What to Do if Someone Refuses to Give Insurance Details After an Accident?


If you are the victim of a car accident, the logical next step after everyone is safe and out of harm’s way is to exchange details. You’ll need these details for insurance claims. But what if the other person or people involved are refusing to give you said information?

In Queensland, drivers are required to give you their details – but there may be occasions where the other person still refuses to provide details or even flees the scene. It’s helpful to know the correct course of action for when this occurs. 

Here's your comprehensive guide on handling a situation where someone refuses to provide insurance details after a car accident in Queensland.

What to Do at the Scene of the Accident

If someone refuses to share their insurance after an accident, follow these steps to make sure you are staying safe and complying with the law. 

  1. Stay Calm and Safe. Avoid confrontations. Prioritize your safety first and the safety of anyone injured. Move your vehicle out of traffic if safe to do so.
  2. Call the Police. Even for minor accidents, it's best to involve the police – especially if any party appears difficult. The police can:
  • Take statements
  • Record relevant details
  • Compel people at the scene to provide information
  1. Gather as Much Information as Possible. If the other driver absolutely won't give insurance details, collect as many of these as you can:
  • Driver's name, address, and license number
  • Vehicle registration, make, model, and colour
  • Contact details of passengers or witnesses
  • Photos of the scene, vehicle damage, and license plates
  1. Note their Behavior. Keep a record if they are being uncooperative, obstructive, or seem intoxicated. These observations can be valuable later.

After the Accident: Step-by-Step

If you have progressed from the scene of the accident and the other driver is still refusing to provide you with their details, it’s time to take matters a step further. 

  1. Contact Your Insurer. Notify your insurer of the incident immediately, regardless of fault. This is required in your policy's terms.
  • With Comprehensive Insurance: If you have comprehensive insurance, this often simplifies things. You provide all the details gathered and let your insurer handle the process of recovering your costs.
  • Without Comprehensive Insurance: The steps below become even more crucial in getting yourself compensated.
  1. Police Report. Obtain a copy of the police report from the attending officers. This will be a valuable source of information.
  2. Letter of Demand. Consider having a lawyer draft and send a formal Letter of Demand to the at-fault driver. It includes:
  • Details of the accident
  • Damages incurred
  • Clear deadline to reply and pay
  1. QCAT Claim. If the Letter of Demand goes unanswered or payment is refused, your next step (for damage costs less than $25,000) may be to lodge a claim through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). A lawyer can help you file necessary paperwork and guide you through this court process, potentially increasing your chances of success.

Dealing with Difficult Situations

It’s never pleasant dealing with someone who doesn’t want to cooperate. You may want to take certain precautions to make the process easier. 

Even if someone gives their name and phone number, ensure you note their registration plates to aid in tracing them later if they 'disappear'. The police should be able to provide a full driver ID from this.

Also note that damage from an accident doesn't always visibly appear until later. Exchange details regardless so that any issues uncovered have a track record.

Additional Resources

It's always a good idea to speak with a lawyer after an accident, especially if there are injuries involved. Having experienced legal support can protect your rights and ensure your claim starts off strong.

Last updated:
April 4, 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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