Practice > Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents

  • Claims for compensation arising out of motor vehicle accidents in South Australia must be filed within 3 years of the date of the injury. Seek legal advice.

  • If any person is injured in a motor vehicle accident in South Australia, the accident must be reported to the police. If there were other drivers involved in the accident they must report to the nearest police station within 90 minutes and submit to a test for alcohol or drugs.

  • Any motor vehicle accident involving injury or death to a person must be reported as soon as practicable to Allianz CTP.

  • There is a duty on drivers involved in an accident to remove debris from the scene (if they are able). Any person involved in an accident should ask the name, address, registration number and phone number of the other drivers.

  • If possible, take photographs of the damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle, as well as skid marks and positions of vehicles on the road.

  • Any person sustaining injury in any accident should consult with their GP as soon as possible after the accident, and report their symptoms.

  • Any potential claimants should seek legal advice as soon as they are aware that they may have a claim.



The driver of a motor vehicle must always immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident and provide their name, address, registration number, telephone number, and the name and address of the vehicle's owner to the other driver or their representative. Where more than $3,000 damage has occurred or a person was injured in the accident, the accident must be reported to the Police, or at least within 24 hours.

Where a person or persons are injured in the accident, the drivers of every vehicle involved in the accident must immediately stop at the scene of the accident and render all possible assistance to injured persons, and within 90 minutes provide particulars of the accident to a South Australian Police Officer and submit themselves to testing for alcohol and drugs.

In South Australia the provider of Compulsory Third Party Insurance is Allianz. Any motor-vehicle accident resulting in injury must be reported to Allianz as soon as practicable. Failure to do so can, subject to Section 124 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1959, lead to a fine or imprisonment.

Following an accident, drivers should also obtain the name address and telephone number of any witnesses that are present at the scene. They should not argue about, or admit fault with the other driver. They should make notes of the damage to the other vehicle and draw a plan or take photographs of the scene, including any skid marks that are visible.

Drivers are also under an obligation to remove debris from the road after an accident.

New laws effecting the entitlements of people injured in motor vehicle accidents came into effect on 1 July 2013. For accidents occurring after that date, claims for non-economic loss must attain an 'injury scale value' of 11 points or more on a scale of 0 to 100. Past economic loss is not subject to a threshold, but can only be awarded at the rate of 80% of the total loss. Compensation for Future Economic Loss can only be awarded where the injured person suffers an injury that rates 8 points or more on the ISV, and the award is assessed at 80% of the total. All claims for accidents occurring after 1 July 2013 continue to be based on the proof of negligence for the other driver in the accident. However, this is not the case for persons who suffer a 'catastrophic' injury. In these cases, the principles of negligence do not apply, and the person only need prove that he or she was injured in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who was at fault.

Pursuant to the Limitation of Action Act, an action for personal injury must be commenced in Court within 3 years of the date of the accident. It is essential for any party injured in an accident to seek legal advice immediately. It is possible, in certain circumstances, to bring action outside of the three year time limit.

The damages that can be awarded by a Court in South Australia include amounts for pain and suffering, loss of past and future income, interest, loss of Superannuation, paid services for nursing, home help and equipment, and past and future medical expenses. Any person who suffers losses in any one of these areas should immediately seek legal advice.

Claims for personal injury are usually handled separately from a claim for property damage for a vehicle, as a personal injury claim will often take much longer to resolve.

Many solicitors in South Australia specialise in handling personal injury litigation and have gained expertise in this area. They will often conduct this litigation on a "no win no fee" basis, meaning that claimants are only required to cover the cost of medical reports obtained during the course of the litigation.

Mclean Santoro Lawyers have many years experience in the conduct of personal injury litigation, and are able to conduct claims on a "no win no fee" basis.



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