If another driver causes an accident and damages your vehicle, they’d be responsible for covering your repair costs. This means you’d be entitled to claim compensation, providing the other driver was ‘at-fault’. Similarly, if you’re at-fault for a car accident without insurance, you’d have to pay for any damage you cause.
Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and it’s vital to establish who the at-fault driver was. Knowing who’s at fault determines who’ll be responsible for footing the bill. While it’s possible for more than one person to be responsible for an accident, a driver may be considered at-fault if:
Keep in mind that even if you’re technically not-at-fault, claiming responsibility for the accident at the scene could lead to you paying for the damages. Only admit liability if you have caused an accident.
Whether you’re at fault of an accident or not, you should always exchange details with the other driver(s) involved. This will make it easier for either party to lodge a claim if they need to. At a minimum, you should get the at-fault driver’s name, address, contact number, licence details and car registration number. The more information about the crash you’ve got, the better your chances will be of getting compensated. Also consider:
If another driver causes an accident and neither of you have relevant car insurance, remember that they’re still required to pay for the damage they’ve caused. They may be reluctant to pay or admit they’re at fault, which is why gathering evidence is crucial in getting your car repaired.
Depending on the type of accident, the at-fault driver may also have to pay if your vehicle was towed, if you’ve hired a rental car while your vehicle is out of action and for any damage to personal property.
No, you can’t claim on an at-fault driver’s insurance for damage they cause to your car. They certainly have the choice of going through their insurer to cover your costs, but it’s entirely up to them how they want to proceed. The claim you make will be directly against the at-fault driver.
While at-fault drivers are required to pay if they cause damage in an accident, this process doesn’t always run smoothly. They may not be insured and unable to pay for the damage, they may not cooperate, it might take some time for your car to be repaired and you could be left out-of-pocket if it’s determined you were at fault.
You’ll also be forced to deal with their insurance company if that’s the route they choose and may have little say in how the repairs proceed.
Taking out Comprehensive car insurance is an option to avoid these scenarios. As well as covering damage you may cause to other vehicles, Comprehensive insurance also covers your car for damage – regardless of who’s at fault, however at fault accidents will typically attract an excess payment. There’s also peace of mind that your car will be covered for damage caused by storms and hail, as well as theft.
Third Party Fire and Theft insurance won’t cover your car’s damage if you’re at fault of an accident, but it will cover your car if it’s damaged by fire or stolen. Third Party Property covers other people’s vehicle, as well as their property, if you cause an accident, but again, it won’t protect your vehicle.
Compulsory Third Party insurance – which all cars require in order to drive on Australian roads – only covers you if you injure or kill someone while behind the wheel.