Car Accident Advice from Non-Responsive Driver

Hey fellow ozbargainers,

basically, a week ago i had a car accident where the other driver drove into my car.

after exchanging information, he revealed that he did not have insurance and did not bring his license with him, although i have his name, number, and rego. (He proved that was his number by asking me to ring him on the spot to see it ring).

i've contacted him regarding repair damages but he has been unresponsive.

what would you guys recommend as my next course of action?

i'd rather not go through my insurance just yet as this means my premium goes up!

thanks guys!

Comments

  • +11

    i'd rather not go through my insurance

    I think it maybe your only option..most claims are done over the phone now days so ring them and explain your circumstances and see what happens.

  • +24

    i'd rather not go through my insurance just yet as this means my premium goes up!

    It really shouldn't. It wasn't your fault.

    Go through insurance because you'll get a guarantee on the repair and should there be damage that you can't see at first glance they'll cover that.

    Contact him, ask for his address and then contact your insurance.

    If he doesn't answer send him a text message E.G.

    Hi xxx (name)
    In relation to the accident on (date), I would like to go ahead and get my car fixed.
    Can you please let me know your current mailing address so I can pass on your details to my insurer.
    Thank you
    Regards
    xxxx (your name)

    Also OP put his rego in this this checker

    If the plates don't match then call the cops

    • +3

      Isn't this why people have insurance? I'd like to think if anyone hit me, their fault, that my insurance does the leg work and sorts it out and chases the other party for the money.
      I'm no expert but it shouldn't affect your rating or premium as its not your fault.
      There may be an excess or something if your policy states that you pay regardless of fault, but IMO the excess is a small price to pay than the pain in the ass it will be chasing this guy through the (absolutely inept) courts and legal system.
      Even if you get this guy in court and have an order placed on him to pay (hundreds/thousands of dollars later) you then need to get the order enforced.
      Also the cops wont care, it's he said she said and they have bigger fish to fry.

      As others have stated here, let your insurance deal with it and continue to live a happy life ;)

      • +2

        yeah exactly. this is the only point of insurance! Why pay for insurance then not use it? they can't charge your an increase in premiums when it is someone else's fault.

      • The cops do care about accidents, they generally don't get involved unless a person or property is injured.

        However they will definitely get involved if a driver gave false details, or refused to provide all details. Can be serious penalties for that.

      • Not when you are with NRMA, I had to chase them up for 6 months, in the end they decided the other driver and I were both at fault, even though the other driver was driving on the wrong side of the road and hit my car, while I was stationary. Basically the other driver lied and NRMA told me there was no way for the insurance company to decide who is actually telling the truth.

  • +23

    As soon as they said they didn't have a licence on them you should have called the police, if they are under 26 that is an offence. It is very easy to register a phone sim online with false ID.

    Now you have no choice but to contact your insurance and let them deal with it.

    • +3

      Agree with you. No license , need to let police solve or be a witness

    • +1

      In Vic you don't need to call the police nor do you need to show your license. It does prove who you are and where you live/have lived… It isn't the law do show it though.

      • -3

        What you have said is totally false

        • +7

          knick007 is absolutely correct. you are required to exchange details. that is all. read sec 61 of the Road Safety Act. you do not need to show your licence. there are lots of drivers who are required to carry their licence, but you don't have to show it to anyone except the police.

          you'll have to go through your insurance. you shouldn't have to pay an excess (as you have the offending driver's details) and it shouldn't affect any no claims (cos it's not your fault)

        • +1

          @oscargamer: Thank you

        • -2

          @oscargamer: It is an offence in NSW not to give your details to the other driver.

        • +1

          as it is here in VIC. please re-read my post

        • @knick007: if someone gives me their details verbally and i request to see their licence/ID as proof then how am i meant to verify that they are correct?
          Cant he just give me false details?

        • +1

          @Hirolol: They can that is why you take a photo of their license plate and their car.

          I do think you should have to show your license in the event of an accident so the other party can't BS the details but unfortunately that isn't the law.

        • -1

          @oscargamer: Why the negs on my comment? Curious because that is fact.

          I was involved in some beat up a while ago and I refused to give the other driver my details because he caused it and he was a tool and I didn't want that tool knowing where I lived. The police told me that if I did not hand over my details I would be charged for not doing so. I ended up not having to hand them over but that's another story.

        • -1

          i didn't neg you. i agree with you.

    • do you guys have any sources to confirm if this is the law or not? I'd hate to wrongfully dob someone in the future

      • Duty of driver etc. of motor vehicle if accident occurs must at the scene of the accident as soon as possible give his or her name and address and also the name and address of the owner of the motor vehicle and the identifying number of the motor vehicle.

        http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/rsa198612...

      • I'm not a cop of lawyer or anything but I know that in Vic you don't need to carry your license if you are on a full car license.

        • Not quite. If you are under 26 you must carry your licence, even if it is a full licence

        • +1

          @oscargamer: I stand corrected.

    • What is the under 26 bit? Can older people not carry their licences or something?

      • +1

        some people are making up laws as they go.

        btw the police won't care or show up in op's case.
        https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues/road_safety/c...

        • I understood they would turn up in NSW if it was a lot of damage or there was a question of sobriety or other law breaking (licensing?).
          I think I would be calling the cops and making a fuss if there was serious damage to my vehicle from a not clearly licensed driver.

      • +2

        In Victoria if you are over 26 with an open licence and you don't have it on you whilst driving you are given 7 days to show it at the local cop shop. The police will show up if OP had told them the other driver may be unlicenced or suspended and the situation was getting heated, or if OP had sustained an injury.

        • Last time I was pulled over without my licence in Victoria, the police just confirmed my details on the data terminal in their car. I didn't have to produce my licence at a police station.

        • @pjetson: In practice they will only ask you to produce a licence at the local cop shop if they doubt your identity and you haven't commited any criminal offences.

          Were you the registered owner of the vehicle? Did they ask other questions to I.D. you? The terminals can also bring up a photo if you have any prior offences.

        • @iratepirate: No, I was not the registered owner of the vehicle, but the vehicle is registered at the same address.

          They didn't ask any other questions to ID me.

        • the terminal can only bring up your licence photo

    • Hi pirate, must u tell them u are calling the police? What if they get very hostile?

      • +2

        No need to tell them you are calling police. Tell them you have to call your insurance and go back to your car.

        If they do begin to get hostile lock yourself in your car and call the police again telling them you fear for your safety. In Victoria you are entitled to record them on your mobile phone so I would also record their aggressive behaviour.

        • Cool thanks. That's a good tip.

    • It happened to me before, my car was hit when the other driver was driving on the wrong side of the road, and my car was stationary at the time. The other driver was not carrying her licence. I called the police, they weren't interested.

  • 3 option
    1-go through insurance
    2-go through court
    3-bikies
    insurance will be much cheaper then court, bikies will make you smile

    • +1

      How much for the bikies?

      • -4

        It was a car accident not bike

        • +2

          Peanut money, it must've went straight over your head lol.

  • +3

    Must agree. Time to call the insurers. Taking care of hassles like this is what you pay for.

  • Pretty sure your insurance won't increase if you're not at fault, and if you can give your insurance the other guys details.

  • +1

    Don't be a mug, OP. Call your insurer and let them do their job.

  • +11

    Why did you pay car insurance for ? Now you scare to use them ?

  • Your only option is to call your insurance company especially when the driver is not insured and giving you potentially fake details. You should have done that immediately after the accident. A working mobile phone doesn't mean anything. I don't think your premium will go up as you are not at fault unless they have changed the rules.

    I would have called the cops if the driver couldn't produce a driver's licence.

  • Make a police report.
    Go to your insurance company. If you are not at fault, your insurance premiums will not change.

    • Lol really ? I remember when i answer Yes to the question "have you put through any claim over the last 5 years regardless of whose at faults ?", my premium went up.

      • Change your insurance company. I am with Shannons. Provided I provide the drivers details who was at fault (this has happened once to me) my premiums did not change.

      • Which insurer is this? Most only ask about at fault accidents, only the super cheap budget sort would ask that.

  • +6

    Your premium shouldn't go up if it wasn't your fault. You have his Rego, just message him saying "Since you have not been responding, I have contacted police and my Insurance. They will be in touch with you soon.". Don't be scared to use your insurance cowboy!

    • I agree with this and if they don't respond by tomorrow call the police and just say you can't get onto him.

    • The comprehensive premium shouldn't go up, but is there a chance your greenslip (NSW) or whatever the Vic equivalent is will?

  • If you are not at fault, report it to your insurance. You will not be charged excess because you gave them his details.

  • Last time I was in an accident (not at fault) I got all the required information, but it turns out the mobile number he gave me was BS (yes, I should have checked on the spot but I was flustered and didn't). I tried to lodge a claim with my insurer but they wouldn't lodge it without a way of contacting the other driver. I went to the police and explained my situation, and they gave me the run around a bit, so I called my insurer again. This time I got someone else and she managed to figure out that the other driver was also insured with them and they obviously had the right contact details for him. She lodged the claim, my car got fixed for free, my premium never went up, and I never had to deal with the other shitty guy again.

    My point is, as everyone else has said already, call your insurer. They will not charge you if you're not at fault and the other guy admits he was. While he may be an arsehole and not admit fault, you won't get charged for making a call, making an enquiry at least. Provide them with the information you have available and see if that's enough to proceed with a claim. If not, go to the cops and see if they can get the guys information to provide to your insurer (as they obviously don't just hand out other people's private information).

    Moral of the story? People suck, but next time you'll know what to do differently. Good luck.

    • in a time like this, you go and make a new number, give it to the insurance and talk with a new voice so you can get your claim validated, insurance sucks sometimes.

      • +3

        Pretending to be the other dude? Fraud: don't mind if I do!

        • yeah and what he is doing is perfectly legal not answering his phone therefore not having to admit to the accident?

        • @eXtremist: Not saying he's doing the right thing, he's obviously being an arsehole, but even if you pretended to be him and owned up to it, then what? OP didn't mention he had the guys address, so when they ask, "Where do I send the bill to?" what do you say? I don't really see how this solves the problem.

        • @girlshaped: Insurance chases the rest, as long as you have his name, license number and phone number, they will take care of the rest, let the insurance send the bill to mars.

      • +4

        "Hello this is Dickweed Tumbleknob speaking, yes- I caused the accident"

        • thats exactly what you do, if he wants to be a scumbag, then f him up.

  • Call your insurer now and report the accident to Police, your insurer will do the chasing.

  • +2

    Set your outgoing number as private, and keep hitting that redial button until either he answers or his phone goes flat.

    Do this at all hours of the day and night.

    If you don't set your number to private they can just block you on their phone.

    • -2

      That's harassment.

      • -1

        No its not.

  • did you get some pics from the accident. it will help in proving the case of them being there incase they pull the ol, I wasnt there NFI what your talking about

  • Ok first things first, how serious is the damage? If enough damage is done, the vehicle could be a write off and fines may apply if you drive it. If you do the claim yourself and the at fault refuses to pay, there isn't too much you can do other than going through the legal system. If after getting a ruling in your favour, the at fault could decide they can only send you $10 a month, you would have to go with this. As part of your policy, you have to tell the insurer about any accidents if you want to keep your coverage. The insured vehicle also has to be in "reasonable condition", so the insurer may need to inspect the finished repair work to continue coverage. Any rise in premium could be negated by shopping around once your claim is settled and asking for a price match, especially around renewal time.

  • There is a few options:
    1/ Let your insurance agency work it all out for you, give them as much detail as possible. You should have photo of his car + rego, they can get the owner from the rego to get the registered details of owner. Being able to call their phone doesn't mean anything at all, it could have been a burner.

    2/ Message the person and tell them if you don't get any response you will be going to small claims court against them.

    The police can't do anything about it, since they were not called to the scene, it will really come down to he says she says.

  • +1

    You need his address in order to lodge a not at fault claim with your insurer.

  • Sounds like this person was trying to hide his address and his license details by saying he did not bring it. Once he said he didn't bring his license you should be on the alert. I think you will need to contact the police / governing vehicle body to investigate based on the number plate to trace the driver.

  • Steps..
    1. Send a message (SMS) to him that you are going to police. Mostly that guy will contact you. If he hasn't come back then follow the next steps

    1. Lodge a Police online complaint with all details about the driver
    2. Get the complaint number
    3. Lodge a claim in your insurance company including complaint number provided by police

    Your insurance company will fix this issue without your premium affected. We did it recently same scenario for our LC200.

  • Call your insurer, give them all the info and now it's their problem to chase him down.

    Either way, you have done everything you can do, collected name, address, rego as much as you can and unless you have a shifty insurance company that you have to argue with a bit you should be covered no matter what (with no excess).

  • I just checked the NSW booklet for obligations in the event of an accident:

    Regardless of damage, if you are asked to, you must provide the owner or driver
    of any other vehicle involved in the crash with the following information:
    • Your name, address and licence details.
    • Your vehicle registration number.
    • If you are not the owner of the vehicle, the name and address of the owner.

    I also checked about obligations to carry your licence … there is no exemption listed.

    It also says:

    The Police may attend and investigate crashes where:
    ….. • A person fails to stop or exchange information.

    So, if another driver did not show me their licence, I would regard this as being evasive and call the police on the spot. Just by making that phone call, the other driver may well announce "Oh wait, here it is".

    For the original poster, the other driver is avoiding you by not responding. Do you have his address and can verify that you weren't told a porky? (You said "i have his name, number, and rego."). So you can't be sure you even have his correct name?? If you can't provide a valid name and address of the other diver, then it will be hard to avoid that excess. I can't see the insurance company trying too hard.

    I would also be strolling into a police station for advice if you aren't confident you have the right details.

  • This is really a hit and run as the guy didn't hand over his details… Dont worry, the insurance company will deal with it.

  • -2

    caveat** from the UK so unsure about Aussie insurance.

    Declaring an accident that is not your fault will still increase your premiums.
    I could have an accident that is not my fault every day if I wished simply my not taking evasive action against useless drivers.
    There is logic that if you have 3 accidents that are not your fault then perhaps you are not as attentive / reactionary as other drivers. I guess the same logic applies down to 1 accident. But as with all insurance it is based on generalisations so no offence against the OP.

    They would not ask if you had any claims (irrespective of blame) if it did not impact your quote.

    • I always thought that if you name the at fault driver, your rating would be protected and your premiums would not increase.

      Maybe someone should call there insurance company to confirm. Unfortunately, I don't have time to do it. Hopefully someone else may be able to and let us all know.

    • I could have an accident that is not my fault every day if I wished simply my not taking evasive action against useless drivers.

      <eyerolls> That's still your fault. Ever heard of actuarial tables? They can figure out the likelihood either way.

      • -1

        So I am going over a roundabout and somebody pulls oit from the next roundabout entrance into the side of me. Scenario A : I manage to avoid being hit.
        Scenario B : I cannot avoid being hit and the car crashes into me. I have right of way so the other driver is at fault.

        I don't believe actuarial tables will be blaming me. Eyerolls indeed :s

  • +14

    The idea that if you claim for a not at fault accident your premium will go up is wrong. I have worked in the insurance industry for 3 years and it is not in any way like that for 90% of insurance companies out there.

    Any insurance company under the AAI Limited Group (AAMI, GIO, Just Car, Suncorp, Bingle ect) only ask for your not at fault claims for the purposes of determining if you are a risk not worth insuring. For example if you have 5 Not At fault claims in 3 years there is obviously some sort of problem with your defensive driving skills (in their eyes) and hence they will not insure you at all. If you were to list 4 not at fault claims however they will still insure you for the EXACT premium that would have been if you had no claims at all.

    Any insurance company under the IAG Group (NRMA,COLES, SGIO, RACV, RACQ) usually don't require you to disclose not at fault claims. I know that Coles does but once again when you list 'no excess' paid on these claims there is no difference to your premium.

    Any insurance company under the Hollard Group (Real,Woolworths,SIA) only ask for purposes of determining whether to insure you. If you have >5 claims in 5 years (regardless of fault) they won't insure you. If you have 2-4 not at fault claims they have NO impact on your premium.

    The Allianz Group use a similar system to Hollard. Not at Fault claims don't impact premium or no claim discount.

    Any Auto & General Services group (Budget Direct, DODO, Virgin, Aus Post ect) insurers are the exception. Listing Not At Fault claims usually does increase your premium (sometimes significantly). In addition they use the non disclosure of not at fault claims to deny new claims ALL THE TIME. I would avoid policies with this underwriter if you have had any claims in 5 years regardless of what they were.

    • +1

      Thank you for this information.

    • +1

      This is the most informative comment I've read in a long time. Thank you

    • Interesting and definitely different to the UK. My wife was recently hit and we didn't bother to do anything as I thought the future hike would be more than the repair.

      I checked one insurance company as an example and the question was "any accidents that were your fault or where the person to blame could not be found" (or similar).

      The op will have an insurance hike if they cannot find the other driver.

      • Just say no. They have no way of knowing since you didn't put a claim in. Unless the person who hit you referenced you in their claim. In which case, if they're going through insurance anyway, why try to lay low? They're paying the excess no matter what.

  • Call Insurance. If he is ignoring you already, Imagine what else he can do if he is already ignoring you now? He might agree pay the bill, then throw it in the bin, leaving you with a bill instead.

  • Put the claim in ASAP. He's being unresponsive with the sole intention to avoid you and not pay up. That was his risk driving uninsured. To be honest if he didn't have a license I would've called the police straight away. Could've been a stolen vehicle for all you know and you don't know for sure who he is.

    Also ask yourself, if it is worth not going through insurance as it is a MASSIVE headache trying to figure things out privately. Sure you do him a huge favour but at your own sacrifice of much time and effort.

    As a not at fault claim your premium shouldn't increase. If it does then you need to switch insurer as they're incentivising you not to use them even though you pay for their services year after year.

    My advice: Go through insurance as that is what you're paying them for.

  • I would have called the police immediately and had them sort it out.

    He'll be done for not having his license on him. It will be the only way to verify his identity. All you have is his phone number, you can't be 100% certain he gave his real name or address. You can't even be sure that's his main number, and not some temporary sim he will throw away, making it impossible for you to contact him. That is probably what he has done.

    Having his license plate (if it is his car) is a good start though. The rest of the details you have to hope are real.

    Report it to your insurance and make a claim. Doesn't matter if he isn't insured. Insurance will repair your car and extract the payment out of him. You don't have to worry about it.

    I have family members who've had instances of being cooperative at the scene of the accident and then being dodgy later. For example, one person reversed into my brother's car. He admitted fault and apologized. But when the guy went to claim insurance, he claimed my brother rear-ended him! From an insurance perspective, it's going to be difficult to disprove, and they are biased in favor of the person who's rear is damaged. How would you prove you didn't rear-end them, rather than they reversed into you?

    If someone has no license on them, or they look like they're drunk at the time of an accident, call the police. It may not be important as far as police priorities go, but they will show up, because there's money to be extracted from the guy (either drunk driving, or not having a license). Police need to be paid as well you know.

  • In the same boat. A taxi hit my parked car in May. My car was uninsured at the time. Despite my and its insurer's repeated requests the taxi company is ignoring to pay their excess.

  • /cynical hat on

    If you have a sore neck or back from the accident, file a personal injuries claim lol. He'd still be required to have CTP. You might see some funds from such a settlement after the lawyers take their cut, and if liability is established, after some 18-24 months..

    /cynical-hat off

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