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What to do if someone refuses to give insurance details after a car accident

4 minute read

Motor vehicle accident

Car accidents are an unexpected, scary experience. They can happen to anyone at any time. Dealing with the aftermath can be challenging and confronting, particularly if you’ve been injured in a hit and run. Learn what to do if someone refuses to give insurance details after a hit and run accident and what your rights are.

Car accident hit and runs and what to do

Getting the details of all parties involved in a car accident, including eyewitnesses, is crucial for insurance and legal claims. However, at the site of a stressful car accident, especially a hit and run, it may be difficult to get those details. You might be injured or forget in the stress of the moment. It’s also 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 a powerful tool you can use, if you’re ever in a car accident. This includes understanding what to do if there’s a failure to exchange details after an accident. 

Key details to collect after a car accident occurs

To make things easier, we’ve put together a handy checklist, so you can document essential information at the scene of an accident. Download it and keep it accessible in your car, ready to use if you ever need it.  However, the most important thing after a car accident is that everyone is safe.

The details to collect include: 

  • Accident details: date, time and location

  • Details of other people involved in the accident: driver, pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist, truck driver

  • Details of other vehicle: registration, make and model, as well as the driver’s insurer

  • Details of any witnesses to the accident: name, phone number, their involvement (e.g bystander, a driver not involved in the accident)

What to do if someone refuses to give insurance details 

Sometimes it’s impossible to collect necessary details at the scene of a car accident. You may be injured or traumatised, or it may be a hit and run accident. Every little detail you can collect can help. If you can’t work through the checklist, the three most important pieces of information are: 

  • The other car’s registration (the number plate) 

  • The other car’s make and model. Even a description of the car is helpful if you’re not sure 

  • A description of the driver (and any passengers) 

This information can help the police and your insurer identify and locate the other driver and their insurance details.  

Your lawyer may also help you to source available CCTV footage of the accident from nearby businesses or shops, as well as from the police and local transport authorities.  

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

In short, yes, you should exchange relevant contact and insurance details after an accident on the road. Failure to exchange details after an accident is an offence in some states. If police weren’t called to the accident scene, you’ll generally need to make a police report within 24 hours if: 

  • A person was killed or injured 

  • The driver did not stop 

  • A driver did not give their details or you suspect they gave you false details 

  • A vehicle was towed from the accident scene 

  • The owner of any damaged property was not present at the accident scene 

Whether you’re directly involved in an accident or a witness, it’s important to stop at the scene (if it’s safe to do so). Not only is this a common courtesy, but you should also check that no one is seriously injured and requires medical treatment. If there’s an emergency or injured people, always call 000. 

This information can help the police and your insurer identify and locate the other driver and their insurance details. 

Types of car insurance cover in Australia

In Australia there are four types of car insurance: 

  • Compulsory third party personal injury: this is a compulsory insurance in all states and territories, connected to your vehicle’s registration. It’s known as Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance in most states and territories. In New South Wales it’s called Green Slip and in Victoria it’s the Transport Accident Charge (TAC). It protects drivers from financial impact if their driving causes the injury or death of other road users. It does not cover 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: this is Third Party Property insurance with additional features that cover your vehicle 

Understanding the different types of insurance and ensuring you have the right cover for your circumstances will give you the best chance of protection.

Can I still claim for personal injury compensation if there's been a failure to exchange details after accident?

Yes, you can still make a claim for personal injury compensation, even after a hit and run accident. The other driver will most likely have CTP insurance, given it’s mandatory in Australia.  

If the other driver was driving without a valid registration and CTP insurance cover their liability could extend to: 

  • Large fines for breaking the law  

  • All costs for any damages or injury to others caused by the accident 

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.

How Shine can help

If you’ve been involved in a car accident or hit and run, seeking advice from an expert motor vehicle accident lawyer can help you access the compensation you’re entitled to. 

Get in touch today for an obligation-free consultation regarding your legal rights, on a no win no fee basis* or check your eligibility for a motor vehicle accident claim here.

*Conditions apply

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