Car accident and not at fault? What to do next

1 March 2022

If you’ve been in a car accident recently and you believe the other driver was at fault, you might wonder about your next steps. But first of all, the most important thing after an accident is to make sure everyone is okay. If anyone has been seriously injured, or if there is a risk of further danger, call 000.

Once everyone’s safe, you’ll have to determine who was at fault.

How to determine who’s at fault in a car accident

Even if you’re almost certain you’re not at fault, there’s a few questions you’ll need to consider before you make a claim.

Was your car rear-ended?

If someone has rear-ended your car, your situation may be pretty straightforward. The driver who rear-ended your car may be deemed to be at fault. But this isn’t always the case, depending on the circumstances.

Did someone run a red light?

If your accident was caused by the other driver running a red light, most likely they’ll be found at fault.

You may also want to take notes of what happened, and photos of the damage caused. It’s also a good idea to get details of any witnesses in case you need them at a future date. If you have a policy with GIO, you can do this directly via the GIO app. Just make sure you’ve added your policy to the app beforehand. Having supporting details like this can really help your insurer when you go to make a claim.

Did you admit guilt?

After a car accident, it’s normal to feel in shock. But it’s important to remember not to admit guilt at the scene of the accident. You may not be in the right state of mind, nor qualified to decide this. Instead, try to stay calm, and focus on getting the details of the other driver.

Do I have to pay an excess for an incident if I’m not at fault?

If you cannot supply the at-fault driver’s name, address and vehicle registration number it means we will not be able to waive your excess. It does not otherwise impact the cover under your policy or your ability to make a claim.

What if the other driver wasn’t insured?

If you find yourself in a situation where the driver at fault wasn’t insured, it’s best to speak to your insurer as soon as possible. If you’re not ready or unsure whether you want to lodge a claim, they can put a report in their system. It’s best to do this right away, when all the details are still fresh in you head. And don’t worry, making a report of the accident won’t impact your premium.

Does my level of insurance impact what I can claim?

Your level of insurance will determine what’s covered. Remember, Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance covers damage to the other party’s vehicle or property, but not your own if you’re at fault. And if you only have CTP insurance, damage to your car won’t be covered. However, GIO’s Third Party Property Damage Car Insurance has cover for uninsured drivers if they are responsible for the accident. Check out our Damage by Uninsured Drivers for details, limits and conditions.

Comprehensive Car Insurance however, regardless of who’s at fault, usually covers damage to your vehicle (unless it was intentional or deliberate). It’s important to know exactly what you’re covered for, especially when it comes time to make a claim. You can always find this information in the relevant Product Disclosure Statements.

GIO also has cover for a hire car after a not at fault accident. If you give us the name, address and registration number of the person at fault, we’ll arrange and pay the reasonable cost of a hire car that meets your transport needs, using our provider.

Want to know more about GIO’s car insurance options?

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Consider the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insuranceThe Target Market Determination is also available.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.