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LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself > Car accidents > What to do after an accident

What to do after an accident 

If you are involved in a car accident, there are some things you should do either straight away or soon after the accident:

    AlertYou should not admit to the other driver that the accident was your fault as this may affect any future court action or your insurance claim.

    Help anyone injured

    The driver in an accident m​ust stop and give help to anyone who is injured. It is an offence not to stop and give an injured person any assistance. ​

    A person who is injured in a car accident, may be able to make a claim for medical expenses and compensation.

    For more information, see Injuries.

    Report the accident to the police 

    Not all accidents have to be reported police. For information about when and how to report an accident to the police, see Reporting the accident to the police.

    Exchange details with the other driver

    It is important that the people involved in a car a​ccident have each other's contact details.

    For more information about what details to get, and how to get them if the other driver will not provide them, see Exchange details

    AlertIf the other driver will not exchange details, you should make a note of the other car's registration plates and report the accident to the police within 24 hours. 

    Take photos

    At the scene of an accident it is important to gather what evidence you can about the damage to the vehicles, and the location of the accident. It is useful if you can: 

    • ​take photos of any damage to your car, or the other driver's car
    • take photos of any damage to property
    • take photos of the place where the accident happened (for example, the intersection, street signs, traffic lights)
    • take photos showing the point of collision of the vehicles. 

    These photos may help you show what damage was caused in the accident, how the accident occurred and whose fault it was.

    For more information, see Evidence

    Get witness details

    It is also useful to record the names and contact details of any witnesses at the scene of an accident. 

    At a later date, you may need to ask those people to provide you with a witness statement describing what they saw.

    For more information, see Evidence.

    Contact your insurance company 

    If your car is insured, you may have to tell your insurance company about the accident even if you decide not to make a claim. 

    It is a condition of most comprehensive and third party property insurance policies that the insured person tells the insurance company about an accident as soon as possible. You should read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) which explains the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.

    For more information, see Insurance

    AlertIf you don't tell your insurance company about your accident it may affect any future insurance claims you may make. 

    For more interactive assistance, see the MVA Problem Solver on the Financial Rights Legal Centre website.


    Two drivers exchanging details Need legal help