This may sound silly, but we are relatively new to Australia and a bit confused about what to do after a car accident. I was driving the car, with my spouse in the passenger seat and my daughter in the back seat. We were stopped at a light for at least 30 seconds, and then suddenly BAM! a car hits us from behind. My husband and I got out, and the car was full of young guys. The driver jumped out and said, “My tires are racing tires, they normally grip better than that!” (Seriously.) We called the police but because no one needed an ambulance, they said they wouldn’t send anyone and we should just submit a report on line. We took photos and exchanged driver’s license information. Our vehicle appeared undamaged (we have a larger vehicle and they had a smaller car), and their license plate was bent up and it looked like their front left wheel well was cracked.
Anyway, my neck was hurting so I went to the doctor. They gave me medicine and said I might need physio or other treatment. My daughter developed a bad headache at school and I picked her up from school right away, and took her to the doctor. She seems to be fine – the doctor thought she was just scared from the accident (although she had begged to go to school to tell everyone about the excitement). We had the vehicle inspected to make sure there wasn’t damage that we couldn’t see, and they said it was fine. All told, the costs were about $300, but of course the doctor said I could develop whiplash – it can take up to 2 weeks.
So now, how do we proceed? Normally in the US, we would just report it to our insurance company, who would then pursue the costs from the driver. But when we called our insurance company (NRMA), they were not particularly helpful. They said we could submit it to them, but our rates would probably go up. Now, in the US, your rates would never go up unless you were at fault. They said we could submit the medical costs through the ACT-imposed third party medical scheme that we all pay into when we pay car registration. Or are we supposed to hunt down the driver (we have his address) and get his insurance information (if he even has any)?
In addition, we did submit this to the police, but all the online system did was generate a report. Isn’t this kid going to get points on his license for slamming into a stopped car at a stoplight?
Sorry for all the questions. We’re just not sure what to do. Thanks very much for any help you can provide.