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A motor vehicle accident can be unexpected and even traumatic, so you might be a bit shaky afterwards and not thinking clearly. But it’s important to remember the things you need to do if you’re in a car accident – especially your legal obligations.

This includes reporting the accident to the police if anyone is injured and getting the details of the other driver. But what happens if you can’t get their details? Can you make a car accident claim if you don’t know who the other driver is?

We will answer those questions in this article. You can also contact us for advice if you need to make a personal injury claim after a car accident but don’t have the other driver’s details.

Car accident lawyers Brisbane

What happens after a car accident

By law, if you’re in an accident with another motor vehicle, you must provide your details to the other driver and get their details. If you hit a car that is unoccupied – such as a parked car – leave a note with your details on the windscreen.

Of course, the first thing to do is get help if someone has been injured. Call for an ambulance and the police, and remain at the scene until help arrives.

You should also call the police if:

  •   you believe that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  •   the accident is blocking lanes or traffic
  •   public infrastructure has been damaged, like traffic lights or signage
  •   you believe something suspicious is going on
  •   the other driver refuses to, or fails to, provide their details.

Read more about police involvement in traffic crashes in Queensland.

Getting the other driver’s details

You should ask the other driver for the following details after a car accident (and provide your details to them):

  •       their name, address and phone number
  •       their vehicle’s make, model and registration
  •       their insurance details.

You should also note the date, time and location of the accident, and describe how the accident occurred.

Getting these details is important for making a claim for personal injury through the other party’s compulsory third-party insurance. The police might also need these details to investigate further.

CTP insurance is mandatory for all drivers and covers vehicle owners, drivers and passengers for personal injury caused by vehicle accidents.

When the other driver refuses to provide details

Sometimes, after a car accident, the other driver might refuse to give you their details. In this case, you should try to get as much information as you can, such as:

  •  The vehicle’s registration, make and model
  •  A description of the driver and any passengers.
  • description of the area where the accident occurred (car park, road etc.)

This information will help the police and your insurer find the other driver’s insurance details.

If the other driver is being uncooperative, you can contact Policelink on 131 444 and they will let you know if they need to attend the scene. If they don’t attend, you should still go to the nearest police station to report the accident and that the other driver refused to provide details.

Note: If the other driver is being aggressive or abusive, or making threats, move to somewhere safe and call the police immediately.

When the other driver leaves

It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, especially if someone has died or is injured. If the other driver takes off after the accident, you won’t be able to get many details.

The most important thing is the number plate, so try to grab it as quickly as possible. Even if this is all you get, the police or insurer can use these details to search the Queensland Motor Vehicle Register and find the owner.

If you return to your unattended car – perhaps in a car park – to find damage from another vehicle and no note, report this to the police via Policelink or at the police station.

When the other driver in a car accident won’t provide details

When the other driver gives false details

If you believe that the other driver has given you false details, call the police before leaving the accident site and they will decide whether they need to attend the scene.

If you’ve already left the crash site, go to your nearest police station to report it.

Also contact the police if you think the driver is unlicensed, unregistered or acting suspiciously.

Claiming compensation with no driver details

Can you still claim personal injury compensation if you don’t have the other driver’s details? The short answer is yes.

It is illegal for a driver to drive without comprehensive third-party (CTP) insurance. So even if you only have their number plate, you should be able to claim against the other driver’s CTP for injuries you have suffered.

If the other vehicle is unregistered or uninsured, you still might be able to make a claim. In Queensland, there is a special fund to protect drivers in this situation, and you might be able to claim compensation from this fund.

This is the Nominal Defendant, which acts as the CTP insurer for vehicles that are uninsured or unidentified. To make a claim, you need to prove that you made every effort to identify the driver. So it’s essential to collect as much evidence as possible to prove your claim, including:

  •       witness statements
  •       photos from the scene and of vehicle damage
  •       medical reports.

If you were driving unregistered or without CTP insurance at the time of the accident, you might be fined for breaking the law, even if the accident was someone else’s fault.

If you were unregistered or uninsured and the accident was your fault, you will have to cover the costs of any damages or injury to someone else out of your own pocket.

Claiming for property damage

You can’t claim damage to your vehicle through CTP, as this insurance only covers injury to a third party (a person).

If you want to make a claim for property damage against the other driver, you need to know who they are. If you can’t identify them, you may be unable to claim.

If you’re in this situation, contact our car accident lawyers to find out your options.

When the other driver isn’t at fault

Unfortunately, there are times when a person injured in a car accident can’t claim compensation; for example, when they’re totally at fault or if the accident is no one’s fault.

If you’re in this situation, you may need to find other sources of income to live on and pay for medical treatment while you recover. Perhaps Centrelink or Medicare, or other insurance like income protection if you have it.

Some insurers have additional benefits to cover at-fault drivers in the event of serious injury or death.

Additionally, Queensland has the National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS), a no-fault scheme that provides ‘necessary and reasonable lifetime treatment, care and support to those who sustain eligible serious personal injuries in a motor vehicle accident in Queensland’.

You may be eligible for support through the NIIS for injuries like permanent spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, amputation, burns and blindness. Contact us to find out more if you’re in this situation.

If the accident wasn’t with a motor vehicle

If the other driver was in a different type of vehicles – such as a tractor, forklift, bulldozer or bicycle or e-scooter – they’re probably not covered by CTP or may have been unregistered at the time. In these cases, we can discuss other avenues for getting you the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been injured in an accident relating to other motor vehicles give our team a call to discuss your options for making a claim. 

driver in an escooter accident won’t provide details

How a motor vehicle accident lawyer can help

As you can see, these types of motor vehicle accidents can be complex, so you should contact an experienced legal team like Main Lawyers to consider all your options. We have years of experience in helping people make successful claims after a car accident.

Strict time limits apply, especially if the at-fault driver can’t be identified or is uninsured. You may have only a few months to make a claim. So don’t delay in contacting us for a no-obligation meeting, where we can discuss the accident and your injuries, and your difficulty in identifying the at-fault driver.

We will also assist you in making a claim for compensation. The insurer will calculate your compensation based on many factors, including:

  •       the extent of your injuries
  •       your age
  •       loss of current and future income
  •       expenses incurred due to the accident
  •       any domestic assistance you need to recover.

You don’t usually need to go to court – most cases are settled out of court. However, it could take several months to reach a settlement, depending on the severity of your injuries or the complexity of your case.

Reach out today

If you have a claim, we can act for you on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. Our team of expert motor vehicle accident lawyers has a high success rate on claims.

If you are unable to travel to our Brisbane or Gold Coast office, we can come to you at the hospital or at home for a no-obligation discussion about your situation.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.