When a motor vehicle accident occurs, liability may be determined to be the fault of one or both drivers involved. After this determination, damages for both sides can be evaluated, and depending on the apportionment of liability, damages will be settled in favor of one party or the other. The driver at fault will typically have their claim paid by their insurance carrier. But what happens if the other driver has no insurance?
Almost 10% of Australian drivers aren’t correctly insured, which can add to your stress considerably if you are in an accident. The last thing you want to hear is that the other person didn’t have insurance, especially if they were responsible for the incident. However, whether or not the other driver is insured doesn’t affect their liability and responsibility if they are found to be legally at fault.
At the scene of the accident, first make sure no-one is injured, and call 000 for emergency services if necessary. Then find out if the other party has insurance. Don’t admit fault or accuse the other party of being at fault, and remain as calm as possible – even if you are certain the other driver was in error, or you find out they are uninsured.
Write down as much information as you can about the driver, their car and any damage to either vehicle. Note the speed at which you were driving, and diagram the scene of the accident, detailing any traffic lights or signs in the immediate area. Look for any witnesses who can help determine who was at fault, and ask passengers for their recollections of the accident.
Photograph as many details as possible, including the other driver’s license. Share your own information as well. If the other party is objecting to sharing their details, photograph the registration number of their vehicle and any clear examples of damage.
If you’re not at fault, and the other driver is uninsured, there are two ways to proceed. Contact your insurance company and report the damage. They can help you with paperwork if you are advised to file a formal claim against the other driver.
Alternately, you may be able to settle the issue privately. If the other driver is willing to simply pay the costs of your vehicle repairs or property damage, get several quotes for such repairs and present them to the individual in question. Settling for cash from the other driver is legal – just make sure you still report this to your insurer, to comply with the “duty of disclosure” clause found in most policies.
If you suffer personal injury as a result of a car crash, seeking legal advice can help increase your chances of adequate compensation. Contact the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers to find out more.