Step 1. The other party is claiming too much money
If you have made or wish to make a claim on your insurance, you must allow your insurer to conduct negotiations with the other party or their insurer on the question of fault. The information below is to help you if, because the amount claimed from you is less than your excess, you have decided not to claim, or are unable to claim, on your own insurance. General Information about damages In car accidents, the person at fault is legally responsible for the damages. What can be claimed If you are at fault, you must pay the other party (or the insurer) for:
- The lesser of:
- the cost of the repair; or
- the market value of the vehicle LESS salvage value
- PLUS towing costs
- PLUS hire car costs, lost wages or profits (called “demurrage”)
- age, make, and model of the car
- condition of the car
- availability of car repairers in the area.
- recover compensation for losses they should have avoided following the accident - they have an obligation to mitigate or minimise their losses, for example, they can't hire a car for ten weeks when the repairs should have been done in two weeks
- Charge an excessive amount for hire car costs. The hire car should be a make/model that is reasonably comparable to the one that was damaged and for a reasonable amount of time. If you are being chased by a car hire company, see our: What do I do if I receive a demand for hire car costs from a credit hire company? fact sheet.
- get more than one quote
- give you access to their car to do your own inspection or get your own quotes
- wait for you to approve repairs
- contact you within a certain time after the accident or keep you informed.
- claim all the damages in one go – they may try to recover the repair costs first and then later the hire car costs or other expenses. You should get advice if you receive multiple statements of claim for the same accident.
Note: In NSW, the other party (or their insurer) has six years to start a case in court. TIP: If the other party is trying to recover the costs for damage you believe didn’t happen in the accident, you should get as much evidence as you can to prove it, for example, you hit the car on the left side and they are claiming for damage on the right side. To dispute the amount claimed, see:
- Sample Letter to other party’s insurer disputing amount claimed on our website
- Sample request for more on the LawAccess NSW website.
- Responding to a Statement of Claim on the LawAccess NSW website.