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Most people purchase insurance for their vehicle and then don’t think about it again – until they’re involved in a car accident. If the worst happens, it’s important to understand your insurance, including whose insurance pays in a car accident and what happens when it’s not your fault.

Types of motor vehicle insurance

Compulsory third party (CTP)

CTP insurance covers you for the injury or death of another party in a motor vehicle accident caused by you.

If you’re injured in a car accident and you weren’t at fault, the at-fault driver’s CTP insurance can help cover your medical bills. If they don’t have CTP or you can’t identify the driver, you can make a claim through the nominal defendant, a statutory body that acts as the CTP insurer for vehicles with unidentified or uninsured drivers.

Third party

Third party insurance covers you for damage you cause to another person’s property, such as their vehicle. But it doesn’t cover you for damage to your own vehicle.


Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your own vehicle and other people’s vehicles and property – regardless of who is at fault.

Who pays the claim after a car accident? 

You must determine who is at fault in a motor vehicle accident to know whose insurance will pay the claim. If you’re at fault, your CTP will pay for their personal injury claim.If they make a claim for property damage, your comprehensive or third party insurance will pay the claim. If you don’t have this insurance, the other party can sue you personally for payment.  

If the other driver is at fault and doesn’t have insurance, you need to negotiate with them about costs. If you can’t reach agreement, you can take them to court to recover the costs.

If both drivers are partly at fault, they should each pay for their share of the damage. If you believe a pedestrian, dog, blinding light or other issue caused the accident, get legal advice about how best to recover your costs.

Excess and fault in a car accident

Most insurers won’t ask you to pay an excess if they can recover the cost from an at-fault driver. However, you do need to pay the excess if:

  • you caused the accident
  • another driver caused the accident, but you can’t get their details.

Some insurance companies have an excess that you need to pay no matter who is at fault. So check your policy carefully.

Personal Injury Lawyers

Car accidents and your insurance premiums

Generally, your insurance premiums aren’t affected if a car accident isn’t your fault. The other driver’s insurer should pay the damages. 

However, if you make a claim on your own insurance after a car accident, this will affect your premiums. Your insurer might reassess your risk and increase future premiums. You might lose your no-claim bonus.

You might need to make a claim on your own insurance when:

Ensure your claim is done correctly

You should submit your car accident claim correctly and on time to reduce the chance of problems. For example:

  • Your claim could take longer while insurers get the information they need.
  • You might have to pay excess unnecessarily.
  • The other driver’s insurer might reject your claim.

Car accidents can be complex, especially those with multiple parties and shared fault. It’s worth getting legal advice to make sure you get everything you’re entitled to and determine correctly whose insurance pays in a car accident. 

Contact Main Lawyers for a no-obligation discussion today!

Car accident lawyers Brisbane