Tasmania has quite a number of accidents every year. In 2022, 263 of those accidents led to serious injuries, and 51 proved fatal. If you were lucky enough to get out of an accident with your life intact, you need to be aware of your legal rights and obligations. In this article, we will discuss everything that concerns you.
Knowing Your Rights
After the accident, you have several rights that you’ll be able to collect. This includes the following:
- The Right to Compensation
After a car accident, should you be a victim or only hold partial fault, you have the right to compensation. You are entitled to file a claim for financial losses, which may cover the following aspects:
- Hospital bills
- Vehicle damage
- Economic loss caused by the accident
- Psychological and physical distress
- Domestic assistance
Tasmania has its own laws of compensation, especially if you are partially at fault for the accident. This is why you may want to hire a lawyer to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
- The Right to Remain Silent
Do you know how the police say you have the “right to remain silent”? This applies to car accidents as well. When you give the police a statement, you do not have to admit your fault – even if, deep down, you know you may have played a part. You can be honest as much as you can, but you don’t have to admit anything. That’s for the court to decide, helped by witnesses and your car’s black box.
- The Right to an Attorney
Whether you are found at fault for the accident or not, you have the right to an attorney. Ideally, you should hire one from the area, as they are more familiar with the local law. If you were in New Jersey, you would have to get a New Jersey car accident attorney. In this case, however, you may want to opt for a lawyer in Tasmania. If not, they should at least possess knowledge in that area.
Aside from your rights, you also need to be aware of your obligations. After the accident, you need to stop immediately and do whatever is needed of you. Failure to stop and assist or fleeing the scene can result in a hefty fine or even jail time.
The only exception for leaving the scene is if the driver or a passenger requires immediate medical assistance or if they are looking for help. If the driver was unaware that the accident had occurred, this may constitute a defense (i.e. a scratch in the parking lot.)
Every party involved needs to provide as many details as possible, along with their personal information to the police. Refusing to do so may label you as someone obstructing justice. That information is necessary for the police report, but if you had to leave the scene due to injury, you can file the report online.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident
After you have an accident, several factors may affect the legal rights you are entitled to. If you get into such a situation, you need to do everything by the book if you wish to protect your rights. Here is what you’ll have to do:
- Document the Situation
Many things can happen at the scene of the accident. The first thing you’ll have to do is document the scene. Look around and see what needs to be done. If you or anyone else is injured, call 911 right away to send for an ambulance. That said, if you are well enough to remain at the scene, move on to the following step.
- Call the Police
Very often, when you get into a car accident, you are required by the law to call the police. You may bypass this if it was just a scratch, but if you were injured or sustained car damage of more than $500, you have the right to call the police. By doing so, you can determine who was at fault for the accident and potentially receive compensation for it.
- Trust the System
Very often, the at-fault driver may convince you there is no need to contact the police or mess with insurance companies. This is a sign of guilt, and you should always trust the system instead. By taking money unofficially for them, you may be setting yourself up for a loss, since expenses may be greater. You should protect your rights even if the other driver wishes to avoid them.
The Bottom Line
Tasmania traffic laws after an accident are pretty much the same as in any other country. If you get in an accident, you have the right to compensation, but you also have the obligation to stay and see things through. Hopefully, our article helped guide you.