What to do after an accident

Your obligations at the scene

Under section 61 of the Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic) you must:

1 Stop

2 Provide assistance

3 Give your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the car and its registration number to:

any injured person;

the owner of any damaged property;

someone representing either of the above; and

the police if they are present.

4 If anyone is injured, or if the property of anyone not present is damaged, and the police do not attend the scene, you must go to the nearest police station as soon as possible and provide details of the accident.

If anyone is injured, they may lodge a claim with the Transport Accident Commission (for contact details, seeContacts”). A claim must be lodged with the TAC within 12 months of the accident (for more information, see Transport accident injuries).

Practical steps

1 At the scene, take the names and addresses of any eye-witnesses (you can always find out later exactly what they saw). This is important.

2 Make notes of any conversation between you and the other driver.

3 Draw a diagram of the accident including distances from corners, kerbs, etc., and noting skid marks and so on.

4 Be careful what you say; many insurance companies require you to not make any admission of liability without their permission.

5 Ask the other driver if they are insured, and with whom. They may not tell you, but if they do, it can be helpful.

6 Report the matter to your insurers. Even if you do not intend to make a claim, you should report the accident so that if you decide later to make a claim, it cannot be said that you failed to meet the obligations in your insurance policy.

7 Keep a record of any towing or storage expenses you incur.

8 Take photographs of the accident scene and of any damage.