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Getting into a car accident is a fear of many Australian drivers. While there is no such thing as a “worry-free accident”, taking the right precautionary measures could potentially limit the financial impact a car accident may have.

Be prepared for an incident: download our brochure explaining what to do in an accident and keep it in your glove box.

What to do after a car accident that isn’t your fault

Being the victim of a car accident can be a stressful ordeal, and it can be hard to deal with the shock of what’s happened. With that said, it is still vital to know the right steps to take after the accident. Here’s what to do after a car accident that wasn’t your fault:

1. Stop everything and don’t panic

Make sure every participant in the accident is safe and check all involved cars to see the extent of the damage.

2. Gather information from the other driver

Hopefully, the driver at fault has stopped at the scene. In this case, try to gather as much information as you can, including their name, phone number, car registration details, insurance information (provider, insurance number, policy details) and drivers licence number. In return, you should give them your details to assist them with their car insurance claim.

3. Don’t admit fault

Make sure you choose your words carefully when you’re interacting with the other driver. Saying something as simple as “sorry” could possibly be used against you in an insurance claim, as it may imply an acknowledgement of being at fault.

4. Gather contact information from witnesses

In cases where fault may be disputed, accounts of witnesses on the scene could help your claim. They can help determine who was at fault in your accident, which could have a great bearing on how your insurance provider will treat your claim.

5. Take pictures

Photographic evidence of damages could be very useful. Along with witness accounts, pictures can help you in the case where fault is disputed, and also prove the extent of the damage for insurance quotes.

6. Call and report the accident to the police

One of the parties involved should call the police and provide accurate details of the accident, including time and date, location, contact details of all parties, and the extent of your injuries (if you are injured).

7. Call your insurance provider

To ensure your claim goes through as quickly as possible, it’s recommended that you call your insurance provider at the earliest opportunity.

Police details

icon-ambulance-minEmergency: 000
Police attendance: 131 444 (every state except Victoria)

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident

What to do after a car accident that is your fault

If you have caused an accident, it is important that you do everything you can to assist the other parties involved, whether it’s the other driver, the police, or the insurance providers. Generally speaking, if you’re wondering what to do after a car accident where you’re the responsible party, these are the usual steps:

1. Stop everything and don’t panic

Ensure the wellbeing of both yourself and other person involved in the accident. Make sure you also check both cars, to get an idea of how much damage has been done.

2. Note the time and date of accident

This is important for both your insurance claim and if you are potentially summoned to court. The more accurate the information you can give about your accident, the more your insurance provider will be able to help you.

3. Exchange information

Get as much information about the other person involved as possible. These details should include their name, phone number, car registration details, licence number and insurance information (provider, insurance number, policy details). As a common courtesy, you should give them your details in return, to help them with their insurance claim.

4. Call and report the accident to the police

No matter the scale of the accident, you should generally contact the police. They can document your accident from an unbiased perspective, which could help your claim.

5. Call your insurance provider

After collecting all the required information, you may wish to make a claim with your insurance provider as soon as possible.

It’s important to note that if you have been responsible for causing a car accident, your insurance premium will probably increase once your policy is up for renewal.

Please note: you must have your car insurance policy before the accident to make a claim.

What happens to uninsured drivers who get into car accidents?

Since it’s illegal to drive a car without compulsory third party (CTP) insurance, there are some costly penalties for uninsured drivers who get into accidents. Some of the consequences include fines, suspension of both your licence and car registration, and in the worst case scenario, jail time.

On top of all those potential scenarios, you may also be responsible for paying for the costs of the other person’s car and medical bills if you are found to be at fault. In any case, driving without insurance isn’t recommended.

At a minimum, every driver should have CTP – a policy that protects you by covering the expenses of the other participants involved, in cases of injury or death. As the name suggests, CTP is the one insurance policy that is mandatory for all registered drivers.

What you could do if your car is in a dangerous position

If you don’t know what to do in a car accident where your car is in a dangerous position afterwards, the following steps could help you:

1. Switch off the engine

Ensure that your car’s engine isn’t running, as this could be an additional hazard.

2. Ensure everyone is safe

Your car is important, but the safety of other drivers and passengers should be the priority. If anyone requires emergency services, call 000.

3. Check severity of injuries

While waiting for the ambulance, you can perform first aid on injured passengers. However, don’t attempt to move the injured passenger if you believe they may have spinal or head injuries. Wait for medical professionals to arrive.

4. Secure the area around you

You can make sure no one else is impacted by your accident is to clear the area of any hazards. This may include any stray items that have fallen off your car like car windows, along with shattered glass and leaking fuel.

5. Call the police

For police attendance, all states except Victoria should call 131 444. If you live in Victoria, or believe someone in the accident needs emergency services, call 000.

While these steps can help you if you’re unsure what to do after a car accident, it’s important to note that you should only do what you believe you’re physically capable to do. If you are injured, or believe one of the steps may be too dangerous, wait until you can get some assistance. If your car requires towing, please call your insurer for advice on who to contact.

Are you registered for roadside assistance? With our roadside assistance comparison service, you can find a policy that can help you if your car breaks down.

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Car accidents can be stressful for all parties, and if you don’t have the right car insurance policy, expenses could come directly out of your pocket. However, a comprehensive car policy can help cover your repair costs after a car accident – even if you were at fault.

Don’t let car accident bills cause an after-shock.

With Compare the Market’s free car insurance comparison service, you can compare the rates and features of various car insurance providers in just minutes and find a great-value policy.

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