​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Should you go to court?

A judgment from a court can help you get the money you have claimed, but going to court will cost you time and money. 

Before you start a court case, here are some things to think about when you are deciding if it is worth it.

    Can you find the other party? 

    To make a claim in the Local Court you have to serve a copy of the court documents on the other party and the court must have an address so that it can send letters and documents to them. You cannot start a case unless you know the correct address for the other party. If you don't serve documents on the correct address you may have trouble running a case against them. 

    For more information, see Identify the other party

    Are you within the time limit for starting a case?

    The time limit for starting a case in court for property damage resulting from a car accident is six years from the date of the accident.

    AlertIf the time limit has passed, you will need to ask the court for permission to start a case out of time. You should get legal advice first.  

    Does the debt have a connection with NSW? 

    To start a case in a NSW court, your claim must have some connection with NSW. For example, the car accident occurred in NSW.

    If you are not sure whether you can file your claim in NSW, you should get legal advice

    Do you have evidence to prove your claim? 

    To win a court case, you need to have evidence to support your claim. Evidence to support a claim resulting from a car accident could include:

    • ​​​your statement about the accident
    • photos
    • a sketch of the accident scene
    • the police incident report
    • witness statements
    • quotes for the cost of repairs to your car
    • invoices and receipts for other losses, such as hire car costs and towing fees.

    You should consider the strength of your claim before going to court, and get legal advice​.

    Do you need a lawyer? 

    You can have a lawyer if you want one, but you may not need one. The Small Claims Division of the Local Court was set up to help people run their case without a lawyer. You will usually have to pay for a lawyer if you use one, and even if you win you may only get some of your legal costs back. 

    Do you have time to go to court? 

    Going to court can take up a lot of your time. If the other party disputes your claim, you will usually need to go to court twice and possibly more often. You may also have to spend time doing research, serving court papers, gathering evidence, and writing statements. 

    Can you afford it? 

    If you decide to start a case in the Local Court, you will have to pay filing and service fees. 

    You may also need to pay:

    • ​​​​costs of enforcing judgment, if you win
    • professional (lawyer's) costs, if you lose.

    You can claim some of these costs from the other party. But even if you win, there is no guarantee that you will get all your money or your costs back.

    Will you get your money if you win?

    Getting the money you have claimed will depend on whether the other party has any savings, income or property that can be used to pay you. 

    Even if you win your case, unless the other party actually has money or assets that can be used to pay the debt, you may never recover the money.