequately. We share with you why seeking legal advice after a not-at-fault car accident is a beneficial option, especially for those who are unsure about the process and don’t understand their rights.

You may be in the wrong

During a not-at-fault car accident, the driver in front is usually blameless in the accident and will find themselves not liable for damages or repair costs. However, the reality of the situation may be vastly different, as the driver behind you may claim you’re at fault, or your driving resulted in the car accident. With legal help, you’re able to determine who is really at fault in this situation, in the eyes of the law, which will help you proceed with insurance claims and alike processes.

Guidance with insurance

Submitting an insurance claim can be stressful and complicated, especially when you haven’t completed the process before or you’re unsure of your entitlements. Especially for those who are eligible for an accident replacement vehicle, legal guidance will ensure you receive what’s on your policy so that you can resume your everyday life quickly. Some policies are incredibly complex and subject to changing regulations, and a legal representative can efficiently and promptly decipher your entitlements.

Ensure you’re not exploited

Between the driver of the other car and your insurance agency, it’s possible to feel taken advantage of with your not-at-fault claims. Some people implore a bully tactic to scare accident victims from making claims, especially those who are in the right and are entitled to help. A legal professional can provide you with much-needed support and assurance of your rights, and liaise with the other parties to ensure you get what you deserve.

Manage any injury claims

If you’ve unfortunately experienced any injury as a result of your not-at-fault accident, there are more issues at play than just your car repairs. Injury claims can be tricky to process, especially when addressing hospital cover, ambulance costs and rehabilitation fees. Legal advice is highly recommended for injured individuals so you can best receive the care and help you need. You may find you’re entitled to more support than you’re aware of, and you should receive this care when needed.

How to avoid 3 of the most common causes of car accidents

The most common causes of car accidents and road fatalities in Australia are also the most easily avoidable. Aside from drink driving, it is essential to also be aware of the ordinary, everyday little things that we don’t take seriously enough, such as being overtired, or distracted, or dipping unintentionally just over the speed limit. These are all among the chief causes of motor accidents.

There was an increase in the national number of road fatalities over twelve months in recently published statistics. Following even the most basic safety precautions when you’re on the road will help make sure you avoid both minor and major collisions.

1. Speeding

A third of the fatal accidents in Australia are the result of speeding, however, it isn’t always high-speed driving that’s the culprit. Exceeding the limit by much smaller amounts can just as easily lead to a serious accident, a point often underestimated by drivers. It’s important to note that a car travelling at 60 km/h takes around 40 metres to stop. A collision at a speed as low as 30 km/h can cause serious injury, or worse, to the occupants of cars involved in a side-on crash, or to cyclists and pedestrians.

Always be very aware of speed, and stay within the posted speed signs. Always reduce speed in poor weather, at night, and when navigating bends in the road or on poor road surfaces.

2. Fatigue

Driving while overtired can be just as dangerous as driving over the alcohol limit. It is harder for police to detect and often viewed by drivers as manageable. However, tired drivers account for around a third of fatal car accidents and these accidents have a much higher incidence of involving only a single vehicle. Fatigue impacts a driver’s ability to react quickly to changing traffic conditions. Just a few seconds of a driver unintentionally micro-sleeping can have tragic results.

How can you know when your fatigue is likely to be dangerous? Always have had plenty of sleep and be well-rested before heading off. On a long trip make certain you stop for 10-15 minutes every two hours. If you’re yawning or your eyelids are drooping, pull over at a rest stop and take a power nap.

3. Distraction

There have never been as many distractions for a driver as there are in today’s hi-tech world. Whether it’s chatting on a hands-free mobile, checking the GPS, switching stations on the car radio, or listening to your in-car music system. Maybe it is simply being distracted by the duelling kids in the back seat or an impatient pet that’s alongside you.

Keep your focus on the road at all times by following these methods: Minimise any interaction with sound systems and phone conversations. Avoid drinking or eating while driving. Ensure that children are secure and restrained by seat belts and pets are in suitable carriers.

Keep in mind also, that if you are involved in a not-at-fault accident, caused by the other vehicle’s driver, then you are entitled by law to an accident replacement car. Call 1800699034 where the Not My Fault expert team can help.

Establishing liability: 3 tips for proving you were not at fault

When there is an accident on the road, most of the time it is very clear who is at fault. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes who is at fault can be contested and drivers will often try to shift blame away from themselves if at all possible. That’s why it’s so important that if you are in an accident where your not at fault that you follow the below steps to make sure you’re not the one who ends up paying.

Take notes

It’s a really good idea to write down your version of events as soon as you can after the accident has occurred. If either insurance company calls to establish who was at fault, its vital that you are able to describe what happened in as much detail as possible. If you don’t write anything down then you risk your side of the story being incomplete and having inconsistencies. In some instances this can be enough for investigators to find in favour of the other driver.

Take photos

By taking photos you arm yourself with proof of what has occurred and give investigators the best chance of getting to the truth. It’s important you take photos of the cars themselves and any relevant damage. It also helps to photograph any other impact the crash had. For example skid marks on the road, broken glass or damage to the roadside.

Ask witnesses for their details

Eyewitnesses can be an invaluable resource for investigators when they are trying to reconstruct an accident. If you see someone nearby who saw what happened politely ask them for their details and if they would be prepared to assist. If you are not at fault, having an unbiased third party who backs your side of the story could make all the difference.

If you can establish that the other party is at fault, not only will they have to pay damages, they may also have to pay for an accident courtesy car. This is why it pays to be prepared to prove your innocence. Follow the above steps and you give yourself the best chance of being found not liable. If you have been involved in an accident, contact us today to arrange an accident replacement car.

How to think like a horse when driving

Encountering a horse and rider when driving is a moment where danger can easily present itself. Often, there might not be as much advance warning as you would hope. To help drive safely in such situations, it can be useful to understand the possible behaviours of the animal (and rider); from this, it becomes easier to deal with the moment.

An extra brain in action

If you encountered someone walking by the side of the road, there are only two brains in action; both programmed to think much alike at such moments. Adding a horse complicates things; especially as horses are recognised to be flight animals – adept at taking themselves away from perceived danger.

Two dangers might present: firstly, if you are driving up quickly behind them, they hear danger but don’t see it. Secondly, they see a strange object (you in your car) heading towards them at speed from the opposite direction.

The horse’s options

You hope the animal has gained such trust in its rider that it will respect what that person now asks it to do. If not, the animal could choose to lash out, move suddenly across the path of your vehicle, or immediately bolt off in the opposite direction. As well as a danger to you and its rider, this situation could now adversely affect other road users.

Take a slow and silent approach

Reducing your speed substantially, and passing as wide of the animal and rider as possible, makes good sense. Avoid adding noise to the situation, either by sounding your horn (even as a warning) or revving your engine. The latter also applies as you move past and away from the animal; retain your slow speed discipline until you are well clear.

Accidents still happen

Of course, however careful you are as a driver, whether around horses or at other times, bad behaviour by others can see you become the innocent victim of an accident. Our Not My Fault team are ready to help, because under Australian Law, in these circumstances you are entitled to an accident replacement car if yours has to visit a repair shop. Keep our number with you at all times – it’s 1800699034 – and our experienced team are ready to help you deal with such a situation…

Dealing with bad driving behaviour by other drivers

We all make mistakes when driving, hopefully, minor ones which can be quickly corrected. But, a key element of safe driving is to be able to deal with, we might even say ‘park’, irritating or irresponsible driving behaviours in others. Here are some key tips to help manage your feelings and reactions in such circumstances…

# Simply accept bad driving as a fact of life

This is not defeatist, it merely means being clear in your own mind that such things happen. There is little you can do apart from accepting the fact and being calmly ready to deal with such moments. This helps keep you in a better frame of mind when driving than when allowing anger and frustration to bubble up or even bubble over.

# Avoid taking it personally

It can be easy to fall into a mindset that suggests other people’s bad driving is a deliberate act aimed at making your life more difficult! This can range from the person who is simply not paying enough attention to the bully driver who wants the world to behave in the way they want. But, their behaviour is a sad truth for all others they encounter on the road – not just you.

# Accept the possibility of life intruding

Erratic driving in others can also be due to them receiving bad news, having a row with a loved one, having problems at work – and for many other non-driving reasons which can inadvertently affect their concentration.

# Consign bad driving experiences to history

Once it’s over, it’s over. Allowing an event to fester in your mind, increasing your frustration or anger, only makes it more likely that your driving concentration will be adversely affected.

When other people’s bad driving leads to an accident

In case this should ever happen to you, with a result being that your vehicle needs to spend time in a repair shop, keep our Not My Fault contact number at hand: 1800699034. Under Australian law, if you are not at fault, then you are entitled to an accident replacement car to keep you on the road and your life on track. Our expert team here at Australia’s No.1 car accident replacement service are ready to help…