As of October 15th 2014 NSW Police introduced new rules regarding when to report a car accident to the police.

The changes have been made to reduce the need for the public to call the police when they have a car accident; and in an effort to reduce “red-tape” around police reporting.

After Oct 15th police will only be required to attend and investigate road crashes if they meet one or more of the below criteria:

  • A person is killed or injured
  • Parties fail to exchange particulars
  • A driver appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs

If any of the vehicles need to be towed and none of the above criteria apply, then drivers can organise their own towing and later report the crash to the Police Assistance Line on 131 444. This will avoid drivers having to wait for police to attend before getting their vehicles towed. This should speed up the process to get vehicles, drivers and passengers off the road and therefore reduce the risk of any secondary crash and injury.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley says about the new changes “It also better utilises police resources, who will now be diverted into broader road safety initiatives and other investigations.” Mr Hartley reassures the community however that if in doubt drivers should still call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

What if there is a Fatality or an Injury?

You should call Triple 000 in an emergency and/or the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.

They will provide you with the appropriate help and advice over the phone and on-site.

Once everyone is safe and the dust has settled, it is advisable to contact a solicitor who can act on your behalf for compensation due to any injuries suffered. For the driver not at fault there is potential personal injury compensation under the Compulsory Third Party “Greenslip” insurance scheme. You must report your car accident and injury to the police within 28 days and note down the event number – you will need this to make your claim. Followingyour police report there is a 6 month time limit within which you must lodge your claim with the Insurer.

Using a solicitor to act on your behalf will take the headache out of the administration and vastly improve your chances of receiving an appropriate and equitable settlement amount from the Insurer. Personal Injury solicitors are experts in this area and specialise in the negotiation process to make sure you as the injured person are compensated fairly. The personal injury solicitor has your interests as the injured person absolutely foremost.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: If you’ve had a motor car accident, stop your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Make sure nobody is injured, and if so, call emergency 000 and remain at the scene of the accident. If it’s a minor incident you don’t need to call the police, but move the damaged cars if possible. Never admit responsibility even if you think you were at fault. Collect name, address, registration number and insurance details from the other parties and get witness details if possible.
A: Motor accident compensation claims are normally finalised after you’ve recovered, or your injuries have stabilised. It can take some people longer to recover than others – from days to years – which determines the length of time it can take to finalise a claim. Also, your injuries may not always appear immediately after the accident and can take some time to appear, in some cases, years.

A: In a carpark, anyone driving in the lanes has the right of way, so if you’re the one pulling out of the car space and hit another motor vehicle, you are likely to be the majority at fault in the accident. However, since both cars are moving, both drivers might hold some responsibility. But if you hit a parked car, you are likely at fault.

A: When lodging a claim for compensation after a motor vehicle accident it’s best to do it as soon as possible. However, it isn’t always feasible if you were severely injured and couldn’t file a claim straight away. There are time limits, however, so get someone to call a lawyer at PK Simpson for you to lodge a claim at least within six months of the crash.

A: The length of time you have to make your claim depends on the jurisdiction.

For instance:

  • TPD claims – these may be commenced up to 10 years after you’ve stopped work. TPD claims are very technical and you may have more than one TPD claim.
  • Car accident claims – A personal injury claim form should be filled in and sent to your CTP insurer as early as possible, but must be no later than six months from the date of your accident. HOWEVER, out of time claims may be made. New NSW CTP laws have made it difficult for injured people and many law firms still do not understand how to run new claims under these laws – so call us at PK Simpson Sydney as soon as possible.
  • Workers compensation claims – You should contact a lawyer within six months of the accident. But remember, out of time claims can be handled by PK Simpson Sydney. We can help you get the treatment required to build your claim.
  • Slip ‘n’ fall/occupiers liability claims – Your claim must be lodged usually within three years of the date of your accident.

Medical Negligence – within three years of the date of when the cause of action was discoverable to our client OR 12 years from the time of the act or omission which caused the injury through negligence.

A: At PK Simpson compensation lawyers we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. However, for detailed information on the legal costs that can be charged for statutory benefits CTP Insurance car accident claims in NSW click on this link.