When you drive a car, accidents can happen. That’s why insurance, whether third party or comprehensive, is so important. But what do you do when you’re in an accident, and you’re not at fault? How do you prove you’re not at fault? We’ll answer these questions in the following article.
At the time of the accident
Once you, and the other motorist involved, are safe, you’ll need to remember to take details down. This is important, as you’ll need to provide evidence if the other driver disputes your claim. Even though you may be shaken, you’ll need to:
Take photos of the damage to your vehicle, the other person’s vehicle, and any pictures of the surrounding area where the accident occurred.
Either write down on paper, or type out a note on your phone, any other details such as weather, traffic conditions, whether other motorists on the road were driving erratically.
Take a photo of the other person’s driver’s license if possible.
We recommend downloading an app, such as Accident Logbook, where you can keep all these details in one, secure place.
What to do next
Let the police know you’ve been in an accident and file a police report. It may not always be necessary, but it’s worth taking the time to do this so you have extra documents and evidence if you need it in the future.
Each state and territory in Australia has different forms to be completed. In Victoria, the form is called Vehicle accident information application form – Individual use. It requires you to fill in all the details noted at the scene of the accident, including both vehicle registration numbers and the time of the accident.
Contact your insurer
You’ll need to let your insurance provider know the details of your accident. They will liaise with the other driver from there. If the case is clear-cut, and the other driver doesn’t dispute, there’s no need for further action.
If the other driver disputes your claim
If the other party is disputing your claim, you’ll need to provide all the documentation you’ve collected up to this point. It can also be helpful to provide any witness details.
What happens if the other driver isn’t insured?
If the other driver is clearly, legally at fault, but doesn’t have any insurance, it can be challenging to obtain recompense for any vehicular or physical damage from the accident. There are two ways you can approach this.
Sort the cost out informally. If only minor damage was sustained, you can send the driver a quote from a mechanic or repair shop. This works if both parties are able to come to a verbal agreement.
Contact your insurer before you make a claim. They’ll advise you on what to do next. Often, an insurance provider will advise you not to make a claim, if the damages are slightly above your excess.
However, if significant damage has occurred, like ongoing physical problems resulting in rehabilitation, you’ll need to settle this matter in court.