​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Frequently Asked Questions​​​

​What to do after a car accident​

1. ​​I had a car accident. The other driver drove away without stopping. Wha​t can I do?

After a car accident, all drivers involved in the accident must stop and exchange their details.

If the other driver did not stop to give you their details, you can report the accident to the police. If the police are able to identify the driver, they may be able to provide you with the other driver's details. If the police cannot or will not give you the details of the other driver, and you have the registration number of the other vehicle, you can make an access application to Transport for NSW to find out the contact details of the registered operator of the vehicle.

For more information, see Identify the other party​.

​2. I was in a car accident. Should I report the accident to the police?​

You must call the police after an accident if:

  • ​​​​​one or more of the drivers was drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • someone was injured
  • one or more of the cars had to be towed away
  • the other driver didn't stop and exchange details with you.

AlertIf someone is killed or injured ​as a result of the accident, or you were driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, you should get legal advice before making a statement to the police. 

For more information, see Reporting the accident to the Police.​

​​​3. I had an accident and both my passenger and I were hurt. How can I make a claim? 

To make a claim for personal injury suffered in a car accident you can contact the State Insurance Regulatory Authority​ for more information. You may also want to get legal advice

AlertThere are time limits for making a claim​, which can be as short as 28 days after the date of the accident. For more information about the kinds of claims you could make and the time limits, see the State Insurance Regulatory Authority ​External icon website for more information. 

For more information, see Injuries.

4. The police came to the scene of the accident and talked to some witnesses. Can I get a report from the police? 

Yes, you can make an application to the Police for an Incident Report. This report will include:

  • ​​​​the name of the police officer in charge at the time of the accident
  • the place where the accident happened
  • the names and contact details of the drivers involved in the accident
  • registration numbers of the cars or motor vehicles in the accident
  • a summary of the accident. 

For more information, see Identify the other party​. 

5. Do I have to tell my insurer about an accident if I don't want to claim for it?

You have a responsibility to tell the insurance company if something happens that may change the insurer's mind about insuring you. If you call your insurer to tell them about the accident, you should make it clear that you are not making a claim.

Handy HintYou should check your insurance policy before you decide whether you will make a claim. Repairs can sometimes cost more than expected to fix.

For more information, see Insurance​.

6. Can I find out the other party's insurance details?

No. An insurance company will not give you any information about the insured driver or owner of the car. You cannot make a claim against the other party's insurer unless they have made a claim on their insurance policy.

If your car was damaged in a car accident and you believe that the other party was at-fault, you should ask the other party to provide you with details of the claim number for their insurer. The other party can then decide whether to negotiate with you directly or make a claim on their insurance policy.

For more information, see What to do after a car accident.

AlertIf you were injured in a car accident, you can make a claim through the other party's Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer.

For more information, see Injuries.

Making a claim​

1. How do I get the person who caused an accident to pay for the damage to my car?

If you were involved in a car accident and you think the other person was at fault, you may be able to claim your damages and losses from the other person. If the other party is insured they can make a claim on their insurer. You may be able to negotiate directly with the other driver or their insurance company. If this doesn't work, you could send the other driver a letter of demand.

For more information, see Making a claim.

2. My car was damaged in an accident and the other driver was at fault. How many quotes do I need to give the other driver?

There is no set number of quotes that you have to give to the other driver, but it's a good idea to get two or three written quotes. Sometimes getting more than one quote can help show that the amount you are asking for is 'not excessive' and is 'fair and reasonable'. You should give copies of these quotes to the other driver and keep the originals. 

For more information, see Getting repair quotes​.

3. My car was damaged in an accident. What sort of evidence do I need to make a claim against the other driver?

The kind of evidence you need will depend on your case. As soon as possible after the car accident, you should:

  • ​​​​make notes about the accident
  • get contact details from witnesses
  • take photos of the scene of the accident
  • take photos of damage to cars and property
  • draw a sketch of the scene.

At a later time, you may need to get:

  • ​​​​​​repair quotes
  • witness statements
  • invoices and receipts (for dam​age or losses suffered).

For more information, see Evidence​.

4. I was in an accident ​​and the other driver agreed to pay for the cost of repairing my car. I sent the other driver an invoice for the repair work and a receipt for the hire car I used while I waited for my car to be repaired. The other driver has told me that they will pay for the repair of my car but not for the hire car. Do I have a right to claim the cost of a hire car? 

Usually, the party who caused the accident should pay the reasonable costs of the party who suffered loss as a result of the accident. You can claim the cost of hiring a car while your car is being repaired. The main question is whether the cost is reasonable. To decide whether a cost is reasonable you should think about whether: 

  • ​​the hire car was similar to your car, which was damaged in the accident. You could compare the cars by looking at the engine size, make or model of the car
  • the amount of time you used the hire car is reasonable. If your car took two weeks to fix, it may be reasonable for you to hire a car for two weeks. 

For more information, see Evidence about damage and losses​.

5. I had an accident with a van. The other driver said they don't have to pay for the damage because it's a work car. Who will pay for my damage? 

You may be able to make a claim against the driver or their employer.

The employer may have to pay if the driver was driving for work.

The driver may have to pay if:

  • ​​​they were driving for work but they were doing something illegal. For example, drink driving
  • they were driving for work but they caused the accident on purpose
  • they weren't driving for work at that time. For example, they used the van to go shopping for personal items. 

For more information, see Driving for work

If you have an accident with someone driving a work vehicle, you should get legal advice​.

6. I was parked on the side of the road and a bicycle rider clipped my side mirror, snapping it off. The bicycle rider gave me their details but won't pay for my damage. What can I do?

Bicycle riders follow the same road rules as drivers of cars. Not many bicycle riders are insured for the damage they cause to other peoples' cars or property. If you can show that the bicycle rider was negligent you could consider making a claim against them for your damage.

For more information, see Bicycles and Making a claim​.

7. A car backed into my car just as I was reversing out of my parking space. The other driver said she was not to blame because she started to reverse first. Who is at fault? 

Sometimes there may be more than one driver at fault. If the matter goes to court, depending on the evidence, a magistrate may decide that both drivers caused the accident and they will share the costs of the damage. This is called 'contributory negligence'. If you have been in a car accident and you're not sure who is at fault, you should get legal ​advice.

For more information, see Evidence about Fault​.

Responding to a claim​

1. Someone is claiming I owe them money because I damaged their car. What can I do?

If you were involved in a car accident and you were at fault, you could be responsible for paying for the damage to the other cars or losses suffered by the other parties. You should try to work out whether you were at fault. For more information, see Who is responsible​.

It is best not to ignore a claim, as the other party could decide to go to court which will cost more time and money.

For more information, see Responding to a claim.

2. I have received a letter of demand from an insurance company for an accident where I was at fault. I think the amount they are asking me to pay is too much. What can I do?

You can write to the insurance company: 

  • ​​​​​explaining that you want to dispute the amount they are asking for because it is excessive
  • asking the insurance company to provide an invoice or other evidence of the cost of the repairs
  • asking the insurance company to hold off starting any legal proceedings until you have looked through any additional information they provided
  • asking for time to get legal advice.

Sometimes the insurance company will agree to give you more time but they don't have to. In some cases they will start legal action, even if you have written to them. It can be difficult to decide who is 'at-fault' so you should get legal advice

For more information, see Insurer – dispute resolution​.

3. My grandson borrowed my car with my permission to take his friends to the beach. He caused an accident and the other driver is suing me for the damage. Do I have to pay? 

Whether or not you have to pay for the damage caused by someone borrowing your car will depend on why they were driving the car. If you asked for someone to use your car to do something for you, you may be responsible. But, if you lent them your car so they could use it for themselves, then you may not be responsible for the damage they cause. If someone else has an accident in your car, you should get legal advice

For more information, see Owners and drivers​.

4. I was driving my boss's car to pick up some tools for him, when I had an accident. The accident was my fault, but my boss claimed on his insurance. He said I had to pay the excess of $500.00. Is this right? 

An employee who causes an accident while they are driving for work may be responsible for the damage caused to their employer's car.

​If the employer's car is insured and the employer claims on that insurance policy, the employer's insurance company can't then claim against the employee for the amount they paid to the employer for the claim.

If the employer has to pay an excess to the insurance company, they may, in some circumstances, be able to claim it back from the employee.

If you had an accident in your employer's car, you should get legal ​advice​.

5. I am a builder. Sometimes I contract out extra work to other builders. Recently, one of these independent contractors caused a car accident in his ute. He is saying that I am responsible for the damage he caused. Am I? 

Usually an independent contractor will be responsible for the damage they caused in a car accident if they were driving their own car. If the independent contractor was driving a car belonging to you, the independent contractor may be able to argue that you should pay for the damage.

If an independent contractor is making a claim against you, you should get legal advice​.

For more information, see Driving for work when you are an employee or independent contractor.

Resolving your dispute

​1. How can I resolve my dispute with the other party without going to court?

Court proceedings can be costly and time consuming. You may not get the results you want.

There are many ways you can try to resolve your dispute with the other driver or their insurer without going to court. You can negotiate with them directly or try mediation at Community Justice Centres (CJC).

For more information, see Resolving your dispute​.

2. I don't want to make a claim on my insurance policy. Can I negotiate directly with the other party?

You can negotiate directly with the other party in writing or by talking to them. If the other party has made a claim on their insurance policy, you can negotiate with their insurer. 

If you reach an agreement, make sure it is written down and signed by the parties. 

For more information, see Resolving your dispute and Negotiation.

3. My insurer told me my car is a write-off. I do not agree with the insurer's valuation of my car. What can I do?

Depending on your insurance policy, the insurance company will pay you either the 'market value' or 'agreed value' if your car is written-off. If you keep the damaged car, the insurance company will pay you the value of the car less its salvage value. 

If you disagree with the insurance company's valuation of your car, you should get an independent valuation of your car and write to the insurance company. If you cannot resolve the dispute with your insurer, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

For more information, see Insurer – dispute resolution​.

4. What is mediation?

Mediation is a good way of settling a dispute without going to ​court. At mediation, the parties involved in a dispute come together with the help of a neutral person called a 'mediator' to try and settle the dispute. The mediator can help parties to work out how an agreement can be reached.

Community Justice Centres (CJC) provide free me​diation services in NSW.

For more information, see Mediation​.​

5. What happens if the other party and I have reached an agreement?

If you reach an agreement with the other party or their insurer, make sure you put it in writing. A written agreement is called 'terms of settlement' or a 'settlement agreement'.

The agreement must set out clearly what you have agreed with the other party.

For more information, see Put it in writing