Motor Vehicle Accidents

What to do in a hit & run accident

By LHD Lawyers

Accidents are stressful at the best of times. But when the other driver doesn’t stop and flees the scene of the incident, not only are they committing a crime, your future can feel uncomfortably uncertain. Will you be able to pay for your medical bills and loss of work if you don’t know the identity of the person who caused the accident? What are the hit and run laws in Australia, and what is the claims procedure if you are injured?

What is a hit and run accident?

A hit and run car accident is any accident between two vehicles or a vehicle and a pedestrian where the driver leaves the scene without exchanging details with the other people involved or without checking on the welfare of those people. It is an offense to fail to stop at the scene of an accident within the required time and convey your details to the other driver, pedestrian or the police. 

An array of actions are included in “failing to stop and give particulars”, which is against the law. This can include reversing into a wall on someone’s property and failing to provide your details to the owner, hitting someone’s car in a car park and not leaving your details or waiting for the owner to return, or one driver in an accident refusing to provide their details at the scene.

Hit and run accidents can be incredibly stressful, especially if you have been injured. Injuries sustained in hit and run accidents can range from mild cuts, scratches or whiplash, to severe; including head injuries and broken bones if you were a vulnerable pedestrian. Without the details of the other person involved in the accident, you may suffer severe stress and anxiety on top of your physical injuries.

What should you do if you’re a victim of a hit and run accident?

If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, you may need medical attention, on-going medical care, support while you are unable to work or financial support for stress and anxiety caused by the incident. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, the first step is to gather as much information as you can about the other driver, either from your own memory or other people present at the scene. This can include:

  • As detailed a description of the driver as possible and descriptions of any passengers
  • The number plate of the person who left the scene, and the number plates of witnesses
  • Photographs of the incident and the area in which it happened 
  • Any identifying features of the car that hit you including its model, make, colour and shape

If you are involved in a hit and run accident, call the police immediately and report all the details to them while they are fresh in your mind. It is important then to be assessed by a medical professional as soon as possible. Make sure you keep all records of treatment, take photos of your injuries and let your doctor know that you were in an accident in which the other driver fled the scene. 

Can I make a hit and run accident claim for compensation? What information do I need?

Even if the driver involved in your accident left the scene and is untraceable, you can still claim compensation from the Nominal Defendant. The Nominal Defendant is a Government insurer established under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 with the purpose of compensating those who have fallen victim to negligent driving or hit and run incidents. A claim for a CTP personal injury compensation can be made by anyone involved in an accident, even if they are partially at fault. When this is the case, the compensation may be reduced. 

In order to make a claim against the Nominal Defendant you will need evidence of the expenses you have incurred as a result of the accident. This can include things like:

  • Receipts for medical expenses and travel to and from appointments
  • Proof of income as well as proof of loss of income (such as a letter from your employer or proof from your accountant of lost work opportunities)
  • Evidence that you are no longer capable or temporarily incapable of working, such as medical certificates or leave forms from your employer

How much is the payout for a hit and run injury claim?

The payment received in every hit and run accident claim is different, depending on the circumstances. You may receive payment for a variety of factors, in a variety of ways including:

  • The cost of medical expenses (including treatment such as rehab, medication and surgeries) including potential future medical costs for on-going treatment
  • The cost of any economic loss you may have sustained including lost earnings
  • Lump sum payments for permanent, life-changing and ongoing injuries
  • Legal costs associated with the accident including lawyer fees
  • Pain and suffering including psychological stress
  • Close relatives of a deceased person can claim on their behalf, including for funeral expenses and death benefits if the person in the accident died as a result of their injuries. 

LHD Lawyers seek the maximum amount of compensation for each possible claim, so that you can get on with your life as it was before the car accident

Make a hit and run accident claim today

LHD Lawyers help everyday Australians receive the benefits they’re entitled to for hit and run accident claims. We are so confident in our abilities to win your case that we stand firmly by our No Win No Fee Policy: if we don’t win, you won’t pay. Call 1800 455 725 for a no-obligation consultation about your case.


Author: Paul Singh

Original Publish Date: February 23, 2022

Last Updated: March 20, 2024

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