Car accidents may cause personal injuries or damage to property and there is insurance to cover both. If an accident occurs, the damage may be handled through a court claim or paid out by insurers. Decisions need to be made by the parties about how they will manage the process.

Contributor

Adrian Snodgrass

Principal Lawyer, Fitzroy Legal Service

What to do after a motor vehicle accident

Last updated

1 July 2020

Your obligations at the scene

Under section 61 of the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic), you must:

  1. Stop.
  2. Provide assistance.
  3. Give your name and address, the name and address of the vehicle’s owner and its registration number to: 
  1. any injured person;
  2. the owner of any damaged property;
  3. someone representing either of the above; and
  4. the police if they are present.

4. If anyone is injured, or if the property of someone who is not present is damaged, and the police do not attend the scene, you must go to the nearest police station as soon as possible and provide details of the accident.

A person who is injured in a vehicle accident may lodge a claim with the TAC (see ‘Contacts’, below) within 12 months of the accident.

For more information, see Chapter 10.2: Transport accident injuries.

Practical steps

After an accident, it is a good idea to:

  1. Write down the names and addresses of any eye-witnesses (you can always find out later exactly what they saw). This is important.
  2. Make notes of any conversation between you and the other driver.
  3. Draw a diagram of the accident, including distances from corners and kerbs, and the position of any skid marks.
  4. Be careful what you say; many insurance companies require you to not make any admission of liability without their permission.
  5. Ask for the name of the other driver’s insurer.
  6. Report the accident to your insurer.
  7. Keep a record of any towing or storage expenses.
  8. Take photographs of the accident scene and of any damage.

Back to
Accidents, insurance and compensation

Buy the chapter ‘Motor vehicle accidents and insurance’