Can you request the personal details of someone in a car accident?

PUBLISHED 08 Jan 2020

The nation-wide cost of car accidents in Australia is $27 billion each year, according to the Australian Academy of Science. That’s a lot of money, and if you’re involved in a car accident, you’re adding to that sum total. One of the best ways to protect yourself financially immediately after an accident is to take notes and get key information from the other driver. Here’s what you need to know.

Should I call the police?
Yes, you’ll want to call the police, no matter the scale of the accident as they will help to move the whole process along cleanly. Make sure you have your license and registration ready and that you’ll file an accident report with the police. This will break down the who, what, where and when of the accident. It’s an easy way to ensure you get the other driver’s personal information. If the police don’t provide you with a copy of the report, ask for one. If you clearly weren’t at fault, the officers who were there and filed the report may help with any claim you file.

What if it’s a really minor accident or the police won’t come?
It’s always to your benefit to call the police. The fallout of a minor accident isn’t always immediately apparent. Injuries might only show up over time, and under-the-hood damage to your car could be hidden behind a minor dent on your fender. That being said, for minor accidents the police might leave it to the drivers to figure out the next steps.

In that case, you should ask the other driver for his or her personal information.

What kind of personal information should I get?
Specifically, ask for:

  • The driver’s full name
  • Whether the car is theirs, and if not the name of the owner of the car
  • The license plate number if it’s not immediately visible
  • The car’s make and model
  • Their address and phone number
  • Their insurance and policy number

Should I take photos of the other person’s car?
If possible, take photos or videos of the accident site and damage to both cars. At the very least, take detailed notes. Any documentation will help with your claim.

Finally, ensure everyone’s safety
Of course, safety comes first at the site of any car accident. Before you speak with anyone, ensure everyone is okay. If the site itself is in any way dangerous, move somewhere secure. If any party is injured, immediately call 000.

Get legal support
Lodging your car accident claim is only the beginning. Working with your and the other driver’s insurer is a complex process, and it can be helpful to have legal aid on your side. Contact Gerard Malouf and Partners today to speak with our experts.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.