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I've been in a car accident and the other driver refused to give insurance details

Car accidents are an unexpected, scary experience and regardless of the severity, they can happen to anyone at any time. Often, dealing with the aftermath can be just as challenging and confronting, particularly when it comes to managing injuries and collecting the relevant details for insurance and legal purposes.

Getting the details of all parties involved is crucial for insurance and legal claims, but when you’re at the site of a crash where people have been injured, it may be difficult and not always at top of mind.

In a stressful situation, it’s easy to forget to ask for the contact details of eyewitnesses and it’s not uncommon for people to outright refuse to provide their insurance details after a car accident.

With that in mind, being prepared and understanding your legal obligations is the best thing you can do in the event of a car accident. This includes understanding what to do if you weren’t able to get the necessary details of others involved in an accident.

To help you equip you in this scenario we’ve put together some helpful tips and this handy checklist you can follow after a car accident occurs.

What to do in a car accident checklist

Key details to collect after a car accident occurs:

  • Other driver/s details
  • Date and time
  • Location
  • Driver’s phone number
  • Driver’s vehicle registration
  • Driver’s name
  • Driver’s Insurer
  • Driver’s address
  • Driver’s vehicle make and model.

Our Tip: Download our handy checklist to help you easily document the essential information at the scene. We recommend keeping this list in an easily accessible place, ready to use at the time of an accident. 

Is it a legal requirement to provide insurance details after an accident?

In short, yes, you should provide relevant contact and insurance details in the event of an accident on the road. At times, police or emergency services will need to attend the scene, so these details are essential if they need to be alerted when serious accidents occur.

Whether you’re directly involved or a witness, it’s important to always stop at the scene of the accident (if it’s safe to do so). Not only is this common courtesy, but you should also check that no one is seriously injured and requires medical treatment.

In South Australia and Western Australia, you will need to make a police report within 24 hours if there is damage in excess of $3000.

For the other states, you will generally need to make a police report within 24 hours if:

  • A person was killed or injured
  • A driver did not stop and give their details to the other driver(s)
  • A vehicle was towed away after the accident
  • The owner of any damaged property is not present.

In South Australia, if a person was killed or injured then you will need to make a police report within 90 minutes of the accident.

How do I get insurance details after an accident?

It’s always best to try and collect the necessary details at the scene of the accident. Understandably, this may not always be possible, but it’s important to try and gather as much information as you can. This includes a description of the other car, other people involved and the location of the accident – every little detail can help.

If you can’t get anything else, the most important thing to collect is the number plate details. From there you can call Police Link and report the accident as soon as possible. If there is an emergency, you should always call 000.

Just remember:

  1. registration
  2. name
  3. address.

These are the three most important pieces of information to collect and exchange at the scene of an accident.

Types of car insurance cover in Australia

You should always put in an insurance claim after a car accident. Keeping in mind that each state and territory has a mandatory motor vehicle accident personal injury insurance scheme. In some states, it’s known as Compulsory Third Party Insurance (CTP).

In New South Wales it is called a Green Slip, and in Victoria, it’s the Transport Accident Charge (TAC). All Compulsory Third Party insurances are connected with your vehicle registration process in each state and territory, meaning you can’t register a vehicle without this included.

In Australia, there are four types of car insurance that you can obtain for your vehicles.

These include:

  • Compulsory Third Party (CTP)/mandatory motor vehicle accident personal injuries insurance: required by each state and territory. This form of insurance protects any person that you might injure while you are driving a vehicle, including pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. However, it only covers injuries and not property damage
  • Comprehensive: covers damage to your own vehicle and other people’s property, as well as theft and some other scenarios
  • Third Party Property: covers damage to other people’s property, but not damage to your own vehicle
  • Third Party Fire and Theft: Third Party Property with some add-on features that cover your vehicle.

Understanding your insurance cover and ensuring your details are accurate and up to date is the best way to make sure you’re always prepared.

Can I still claim for personal injury compensation if no insurance details are exchanged?

Yes, you can still make a claim. Given that it is illegal not to have CTP insurance, the instances of the other party not being insured should be relatively small.

If you are driving without a valid registration and CTP insurance cover you could be liable for large fines for breaking the law, and all costs would be from your own pocket to cover any damages or injury to others.

If you’ve been involved in an injury on the road, seeking advice from an expert motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you access the compensation you’re entitled to.

Get in touch today for a free consultation regarding your legal rights.

Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: March 24, 2022.

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