What Records and Documents do I Need to Support a Motor Vehicle Injury Claim?

Navigating the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to making an injury claim.

Gathering the right documents and collecting the right records is crucial to ensure your claim is supported effectively. From on-the-scene evidence to detailed medical and financial records, every piece of information can play a pivotal role in substantiating your case.

This guide will help you understand what specific records and documents you need to collect to support your motor vehicle injury claim, ensuring a smoother process and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.

Whilst this does not purport to be an exhaustive list of the things you will need to watch out for, it will give you the main elements required to support a claim.

The elements are grouped as follows:

  1. At the Scene of the Accident
  2. Reporting Documents
  3. Medical Documents
  4. Earnings Documents
  5. Other Expense Documents

At the Scene of the Accident

You should get the following evidence whilst the scene is still fresh:

  • The other driver’s details, including address and mobile number
  • A photo of the other person’s driver’s licence
  • Photos of the vehicles in situ, showing their registration plates and any surrounding crash debris (it is easy to overlook this in the rush to clear the cars out of the way)
  • Photos of any relevant street signage (road names etc), road markings, speed signs etc
  • Ideally some approximate distances between the crash scene and any relevant points of interest, e.g. traffic lights, intersection markings, white lines etc
  • An exact location of the point of impact (often available via Google maps where you can drop a “pin” at your location)

Reporting Documents

Once you get home, you will need to report the accident via the online crash reporting facility.

In Western Australia, that can be found at: https://www.crashreport.com.au/ocrf/

You will need to include as much detail as possible and, if you are injured, you will need to include brief details on the form.

There are no strict time limits to complete the form, but it should ideally be done as soon as reasonably practicable. The form not only acts as a record of the accident but also, if you are injured, notifies The Insurance Commission of Western Australia (ICWA) of your injuries and this allows them to initiate their treatment protocol.

How To Make A Personal Injury Claim

Medical Documents

You should be assessed by appropriate medical specialists, either at the scene of the accident, at hospital thereafter (if your injuries are sufficiently serious), or as soon as practicable by your GP.

Where you see your GP, you will need to explain in as much detail as possible the injuries you have suffered and the symptoms you have. Your GP will generally provide you with prescriptions for medication or may refer you for further specialist treatment such as physiotherapy or other appropriate treatment, in which case you will receive a referral letter. You may also receive a bill for your initial GP consultation.

It is important to keep copies of invoices, medical receipts, referral letters and any other similar documents, as they will provide evidence of your expenses, which can usually be reclaimed, along with details of the treatment you may need. In effect, they are the evidence you will need to show that you have been injured.

ICWA will normally contact you once they have received your report with information on how to pay for your treatment (these costs will ordinarily be covered by ICWA). You will receive a reference number and a treatment number which will allow your treatment provider to invoice ICWA directly for such expenses.

If you require time off work, your GP will provide you with a medical certificate stating how long you should refrain from working. Again, it is important to keep copies of these certificates as ICWA rely on them to support any claims for loss of income.

Earnings Documents

If your GP has issued you with a medical certificate, you may be entitled to claim for any loss of earnings you have suffered. This is often referred to as “loss of earning capacity” as opposed to loss of actual earnings. However, this is a technical legal distinction and is of little or no relevance to your claim for reimbursement.

ICWA will usually ask you to provide copies of your pre-accident payslips (if you are employed) or other details of your income. This may include tax returns, notices of assessment or other proof of income, such as bank statements etc.

Other Expense Documents

The other main items of expense relate to travel costs, where it is useful to keep a record of your medical and treatment appointments. So, where you are having physiotherapy, a log of your appointments and the distance travelled will provide useful evidence of your out-of-pocket expenses.

You may also require help with certain household and domestic activities, such as shopping, cleaning, cooking, ironing, laundry, gardening etc. These services (usually referred to as “gratuitous services”) may be provided by other family members, friends or relatives.

Where their help is required on more than just an occasional basis, a claim may be made for the notional costs of the person providing those services to you. Again, it is important where this happens for you to keep a record of who provides the service(s), what they do for you, on what dates and for how long.

In cases of serious injury, there may be additional items of expense, such as wheelchair hire, household aids and modifications to improve mobility and functionality. Again, records should be kept of any such expenses incurred.

In Summary

The Golden Rule is that you can rarely have too much information. Your lawyer will thank you for keeping such records. They may not all be relevant, but it is better to have too much information than not enough

Article written by David Kew, Motor Legal

David Kew is a long-standing professional in the insurance and legal industries, boasting over 35 years of experience in motor vehicle accident claims.

With a robust background in insurance claims management and personal injury law, David has successfully navigated complex legal landscapes to secure favourable outcomes for his clients.

His expertise extends to providing strategic advice and support throughout the claims process, ensuring clients are well-informed and confident in their decisions.

David’s commitment to excellence and his comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of motor vehicle injury claims make him a trusted authority in his field.

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