NSW No Details on Driver at Fault During Car Accident - What to Do?

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WOO

Member
29 March 2018
4
0
1
Hi, all.

I was involved in a multiple rearend collisions. Mine was hit from behind and my car hit the car in front of mine. Police came to the scene since one of the 5 drivers that got involved had a neck injury.

One mistake I made was not getting the details of the driver at fault who hit my car. It was very busy Homebush Bay Rd and all drivers were waiting for the police on the side. When the police arrived all drivers were questioned by the police at the scene and I thought I could get the driver at fault's details from the police.

So far the situation is that my car was insured only for the compulsory third party insurance so no car insurance company to chase the other driver. Only details I have about the driver at fault is the pic of his registration plate.

It took about 2 months before I spoke to the officer in charge of the incident. The officer said they haven't been able to contact the driver at fault (also said having a trouble contacting the driver) and also they can not disclose the any driver's information. The officer told me to call him back later if he can give me more details but after two emails requesting some info I am not getting any response. I thought writing an email to a police station (Burwood) I would get some responses like we have received your email and will contact you soon...Surprised that there is no position in the police handling this kind of request.

However one good thing is that I have seen this information from Legal Aid website...

"If you get the registration number, you can find out the details of the car owner through Roads and Maritime Services by making a GIPA (right to information) request."

I would like to know if I should just go this path rather than chasing the police to see if they have any update. I would appreciate any advice on this.

Also Financial Ombudsman Service told me if the driver at fault have lodged a claim with his insurance company through and then FOS can claim for the damage on my behalf with the driver at fault's insurance. I cannot confirm this since I have no contact with the driver.

If I somehow gain the driver's address and contact number what would be the best way to handle this?

I have searched some forums and found that some people seek a lawyer and it takes about 2 years to finally get the compensation for the damage. I guess this is for a incident where the driver at fault refuse to pay for the damage. So I would paid for the initial consultation for the lawyer and the layer will be paid once the compensation is paid.

Or would it be better to send a letter of demand to the driver first to see how he responds? (Cash settlement, claim through his insurance or take this to court)

Thanks in advance
 

Adam1user

Well-Known Member
5 January 2018
569
32
2,219
Two things you can do:

1- Depending on your insurance company: all you have to do is provide the Rego Number and that is it, the insurance company will be able to obtain the info, it will add time to your process.

I had a situation like this where someone hit me and he was a real d*@khead, so I did not talk to him at all, all I did was take a picture of the vehicle and he was standing next to it. This was all I needed as proof and now he is fighting the insurance company in court. It is his fault and no way he can win because he is a d*@khead.

2- For the police, open an accident report and the police will have to investigate and then provide the info, maybe not to you directly but to the insurance company.

I hope this helps.
 

WOO

Member
29 March 2018
4
0
1
Two things you can do:

1- Depending on your insurance company: all you have to do is provide the Rego Number and that is it, the insurance company will be able to obtain the info, it will add time to your process.

Hi, thanks a lot for the advice. Really appreciate it. I should have made myself clear. Apology. My car is only insured for CTP greenslip so it will have to be myself of a lawyer? to ask him to compensate for the damage.

I had a situation like this where someone hit me and he was a real d*@khead, so I did not talk to him at all, all I did was take a picture of the vehicle and he was standing next to it. This was all I needed as proof and now he is fighting the insurance company in court. It is his fault and no way he can win because he is a d*@khead.

Actually this guy approached me while everyone was waiting for police and asked me if I want to settle with some cash. According to the police they were having a trouble calling him. Last time when I talked to the cst who was in charge of the incident said the driver was charged or got fined for his wrong doing.
I believe the driver at fault was driving unlicensed because I can't see his License No in the information provided by police. Therefore it is likely that he is not insured too. Police only gave me the name and contact number of the person but the cst is not encouraging me to contact any party directly. I think he does not know that I have no insurance to act on my behalf. I asked the cst if he is fine if I contact the driver so I can send a letter of demand to his address. I did not hear anything so far and I don't think I will get a reply. He has done his part,

So the options now are ... I can contact the driver directly and ask his address for letter of demand. Wait until I get the response within the time frame. OR contact a lawyer who is specialising in this kind of situation and seek for advice. I know he is liable for the damage he caused 100%. Any advice on this? Many thanks
.
 

Adam1user

Well-Known Member
5 January 2018
569
32
2,219

Best way to go is get yourself a lawyer to ensure you go through the proper process, as I don't know the process, maybe contacting the other individual directly maybe against some type of a law, so to be on a safe side contact a lawyer,
other idea, before contacting and engaging a lawyer, is to make sure all contact is through the police, so therefore you don't break any law, what I mean ask the cst to contact the person and to ask that person if interested in resolving the issue directly, this is the only thing that comes to my mind.

Other sound advice, always have comprehensive insurance for all vehicles, costly but worth it when needed.

Good luck,
 

WOO

Member
29 March 2018
4
0
1
Best way to go is get yourself a lawyer to ensure you go through the proper process, as I don't know the process, maybe contacting the other individual directly maybe against some type of a law, so to be on a safe side contact a lawyer,
other idea, before contacting and engaging a lawyer, is to make sure all contact is through the police, so therefore you don't break any law, what I mean ask the cst to contact the person and to ask that person if interested in resolving the issue directly, this is the only thing that comes to my mind.

Other sound advice, always have comprehensive insurance for all vehicles, costly but worth it when needed.

Good luck,

Hi, adam1user. Thanks a lot for extremely helpful advice. I agree with you that there must be a reason why the cst did not want me to directly contact the other party.
By the sound of the cst I gathered that he did not want to deal with it and even giving me the info was an huge favor but nothing wrong with just asking ^^.

Yeah a big lesson learnt. I bought an comprehensive policy after the incident. Good to know that there are still a couple of options out there.
I will post any update and thx again!

Cheers
 

WOO

Member
29 March 2018
4
0
1
Hi all. It has been a few months and there has been some progress so I thought I would update and possibly get an opinion again.

I managed to find the driver's (who hit my car from back) email and address purely doing google search. I emailed him a letter of demand, quotation to repair from a repairer and pics. His response was that I am chasing the wrong guy. I should instead chase the 5th driver as per rule.

So basically his version of the incident is that the 5th driver is the one who is responsible. I started to doubt my version of the event even though I was sure from all the info that he is the driver at fault. I managed to stop my car but from my recollection he wasn't. Also since he was driving without license gave me the doubt about his credit ability.

I think at this stage I should apply for the incident report which cost about $90 to get the police ver of the accident and that will clarify who will be at fault. Also since this is taking way too long I am considering to approach a lawyer only if their fees are charged to the drivers at fault.

Just wondering if any people know how this works.

Cheers
 

Adam1user

Well-Known Member
5 January 2018
569
32
2,219
Hi all. It has been a few months and there has been some progress so I thought I would update and possibly get an opinion again.
I managed to find the driver's (who hit my car from back) email and address purely doing google search. I emailed him a letter of demand, quotation to repair from a repairer and pics. His response was that I am chasing the wrong guy. I should instead chase the 5th driver as per rule. So basically his version of the incident is that the 5th driver is the one who is responsible. I started to doubt my version of the event even though I was sure from all the info that he is the driver at fault. I managed to stop my car but from my recollection he wasn't. Also since he was driving without license gave me the doubt about his credit ability.

I think at this stage I should apply for the incident report which cost about $90 to get the police ver of the accident and that will clarify who will be at fault.
Also since this is taking way too long I am considering to approach a lawyer only if their fees are charged to the drivers at fault.
Just wondering if any people know how this works.

Cheers

You can go after the person who was behind you directly and hit you, you can not go after the person whose second car behind you, the person behind you can go after him as that the second car behind you hit the person behind you and not you. Although the second car behind you was the cause of the accident. This is my understanding, I am sure there are people in the insurance field who will correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Zerojay

Well-Known Member
12 March 2017
90
12
319
Hi Woo,

It is not uncommon to be unsure who is at fault for your damage with this type of accident, as it can be difficult to know what happened behind you. Your focus would have been on avoiding impact with the car in front. If the fifth car pushed the fourth car into your rear then the fifth driver is liable for your damage. If however the fourth car hit you prior to being hit by the fifth car, then the fourth driver is liable.

You are not sure but the driver of the fourth car has stated it was the fifth car that pushed him into you. Therefore he will be trying to recover his repair costs from driver 5. Suggest you ask him for driver 5’s contact details or insurance details so that you can pursue him also. This may save you a considerable amount of time.

Please understand that in respect to insurance matters, the Ombudsman’s role is to deal with disputes between policyholders and their insurers. There is only limited assistance for uninsured persons, such as if the fifth driver is insured and his insurer disputes liability for your damage. The Ombudsman does not act on your behalf but can consider both sides of the dispute and make a judgement that is binding on the insurance company but not binding on you.

I do not give legal advice, just my opinion based on working for an insurance company for over 20 years.