Common questions - Car crashes

car crash self-help guide logoWhat if I don’t know the address of the other driver to send a letter of demand or to send court papers?

If the crash was reported to WA Police and the police formally investigated the crash, you can request a Record of Crash Incident from the police. This may include the names and addresses of drivers involved and car details if known to the police. A fee is payable for this record.

If you cannot serve court documents on the other driver personally, you may need to ask the court to let you serve them in different ways.

If I need to make a claim against a business or company how do I find out the correct name and address?

You can use the Australian Securities and Investments Commission website to find out valid names and address for businesses and companies.

What if I am not kept informed about my insurance claim?

Under the General Insurance Code of Conduct section 7, an insurer must decide to accept or reject your claim within 10 business days of receiving the claim. If the insurer needs more information or an assessment to decide your claim, the insurer must notify you within 10 business days of receiving the claim:

  • What further information is needed
  • If a loss assessor needs to be appointed
  • An estimate of the time needed to make a decision.

The insurer must also keep you informed about the progress of your claim at least every 20 business days.

So if no decision is made within time or you are not informed whether more information is required you can send the letter to the insurer (Stage One) requesting progress on the claim.   

If this does not work you can advise your insurer you wish to take your complaint to Stage Two – Internal review. You will receive a response in writing that includes the decision and reasons.

If you are not satisfied with the decision or if your complaint is not resolved within 45 days, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You do not have to pay to do this.

Should I pay the other driver’s insurance excess to settle the claim?

No, you won’t be settling the full claim. There may be no benefit for you in paying the excess. The insurer can still legally pursue you for the full cost of the claim.

Can I make a complaint about how my insurer has dealt with my claim?

If you have a complaint about how your insurance claim has been dealt with, you should first raise it with the insurer. Insurers should have an internal dispute resolution process in place. Read your policy papers carefully. They should include information on your rights, options, and how to lodge a complaint.

If the complaint cannot be resolved in this way, you should take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You do not have to pay to do this.

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.