What information should be exchanged in a car accident?

If you are involved in a car or road accident, the information you exchange at the scene could impact your ability to make an insurance claim or even an injury compensation claim.

It's good to be prepared and seek to exchange key information with other parties to ensure a smooth process after the accident.

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Vital details to exchange

When possible, exchange the following details with any other drivers involved in the accident and any passengers injured in the accident.

  • Name - if possible, ask to see driver's licence and write down full legal names
  • Address - again, ask to see driver's licence and check the back for change of address sticker
  • Vehicle details - registration, make, model, colour etc
  • Confirm time and place of accident with other parties

You should also gather useful information to make the insurance claim process easier for all parties. This information can include:

  • Drivers licence number
  • Drivers phone number
  • Name, address and phone number of the registered owner of the vehicle (if different to the driver). It could be owners by drivers partner, friend, employer and so on.
  • Insurance details for other drivers - if possible clarify if they have insurance and if so, seek to obtain insurance company name and policy number.

Tip: Check and screenshot your location using the maps app on your phone. The example below shows how to save location and get pinpoint longitude / latitude numbers for your location in Google Maps.

  1. Tap current location / accident location.
  2. Tap the dropped pin.
  3. Save location for future reference.
  4. See longitude / latitude for location.

If you forgot to do this but took photos at the scene, the info sections of your smartphone photos shown have time and location stamp (if location services turned on).

Real World Example - Insufficient Information Exchanged:

Dave was parked in a Gold Coast shopping centre. After he started reversing to pull out, the car in the opposite row started to do the same. Dave braked and honked his horn but the other car failed to react and crashed into his car. The driver of the other vehicle got out and the following happened at the scene.

  • The other driver verbally apologised and admitted that she was on the phone and wasn't paying attention. Fault was admitted.
  • Dave asked for her name and number which she provided. Dave exchanged her details with her.
  • Dave took photos of both cars including damage and number plates.

Following the accident, Dave attempted to lodge an insurance claim through his comprehensive insurance and ran into problems.

  • Insurer requested address for the other party which Dave did not have
  • Vehicle was not registered to anyone in name the other driver had provided
  • Dave called the phone number provided by other party and calls were not answered. Finally got through and the lady denied she was at that shopping centre or had been involved in any accident.

The claim was settled in the end with the insurer but would have been much easier if more information had been gathered at the time.

Next steps - get advice now

It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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Last update on:
May 29, 2018
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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