Advice on how to deal with accident without insurance in Canberra?

By 28 November, 2012 52

About a week ago my fiance’s car was hit when stopped at a set of traffic lights. The woman only provided her licence number, plate, and mobile number. While she claimed to have insurance, she refused to hand the details over.

We have been trying to contact this woman for nearly two weeks now, and she does not answer her phone. It is turned off a lot of the time and when going to voicemail the message says she does not check it and to try her again. My partner at least confirmed it was her voice.

My fiance only has third party insurance which obviously isn’t going to cover anything unless the car is stolen or set on fire, and in all seriousness the car shouldn’t be legally driven at the moment. A police report has been submitted, but I doubt that will achieve anything.

Is there anything we can do in this case? Or would it come down to getting quotes and taking it through small claims court?

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52 Responses to Advice on how to deal with accident without insurance in Canberra?
#1
thatsnotme11:50 am, 28 Nov 12

Excuse my ignorance if this is incorrect, but wouldn’t you just submit a claim to your insurer, including all of the details that you have of the other party, and let them sort it all out? At this stage, you’re beyond needing to deal directly with her, and it should be a matter for the two insurance companies to sort out (if there are actually two of them).

#2
DUB12:00 pm, 28 Nov 12

thatsnotme said :

Excuse my ignorance if this is incorrect, but wouldn’t you just submit a claim to your insurer, including all of the details that you have of the other party, and let them sort it all out? At this stage, you’re beyond needing to deal directly with her, and it should be a matter for the two insurance companies to sort out (if there are actually two of them).

Third party insurance means that it will only cover damage done to another vehicle, or if lost/stolen.

I know some one who had similar story- long process, they had to submit request to RTA to get insurance details of the owner of other car, then lodge a claim with small claims court . Something like that.
Police can’t really do anything about it.

Happy to be corrected.

#3
phil m12:06 pm, 28 Nov 12

Third party won’t even cover you if your car is set on fire or stolen (unless you have some policy extras that specifically cover it) as it only covers damage to another person’s property when where is an accident that you are at fault of.
What do you estimate the value of the damage?

#4
Solidarity12:07 pm, 28 Nov 12

First of all, has it been reported to the police? They have a handy web form.

After this is done, submit the details of the report, and the womans details to your insurance company. Yes I know you only have 3rd party, but doesn’t matter.

This all should have deen done within 48 hours of the accident.

#5
watto2312:11 pm, 28 Nov 12

Yeah normally thats what I do, submit the claim to my insurance company and let them sort it all out including chasing up for costs etc. The police report is purely just to record your view of the accident.

#6
G-Fresh12:12 pm, 28 Nov 12

Not up to you to contact her insurer.

#7
NoImRight12:17 pm, 28 Nov 12

thatsnotme said :

Excuse my ignorance if this is incorrect, but wouldn’t you just submit a claim to your insurer, including all of the details that you have of the other party, and let them sort it all out? At this stage, you’re beyond needing to deal directly with her, and it should be a matter for the two insurance companies to sort out (if there are actually two of them).

OP says they only have Third Party so the insurance wont help. OP is also correct in saying police wont get involved.

Im no expert but Id say you are not going to see any money without some legal shenanigans. Even then its iffy. Good luck and hopefully someone else can provide something helpful

#8
Dante12:25 pm, 28 Nov 12

thatsnotme said :

Excuse my ignorance if this is incorrect, but wouldn’t you just submit a claim to your insurer, including all of the details that you have of the other party, and let them sort it all out? At this stage, you’re beyond needing to deal directly with her, and it should be a matter for the two insurance companies to sort out (if there are actually two of them).

…except this post is called “Advice on how to deal with accident without insurance in Canberra?”

The OP doesn’t have insurance.

#9
DrKoresh12:31 pm, 28 Nov 12

I’m sorry to hear that and I hope the wifey is okay. I think the best course of action would have been to call the police immediately following the crash, which I think is standard procedure for all but the most minor of traffic collisions (and if your car is no longer road-worthy as a result of the accident, I wouldn’t class that as minor). The other woman sounds to be acting very cagey and may have been DUI or something which would have been useful to find out at the time.

In the position you’re in now I would still consider phoning the police, you can contact them in a non-emergency capacity on 131-444 where someone should be able to assist you in figuring what to do next and what, if any, actions can be taken against the driver at fault.

#10
zorro2912:38 pm, 28 Nov 12

yes…you don’t need the other person’s insurance company. if you weren’t at fault for the accident, you just submit the details you have of the other driver and they chase it up with THEIR insurance company.

hence they will avoid you as their premiums will go up

#4 said it all

#11
MonarchRepublic12:55 pm, 28 Nov 12

As others have said here, still contact your insurance company, even though you only have 3rd party. They may be prepared to chase up for you.

And for example, “AAMI Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance covers you in the event your car is damaged by an uninsured motorist (up to $3,000 damage).” (from the AAMI website)

No harm in trying!

#12
darkmilk1:24 pm, 28 Nov 12

It’s really about time that third party property insurance was compulsory. The people who are least likely to pay for it are most likely to need it: and then when they do tens of thousands of dollars damage to others, are likely get away with paying very little. We supposedly already have the infrastructure to choose commercial CTP providers, we should extend that slightly to include third party property as a requirement for registration.

Good luck with the small claims court (ACAT), they are pretty powerless. Even if you get the details of the person causing damage, once *you* have gone through the whole process the result could end up something stupid like $10 a week for 10 years, no interest – effectively giving interest free loans to the worst losers and idiots. And even those payments are effectively voluntary as the enforcement is left up to the recipient with almost so support from ACAT.

#13
PantsMan1:26 pm, 28 Nov 12

Give these guys a call: http://rebelsmc.net/

#14
Alderney1:27 pm, 28 Nov 12

Sounds like you’re in the s*** with chasing the money up. I’m guessing that you, or more specifically your girlfriend are young and have never had to deal with this type of situation before.

It’s not going to help here, but a couple of words of advice for anyone caught in a similar position.

Exchange deatails, i.e. get the other party to give you their licence and copy all the details from it. Name, address, everything. And then also ask for supplimentary contact details such as phone numbers etc.

If the person is uncooperative or there seems something amiss, threaten to call the police. If they don’t cough up what you want call the police and tell them you can smell alcohol on the drivers breath; they will be there in a flash. Otherwise, it could be an hour before they show up.

These are the days of the phone camera. Take photos, heaps, ASAP. If you can, move the car from the road and allow normal traffic flows to resume.

Hope you have some luck tracking the woman down, and then getting her to pay up. Think of this as a lesson learned.

#15
watto231:35 pm, 28 Nov 12

MonarchRepublic said :

As others have said here, still contact your insurance company, even though you only have 3rd party. They may be prepared to chase up for you.

And for example, “AAMI Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance covers you in the event your car is damaged by an uninsured motorist (up to $3,000 damage).” (from the AAMI website)

No harm in trying!

I agree, I know people with third party insurance who were in this situation, they fixed their car while chasing up the other person who was at fault. I’ve also had my insurance company deal with a minor incident where a person drove into my open door. In the end apparently it was my fault, but the insurance company said the repair bill is less than the excess so no claim by me, I paid the repair bill and on my way, despite the other owner trying to get me to give them less money which i could only surmise was to not fix the tiny little dent in the bumper.

Inurance may cost and can be a pain, but it has worked for me in many ways with regards to cars.

#16
NoImRight1:53 pm, 28 Nov 12

darkmilk said :

It’s really about time that third party property insurance was compulsory. The people who are least likely to pay for it are most likely to need it: and then when they do tens of thousands of dollars damage to others, are likely get away with paying very little. We supposedly already have the infrastructure to choose commercial CTP providers, we should extend that slightly to include third party property as a requirement for registration.

Good luck with the small claims court (ACAT), they are pretty powerless. Even if you get the details of the person causing damage, once *you* have gone through the whole process the result could end up something stupid like $10 a week for 10 years, no interest – effectively giving interest free loans to the worst losers and idiots. And even those payments are effectively voluntary as the enforcement is left up to the recipient with almost so support from ACAT.

As long as you have your insurance sorted out it doesnt matter what the other person has. If youve got comprehensive insurance they will fix your car and chase the other person.

#17
cmdwedge1:57 pm, 28 Nov 12

This happened to me, but in Victoria.

1. Lawyer up.
2. Sue the owner of the other car.
3. They’ll settle before it even reaches court.

Worked for me!

#18
DrKoresh2:11 pm, 28 Nov 12

cmdwedge said :

This happened to me, but in Victoria.

1. Lawyer up.
2. Sue the owner of the other car.
3. They’ll settle before it even reaches court.

Worked for me!

Yeah, because people unable to afford insurance for their car can just stroll into Aulich and Assoc, and get legal representation.

#19
xcskier2:14 pm, 28 Nov 12

Like the OP’s fiance our son has a car covered by compuslory third party insurance only – we chose not to take out extra insurance because of the excess involved due to the fact he is 18. Soon after getting his Ps he was involved in a crash while stopping at traffic lights. The other party skidded into the back of my son’s car. Fortunately, the other party was a decent fellow, acknowledged fault, and provided my son with details of his licence, rego, name, address, phone, email and MOST IMPORTANTLY his insurer. Thereafter we contacted his insurer as to what to do – which led to a whole big saga about how many quotes we had to get – but the final upshot was the other party’s insurer paid up and my son now has a smart new car boot.

#20
cmdwedge2:59 pm, 28 Nov 12

DrKoresh said :

cmdwedge said :

This happened to me, but in Victoria.

1. Lawyer up.
2. Sue the owner of the other car.
3. They’ll settle before it even reaches court.

Worked for me!

Yeah, because people unable to afford insurance for their car can just stroll into Aulich and Assoc, and get legal representation.

Which part of WORKED FOR ME didn’t you get? I too didn’t have insurance. I too had someone run into me. I then followed steps 1 -> 4 and reached settlement.

#21
cmdwedge3:51 pm, 28 Nov 12

cmdwedge said :

DrKoresh said :

cmdwedge said :

This happened to me, but in Victoria.

1. Lawyer up.
2. Sue the owner of the other car.
3. They’ll settle before it even reaches court.

Worked for me!

Yeah, because people unable to afford insurance for their car can just stroll into Aulich and Assoc, and get legal representation.

Which part of WORKED FOR ME didn’t you get? I too didn’t have insurance. I too had someone run into me. I then followed steps 1 -> 4 and reached settlement.

Sorry, I forgot step 4 – post solution on RA, bask in glory.

#22
ThisIsAName4:49 pm, 28 Nov 12

I’m assuming the other person is not insured, so the free legal aid line would be able to advise here. Off the top of my head, you’ll need to:

1) Get a hard copy of a quote for repairs. This needs to be on the workshop letterhead.

2) Write a letter of demand to the woman at fault + include a copy of the quote. State how much she needs to pay, and provide a date to respond by (allow at least 3 weeks). Assuming she’s at fault, you could add non-payment = ACAT time (where the at fault party will need to pay for damages and claim lodgement costs – ie. delaying makes it worse for her).

3) If there is no response or a dispute, download the relevant claim form from ACAT. Lodging that costs ~$120, but the at fault party has to cover this in addition to damages.

4) You’ll both be requested to attend a conference at ACAT.

ACAT conferences are fairly simple. The accident is discussed with a legal rep. Photos/maps of the accident site are useful. Once fault is determined, the rep helps negotiate a payment plan. ACAT has limited powers here, but you can avoid court if both sides agree on something (& sign a legally binding agreement). Regular payments will be suggested if the at fault person can’t pay up. The amount depends on what can be skimmed from their earnings, so there may be room to negotiate. Before agreeing to $10-20 a week (esp if it’ll take years to pay off), try to get them to agree to borrow $ from family, get a bank loan, or cough up a decent starting deposit. Even if the person can’t pay it all upfront, you can try & avoid being stuck with a small amount per week.

There are terms in the agreement that if a payment is defaulted, the entire balance is due. Not sure about chasing this up though.

You can do this yourself without having to get a lawyer… good luck!

#23
KeenGolfer5:07 pm, 28 Nov 12

By law, persons involved in a motor vehicle collision must provide to the other party:

1. Driver’s name and address
2. Registered owner’s name and address
3. Vehicle registration number
4. Any other applicable details to identify vehicle

If she only provided licence number, plate and mobile that is not sufficient and police may be able to help you by providing her name and address so you can follow up – and potentially look at her for offences such as not providing details at the collision. However, they can’t help you in recovering monies relating to damage, that is a civil matter between you and her. That is why you should always have insurance so they do all the leg work for you.

#24
Very Busy6:58 pm, 28 Nov 12

xcskier said :

Like the OP’s fiance our son has a car covered by compuslory third party insurance only – we chose not to take out extra insurance because of the excess involved due to the fact he is 18.

OMG!!! Compulsory third party insurance doesn’t cover property damage. You should definitely take out at least a third party property damage policy. If your son runs his car off the road and into a house he could be up for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A $2,000 excess would then seem pretty insignificant wouldn’t it?

KeenGolfer said :

By law, persons involved in a motor vehicle collision must provide to the other party:

1. Driver’s name and address
2. Registered owner’s name and address
3. Vehicle registration number
4. Any other applicable details to identify vehicle

If she only provided licence number, plate and mobile that is not sufficient and police may be able to help you by providing her name and address so you can follow up – and potentially look at her for offences such as not providing details at the collision. However, they can’t help you in recovering monies relating to damage, that is a civil matter between you and her. That is why you should always have insurance so they do all the leg work for you.

I think you will find that this is not true. After an accident last year the other party (who was at fault) only provided a license number and a mobile phone number. Wouldn’t give any other info and wouldn’t show his license. He then got back in his car and drove off. We went straight to the police to get the limited info confirmed. We also wrote down the rego number, make, model etc. The police advised us that the law states that both parties need to “exchange details” but does not stipulate what details need to be exchanged and that the other party had done nothing illegal by giving us that very limited info. The police confirmed that the details supplied did match up (including his mobile number) and that we could get all his info by going to the RTA with the police case number. Luckily we didn’t need to because we had comprehensive cover and the insurance company sorted all that out.

#25
screaming banshee7:21 pm, 28 Nov 12

I had a run in with a crazy kiwi nurse one afternoon, who after crashing into me yelled and screamed at me that it was my fault and look what I had done to her car, then got into her car to drive off. I got her rego number as she drove off, then sat in my ute for 20 minutes providing details to my insurer. After giving her ample opportunity to return I drove to the nearest police station to report it.

Over the next few days I got some rather amusing calls from the police officer following it up who requested a description because the owner of the car denied it was her driving and in the end it turned out she didn’t have an Aussie licence. The police provided all her details for our claim.

Not entirely relevant to the OP, but in terms of getting their full details you should be contacting the police as she has left without providing sufficient info.

Probably should have done it on the day

#26
CoffinRX29:27 pm, 28 Nov 12

Whats the value of your car?

Check your PDS (Product Disclosure Statement) from your TPI, some companies will try and claim back up to $5000.

Full Comprehensive Insurance has its benefits

#27
jayskette10:53 pm, 28 Nov 12

lesson learnt: get comprehensive insurance.

#28
Dork11:23 pm, 28 Nov 12

I`m going to give a few suggestions, not directly involving this post, but in regards to something i witnessed the other day/experience when i had a crash
Things to do/not to do when one has an accident
1. When on 80k road, do not get out of your vehicle, stand in the middle of the road and hug various friends.
2. If the car turns on, get it off the road, you will put yourself and others in danger if you get out and start taking photos in said traffic conditions. No one even asks for photos anyway.
3. Calling the police wont do anything, in my accident when 3 cars were write offs we were asked if anyone was hurt and told that they weren’t coming when we said no one was seriously hurt.
4. If there is a witness (who stops) take their details too
5. Hope that you haven’t been in an accident with a poophead.

#29
Deref8:17 am, 29 Nov 12

DUB said :

Third party insurance means that it will only cover damage done to another vehicle, or if lost/stolen.

No – third party insurance only covers you for injury caused to third parties. I hope the OP is actually talking about third party property insurance. There seem to be a lot of people who erroneously believe that their compulsory third party insurance includes third party property insurance, which it doesn’t.

#30
Tetranitrate11:46 am, 29 Nov 12

Deref said :

DUB said :

Third party insurance means that it will only cover damage done to another vehicle, or if lost/stolen.

No – third party insurance only covers you for injury caused to third parties. I hope the OP is actually talking about third party property insurance. There seem to be a lot of people who erroneously believe that their compulsory third party insurance includes third party property insurance, which it doesn’t.

You basically just contradicted yourself.
Third party property insurance and the compulsory third party personal injury insurance are by definition BOTH third party insurance, though it’s unclear as to whether the OP is saying they had the former.

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