Accidents

This page explains what to do if you’ve had a car accident or you have been injured in a car accident.  If you’re looking for information about insurance or damage to your car or someone else’s please check out our page on property damage.

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What should I do if I have an accident?

Stop
When you have an accident, you have to stop, no matter how minor it is. An accident is when two cars hit each other, or a car hits a person, someone’s animal or damages any property (even if the thing you’ve damaged is not a car, for example a wall).  There are very hefty penalties if you don’t stop.

Assist
If you think someone has been injured or killed in an accident, you have to stop and give assistance that you’re able to.  There are very hefty penalties if you don’t stop and give assistance, including going to jail.

Report it to police
You have to report every accident to the police as soon as possible, but no later than 24 hours after it happened. You can do this on the AFP website at http://www.police.act.gov.au/roads-and-traffic/collisions.  If you don’t report it you can be fined.

Swap details
If you’re in an accident, the law says you have to give your name, address, registration and other details about the car to the other driver or anyone who is injured.  There are very hefty penalties if you don’t give information.

Remember that you also have a right to get this information from other drivers involved in the accident.

Record the accident

If possible, try and take the names and addresses of anyone who saw the crash happen. Write down anything that you remember people involved in the accident said. You can also take a picture on your phone of any damage caused, as well as the surrounding area.  

I’ve been injured in a car accident – can I get compensation?

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may be able to get compensation.  You can get compensation for:

  • Physical injuries
  • Medical expenses
  • Psychological or psychiatric injury;
  • Damage to glasses, contact lenses, dentures, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, artificial limbs and prosthetic devices;

However, you can’t get compensation if you were the driver and totally at fault.

If you are partly at fault you can still claim but your will receive less compensation.

How can I apply for compensation for injuries?

Step 1: Report the accident.

You must report an accident to the police if a person was injured otherwise you may not be able to claim some types of compensation, including medical expenses.   

Step 2: Find out who the Insurer of the car involved.

If you do not know the insurer of the car which caused the accident, you can call the ACT Government Information Portal on 13 22 81. Try to have on hand any details of the accident, registration number of the ‘at fault’ vehicle and if possible, the Police accident report reference number. This will help you when making your call.

Step 3: Lodge a Personal Injury Claim Form for Compensation

You can do this by sending a document called a “Notice of claim” to the CTP insurer. You should include relevant information such as:

  • The nature of the personal injury and any disabilities due to injury;
  • Any medical treatment and rehabilitation services you have sought or obtained;
  • Your medical history, that is relevant to the accident;
  • Any claims for compensation for personal injury;
  • Any claims for past and future economic losses; and
  • Any claim for services due to the personal injury.

It’s important to remember that there are very strict deadlines for lodging a claim for personal injury compensation.  

You have to apply within 9 after the accident or from when the injury symptoms first appear.

If the at-fault vehicle cannot be identified or is not insured, you must lodge a notice within 3 months of the accident. If you were under 18 when you were injured then 3 or 9 month period starts as soon as you turn 18.

You will also need to fill out the Motor Accident Notification Form (MANF). You can download one here: http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/af/2014-59/current/pdf/2014-59.pdf

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