In a perfect world, there would be no road traffic accidents but life is far from perfect. Maybe there would be no cars either but that’s another story.

What follows applies to the State of Victoria and includes the following topics for information and guidance about road accidents.

  1. Accident rates and trends in Victoria
  2. Most common accident types
  3. State of Victoria accident risk analysis
  4. What to do if involved in an accident
  5. Getting Help
  6. What the Victoria Police will do
  7. Going to court for a traffic offence
  8. Safe driving guidance
  9. Types of car insurance
  10. Maintenance and repairs

You will find numerous references to statistical and research reports that provide more detailed information.

In our years of serving the communities of Geelong and Melbourne, our personal injury lawyers have assisted in filing claims for car accidents across the metropolitan area. Our experience has given us a deep understanding of how and why road accidents happen, and we want to share our knowledge with you.

If you’d like to know more about our mobile legal services and how they differ from the standard ‘no win no pay’ model, or want to retain the services of our solicitors for a car accident claim, please get in touch. Send us a message via our website or call firm principal Jonathan King on 0416 415 117.

Accident rates and trends in the State of Victoria

The latest official reports from the Traffic Accident Commission of Victoria (TAC) on road fatalities give the following data for the periods of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

Victoria – 265 falling to 252

Melbourne – 129 falling to 108

Rural Victoria – 147 falling to 143

The TAC report breaks down the fatalities into the following groups:

Driver, Bicyclist, Motorcyclist, Passenger, Pedestrian, and Age group.

A more optimistic trend is that the Victorian road toll has more than halved since 1989.

Let us all hope the Road Safety Campaigns we now see accelerate this trend.

The most common accident types in Victoria

An AAMI media release rates the most common accident types in Victoria.

  • Nose to tail accidents 29.4%
  • Parked car dings 21.8%
  • Failure to give way 20.9%
  • Collision with a stationary object 12.9%
  • Collision while reversing 11.2%

State of Victoria road accident risk analysis

A Monash University report outlines the risk scenario Victorian drivers face in considerable detail. The report provides analytical data and risk scenarios in the following categories.

  • Crash Risks and Exposure
  • Driver Crash Risks in Melbourne
  • Driver Crash Risks for Provincial Town of Victoria
  • Driver Crash Risks for Rural Highways in Victoria
  • Accuracy and Bias of Driver Age

H2 What to do and not do if involved in a car accident

With u-Law as you legal advisor about personal injury and road traffic accidents, we urge you to take notice of the following legal requirements. Fail to follow them and the Police may charge you with a criminal offence.

If involved in a car accident:

  1. You must stop and provide assistance. It is a serious offence to leave an accident scene without doing so.
  2. Exchange personal details with the other driver, or the owner of any property damaged.
  3. Report the accident to Police at the earliest possible time. This is particularly important if somebody is injured but you must also report any property damage that may have occurred.
  4. Report to Police immediately if the other driver does not stop or refuses to provide personal details.
  5. Write down the time, date, and location where the accident happened.
  6. Collect the name and address of any witness who observed what happened.
  7. Make a note of the speed you were driving.
  8. Notify your Insurance Company as soon as possible.

Take note that if you are the driver in an accident in which someone is killed or injured, and you do not stop and give assistance, you may face the following consequences.

  • A fine in excess of $140,000
  • Imprisonment for up to 10 years.
  • Loss of driver’s license for at least two years.

If the accident was your fault:

The other driver’s Insurance Company will take action to recover costs for damage from you if you do not have a comprehensive insurance policy,  .

The other party is entitled to sue you for damage If they do not have insurance,

If the accident was not your fault:

You can sue the other driver. We advise you to consult U-Law before taking such action.

You can also contact the Dispute Settlement Centre, a Victorian Government institution, who can bring the two parties together for the sake of reaching an agreement.

Getting Help

You can contact the Victoria Legal Aid, a Victorian Government facility, who has 14 offices in Victoria. They provide:

  • Free legal aid
  • They process grants for legal assistance

You can call them on 1300 792 387 for help. Their opening hours are 8.45-5.15 weekdays. Their website has online information about topics like:

  • Traffic offences
  • Police powers and your rights

What Victoria Police will do when responding to car accidents

With car accidents, their responsibility is limited to upholding applicable road laws.

They can issue a fine if any road law was broken, or charge you with an offence.

On a more positive note, the Victoria Police offers assistance to individuals or organisations who wants information about car accidents in Victoria that were reported to them.

If no person was injured and the parties have exchanged personal details, they have no reason to file a report with their Accident Records Office as their involvement in settlement negotiations is not required.

However, if any person was injured, or damage to property occurred, people or their legal representatives can request a collision report.

Going to court for a traffic offence that causes a road accident

Consult U-Law before facing the prospect of having to face a court initiated criminal offence.

You can also find relevant information at the Legal Aid website “Going to court for traffic offences”.

Safe driving guidance

Car accident can occur for many reasons. The primary requirement is to drive safely, especially in inclement weather conditions. Regrettably, too many drivers carry the conviction they are invincible and they cause car accidents.

To play your part in road safety, consult the following sources.

RACV. Their website offers information on essential driver awareness topics like:

  • Road rules
  • Car safety
  • Child restraints
  • Safe driving tips

The Victorian State Government site Road Safety offers information about road safety, including:

  • Road safety campaign information
  • Road closures and traffic alerts
  • Road toll statistics

Types of car insurance

Your best protection against the consequences of a car accident is an Insurance Policy. There are three types of insurance available.

Comprehensive insurance, This is the best protection and covers damage to your car, damage to other cars and property involved in an accident, plus fire and theft.

Third party property insurance.  This insurance covers you for damages to other parties, cars, or property. It does not cover damages to your own car. Consult the insurance company and take notice of their “fine print” as to exclusions.

You should know the conditions which may cause your insurance cover to cancel your policy, or reject a compensation claim. Their main reason for refusing a compensation claim is evidence you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident.

Insurance applications can also be declined for the following reasons:

  • Your car has been modified
  • Your accident history and prior driving offences
  • Personal disabilities

Maintenance and repairs as a consequence of a car accident

A car accident will most likely involve repairs to your car. Your can only claim compensation for such expenses if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. Third-party insurance does not cover the cost of repairs to your own car.

The Consumer Affairs Victoria website offers guidance on how to approach and arrange necessary car repairs. Topics include:

  • Getting your car serviced
  • Finding a mechanic
  • Communicating with our mechanic
  • Get an estimate of cost
  • Using second-hand parts
  • Paying for services and repairs
  • Smash repairs
  • If you are not happy with a repair

Summary

The information provided on this page should give you an overview of car accidents, the consequences of being involved in a car accident, and the best options for protecting yourself and your family.

At u-Law, we do not offer guidance on how to arrange your life. What we’re proud to do as one of Melbourne’s leading mobile law firms is simplify and streamline the process of making an injury claim after suffering a road accident. Our team of solicitors is ready to guide and represent you on how to best handle the consequence of being involved in a collision.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can assist in filing compensation claims, contact us today on 0416 415 117.