How Long Do I Have to Report a Car Accident in Queensland?


Queensland laws set out the reporting requirements following a traffic accident. If you are involved in a car/traffic accident on a Queensland road, there are certain reporting requirements and timings to keep in mind.

All drivers involved in a crash on a road in Queensland must stop at the scene of the crash and give their required particulars (name & address of driver and owner of the vehicle and vehicle registration number) to any other driver involved in the crash, any person involved in the crash who is injured and the owner of any property damaged in the crash. It is a criminal offence to fail to do so under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, with a maximum penalty of $6,260 (20 penalty units). 

  • Injury Accidents: If the crash results in injury or death, it must also be reported to police, and the driver must provide their particulars to the police as soon as possible, but, except in exceptional circumstances, within 24 hours.  Failure to do so is a criminal offence under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, with a maximum penalty of $6,260 (20 penalty units). 

If you are injured and intend to make a personal injury claim, the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (Qld) requires that you must ensure appropriate notice of the accident has been given to a police officer. If particulars have not been given to police at the time of the accident, your lawyers can help you to fill out a Report of Traffic Incident to Police Form. 

  • Non-Injury Accidents: 
    • Although you are not legally compelled to report minor accidents with only property damage, here's why it's still worthwhile: If the other driver later makes a claim, even false, against you, having a police report of the incident strengthens your position.
    • Damage from an impact may show up later or worsen over time, and exchanging information and having a report helps with claims processes.

Does an Accident Have to Be Reported? (Even Minor Cases)

While Queensland law only mandates reporting accidents resulting in injury or death to the police, there are significant benefits to reporting less serious car accidents as well, including:

  • Accurate Incident Record: If disputes arise with another driver, the police report is an objective record of what occurred
  • Support for Insurance Claims: Insurers can rely on official documentation, reducing delays and simplifying the claims process

How to Report a Car Accident in Queensland

  1. Police Hotline: If you are involved in a serious accident resulting in injury or death you must notify police as soon as possible by calling 000. 

For non-emergencies, contact Policelink: 131 444. You may also choose to report the incident online, but not via online reporting if injury or death is involved.

  1. Information Needed
  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Details of any involved vehicles (make, model, registration numbers)
  • Names and contact information for all drivers and any passengers
  • Description of the accident and any visible damage
  • Names and contact details of witnesses, if applicable

Other Points

  • Exchange Details Regardless: As indicated above, it is mandatory to always swap essential driver information (contact details, license numbers and registration numbers) with any other parties involved, even if it was a minor accident.
  • Photograph the Scene: Evidence of the incident supports future claims and protects you from inaccurate recollections.

Important Links

 Time limits for lodging any potential compensation claim for personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident also apply and vary depending on the type of personal injury claim. 

Please note these are separate to, and different from the requirement to notify police. It is important to always seek personalised legal advice in the event you are injured in a motor vehicle accident.

Last updated:
April 24, 2024

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 help understanding your rights, please call 1800 960 482 or request a free case review to talk to one of our lawyers today.

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