What to do after a car accident that is not your fault?

If a car accident is not your fault, here are the details you should take, groups to inform, and claims you can make following the accident.

Every day in Australia, people get into car accidents. From minor bumper prangs to larger collisions that result in major damage and injuries, this is a common occurrence on our roads. 

That’s why we have insurance, which helps to cover us for damages in case of an accident and get us motor accident compensation when applicable. And for careful drivers who follow the road rules, it’s important to know what to do following an accident that’s not your fault. 

What to do following an accident

The first steps following any accident are to look after your own health and safety and that of others. If anyone is badly injured, call an ambulance, and if your vehicle or the vehicles of others are in a position where they could cause further harm, either move them to the side of the road or at least put on hazard lights to warn other drivers. 

Next, collect details of all drivers involved and the circumstances, and share your own. This includes: 

  • The date, time, and place of the accident
  • The names, addresses, and licence numbers of the drivers
  • Contact details, including phone and email
  • Car details including make and model, and registration number
  • Insurance details from all drivers (companies and what level of insurance they have)
  • Note down the names and contact details of any witnesses 
  • Taking photos of the accident (if it is safe to do so)

The next step is to inform the police of the accident. If they don’t attend on site, you can either visit a station or call their non-emergency line on 13 14 44. This must be done within 28 days of the accident. 

You can then also make a claim with your insurance company for damages to your vehicle. Assuming the accident was not your fault, your insurance company will deal with the other driver’s insurance (or the other driver themselves if they are uninsured) to organise your compensation for repairs.

What if you have been injured?

If you have been injured in a motor accident, whether or not it was your fault, you are eligible for compensation.

To claim your compensation, you will need to lodge an application for Personal Injury Compensation with the CTP (compulsory third party) insurer, and include a Certificate of Capacity signed by your doctor. 

If you are seeking compensation for a loss of income, you will need to send in this application within 28 days of the accident. If you do not meet this deadline, you will have to provide an explanation for the delay, but it does mean the application may not be accepted, so it is best to send it ASAP. 

In some cases, the insurer may find a way to deny your claim. If this occurs, a car accident lawyer can help to fight for your case and ensure you get the compensation you are owed. It is best to contact a lawyer for car accidents as soon as possible after your claim has been denied as you can only challenge an insurance decision within a short time frame. 

If you find yourself in this position, contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation. 

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