While it’s possible for more than one person to be responsible for a motor vehicle 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.
At a minimum, you should exchange details with the at-fault driver; take the driver’s name, address, phone 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.
Some other details you should consider recording include:
If another driver causes an accident and neither of you has car insurance, remember that they’re still required to pay for the damage they’ve caused to the vehicle and for any property damage. You should still record as much information about the incident and the other driver as you can.
The other uninsured driver may be reluctant to pay or admit they’re at fault, which is why going through the hassle of gathering evidence is crucial in getting your car repaired. In these instances, you may want to seek legal advice as to how to proceed.
Depending on the type of accident, the at-fault driver may also have to pay if your vehicle requires towing, if you’ve hired a rental car as a replacement vehicle while yours is out of action and for any damage to personal property.
You cannot claim through another driver’s insurance company; the at-fault motorist would be required to lodge a car insurance claim through their insurance to begin the process of compensation for the loss or damages to your vehicle and property. You are legally entitled to be compensated for your losses and expenses as caused by the at-fault driver, so this would typically be handled through the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.
Yes, your insurance is likely to be affected by your past accidents (whether at fault or not). Your accident history will carry through when taking out a new car insurance policy, as your driving history will always be of interest when insurers are assessing your risk as a driver.
It’s, therefore, imperative that you are honest and upfront with your insurance provider when taking out a new policy or updating one, and a previous car accident is something you may need to mention to your insurer. You also can’t make a car insurance claim for any damage or incidents that happened before you took out the policy.
Generally, the most fundamental reason for purchasing car insurance is to cover you in the event that you are the at-fault driver and cause damage to another person’s vehicle or property. As you would be liable for loss and damages to the other party, it’s a good idea to at least have a third-party insurance policy in place to cover your liability for damage costs.
While at-fault drivers are required to pay if they cause damage in an accident, this process doesn’t always run smoothly. For example, the at-fault drivers themselves may not be insured and unable to pay for the damage they’ve caused.
You’ll also be forced to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company if that’s the route they choose and may have little say in how the repairs proceed. There is also the possibility that you could be left out-of-pocket if it’s determined you were at fault.
Taking out comprehensive car insurance is an option to avoid some of these scenarios. As well as covering damage you may cause to other vehicles, comprehensive insurance covers your car for any damages to your own regardless of who’s at fault. There’s also the peace of mind you get with knowing that your car will also be covered for damage caused by storms, hail, theft, fires and more.
If you’re not looking for top-notch cover, Third Party Fire and Theft insurance can cover the damages you cause to another vehicle in an accident, as well as your own car if it’s damaged by fire or stolen. Third Party Property Damage covers other people’s vehicles as well as their property if you cause an accident, but it won’t protect your vehicle.
Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance, which all cars are legally required to have to drive on Australian roads, only covers you if you injure or kill someone while behind the wheel.
Check the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) from any provider prior to taking out any insurance policy where you will find out all the inclusions, exclusions and benefits to suit you.