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

You must stop immediately after you have had an accident, no matter how minor it seems.

Help

If you think someone has been injured or killed, or anyone’s property has been damaged, you have to give as much help as you are able to.  If you don’t stop and offer help, there are serious penalties including heavy fines and imprisonment.   

Report it to police

You have to report crashes to police by going to the closest police station as soon as possible.  The only time you don’t have to report crashes to police is if no one was injured and everyone whose property was damaged was there at the accident.

Tell your insurer

You must also tell your insurer as soon as possible after the accident if you or someone else has been injured, or someone has died.

Swap details

If you’re in an accident and someone has been injured or someone’s property has been damaged, the law says you have to give your name and address and the name and address of the owner of the car to anyone involved in the accident.  Remember that you also have a right to get this information from other drivers involved in the accident.

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

You may be able to get compensation if you’ve been injured in a car accident.  Even if the accident was partly your fault you can still apply for compensation. However if you were responsible for injuring someone else in the accident you may not be able to get compensation, or you may get a reduced amount.   However there are strict time limits and steps you have to follow.  We explain these below:

Step 1: Report the accident to police

If you haven’t already, you must report your accident to the police as soon as possible after the accident. If you don’t, you may not be able to access compensation.

Step 2: Make a claim with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
After you have reported the accident to police, you need to lodge a claim with the the Transport Accident Commission.  To do this, you need to call them on 1300 654 239. If your claim is accepted, you will be sent some documents that you need to sign.

You will need to contact the Commission and lodge your claim within 12 months from the accident. If you were under 18 when the accident happened, you have up to when you are 21 to make a claim.

If you do not feel comfortable filling out the form by yourself you might want to ask your parents or an adult you trust to explain the form to you or help you in completing it. Also, don’t be afraid to call up the TAC and ask them questions if you do not understand something.

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The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.