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Car accident – what to do next?

By 9 May 2014 12

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.

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12 Responses to Car accident – what to do next?
#1
Garfield5:49 pm, 09 May 14

http://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/compulsorytpi/claim-form

This is a link to an ACT Government page about making a CTP insurance claim in the ACT.

In regards to NRMA, I wouldn’t ever insure with them. Whenever I’ve done pricing comparisons they have always been expensive and at one point some years ago when a vehicle they insured wrote off my car they were awful to deal with. Having said that, as you were not at fault there should be no change to your premiums.

#2
Devil_n_Disquiz8:49 pm, 09 May 14

Go see a compo lawyer like Blumers or similar. They will take care of it for you. They are usually no win no fee as well.

#3
bigred10:59 pm, 09 May 14

Grin and bear it and keep my ctp premium down. Every claim contributes to a price rise.

#4
Tony11:20 pm, 09 May 14

You were not at fault, it should never affect your rates, nor should you need to pay any excess.
I’d call NRMA back and try again, if you get the same response ask for a manager.

If you still get no where, lawyers. Seeing the lawyers might sound daunting, but they’re very pleasant to deal with and it wont involve much time from you; Once the 3rd party, your insurer and their insurer here from a lawyer, they settle the matter ASAP.

#5
Tony11:22 pm, 09 May 14

Oh, and note the times, dates, what you spoke about and the outcome when dealing with anyone about this matter in a notebook so you have timelines of the whole mess.

#6
banco11:27 pm, 09 May 14

Claim the medical expenses etc. through CTP and forget about making a claim through NRMA if there’s only very minor damage (by the sound of it there’s none).

Don’t get a lawyer. The CTP scheme is fairly easy to navigate.

#7
Henry8212:00 am, 10 May 14

Devil_n_Disquiz said :

Go see a compo lawyer like Blumers or similar. They will take care of it for you. They are usually no win no fee as well.

For $300? They’d laugh you out the door.

http://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/compulsorytpi/claim-form

#8
tuco7:15 am, 10 May 14

And while the advice flows freely … glad to hear you are all ok and not too shaken up. Good luck.

#9
Queen_of_the_Bun1:16 pm, 10 May 14

Garfield said :

http://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/compulsorytpi/claim-form

This is a link to an ACT Government page about making a CTP insurance claim in the ACT.

In regards to NRMA, I wouldn’t ever insure with them. Whenever I’ve done pricing comparisons they have always been expensive and at one point some years ago when a vehicle they insured wrote off my car they were awful to deal with. Having said that, as you were not at fault there should be no change to your premiums.

+1.
NRMA put me through extraordinary hoops to replace my TV when my house was hit by lightning – the admin must have cost them more than the eventual cost of a new TV.

OP, very happy that you and your family are okay. I get a sense that your frustration is not so much about reclaiming $300 but that an idiot driver gets away unpunished. Sometimes all we can rely on is karma.

#10
Leon2:56 pm, 25 May 14

You should lodge a claim with the Compulsory Third Party insurer, and talk to a good lawyer.

If you and your family suffered whiplash injuries, you may recover in a few weeks. On the other hand, you may be facing a lifetime of pain and of medical treatment costs. If you don’t pursue an insurance claim in a timely manner, the insurance company won’t pay the costs.

There’s some useful advice at http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/injured-cyclist-saved-from-legal-cycle-20130601-2nj9l.html

#11
gazket8:16 pm, 25 May 14

“We called the police but because no one needed an ambulance”
so if this is the case if you have any sort of crash you should ring the ambulance.

Also what about a breath and drug test for the driver at fault, he also should get a negligent driving fine. Whats the point of ACT police having a drug bus and drug and alcohol roadside testing if they can’t be bothered to turn up to an accident to issue a fine for negligent driving.

No wonder government revenue is down.

#12
gazket9:03 pm, 25 May 14

still thinking about this strange situation and the logic seems incredibly one sided to the Police side and stuff the public attitude.

A motorist who has done nothing except drive on a road can be pulled over and held for 30 minutes and inconvenienced to wait for a drug spit test to arrive and another 10 minutes to take the test and get a negative result .

But police can’t be bothered to turn up to a road accident and complete a drug and alcohol test and issue a on the spot fine to a driver that has caused a motor vehicle accident because it is an inconvenience to Police. What happened to the ACT Federal Police moto “Working together for a safer community”

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