Step 1. The other party is claiming too much money
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.
The other party (or their insurer) does NOT have to:
- 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. You can start by contacting LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529. Or you can email or call the Insurance Law Service on 1300 663 464. Please call if the matter is urgent as you only have 28 days to respond to a statement of claim.
- 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.