I am not insured and not at fault
If you being chased for money and you are not insured, but you believe are not at fault or only partly at fault you will need to make a demand to the at fault driver or owner of the other car.
Your first step is to work out how much damage you have suffered by the collision. This means gathering evidence and quotes for repair or if your car cannot be repaired its market value.
Generally in car accidents, the other party is entitled to recover damages caused by the at-fault’s party’s negligence.
The damage in a motor vehicle repair claim is usually made up as follows:
- Repair cost of the damage caused or the market value of the vehicle, whichever the lesser
- PLUS towing costs
- PLUS hire car costs, lost wages or profits (called “demurrage”)
- LESS salvage value (if market value of the car is claimed)
The costs you can recover are limited to what is ‘reasonable’ given the circumstances (such as the age / make / model / condition of the car, and the availability of car repairers in the area).
You have an obligation to mitigate or minimise your losses. So you should not spend a lot of unnecessary money on repairs or on a hire car hoping you will get it all back from the other driver.
It is generally advisable to get more than one quote.
Generally you need to incur the loss (pay for the repairs to your car) before the insurer will pay.
The next steps are to:
- send a letter of demand, which outlines your damages and the date in which you want the money paid by; and then
- if the demand is not paid by the demand date commence a claim in Court.
- make a claim in the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) if (and only if):
- You are not at fault (The other drivers caused the accident)
- The damage is less than $15,000 (or you are willing to accept $15,000 as your maximum loss)
- The other driver is insured (and claims on their insurance)
If you do not meet the requirements for AFCA, you are limited to Options 1 and 2, that is send a letter of demand and commence a claim in court (if the demand is not paid).
If the other driver’s insurer is contacting you demanding payment, this means they think you are at fault for the damages and fault is disputed. You need to read about fault disputes. Click on the “I have a dispute about fault” button below
The following links are only relevant if the other driver, or their insurer, is not agreeing to pay you the amount you believe they owe you.