If you were in an accident that the owner of the other car thinks was your fault, they might take steps to recover the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicle and other losses, such as hire car costs. You might receive a letter of demand or a court form asking you to pay them money.
If this happens you will need to work out:
When we talk about who is 'at fault', we are trying to work out who caused the car accident. Any driver who fails to take reasonable care when driving their vehicle may have contributed to the accident in some way. You need to think about whether you are at fault, another driver is at fault, or whether you are both partly at fault. For more information, see
The person who says that you were at fault may have suffered the following losses as a result of the car accident:
They can only recover losses that were suffered because of the accident, and their claim must be 'reasonable'. For more information, see
What can be claimed?
You might have received a letter of demand or a court form asking you to pay the cost of repairing or replacing their vehicle and other losses, such as hire car costs. The process for responding to their claim is much the same as the debt recovery process which is explained in the
Debt - small claims section of LawAssist.
LawAssist can help if:
For more information, see
Is someone chasing you for money? in the 'Debt - small claims' section of this website.
Keep an eye out for instructions and sample court forms for car accident matters.
Before you decide if you want to defend a court case, you should consider the strength of your defence by getting
legal advice. If you lose the court case you may have to pay the filing and service fees and other costs in addition to the amount you owe. If the plaintiff has a solicitor or barrister appearing for them, you may also have to pay some of their legal costs. For more information, see
If someone is chasing you for more than $10 000 for damage to their car or property, you should get
If you have received a Statement of Claim but you believe that the other party (or another driver) was at fault in the car accident and caused damage to your vehicle, you may be able to file a Cross Claim. If you are in this situation you should get
legal advice because these claims can be complicated. For more information, see
Cross Claims in the 'Debt - small claims' section of this website.