Step 1. I have received a letter of demand and an itemised invoice/quote
If you have now received a letter of demand and an itemised invoice/quote, there are a number of steps you should take. Check the itemised invoice/quote Have a look at the itemised invoice/quote and check if:
- you caused the damage
- the repair method is reasonable given the age, make and model of the car; and
- the repair costs are reasonable.
- write “without prejudice” at the top of your letter;
- explain why you think the amount claimed is too high or wrong;
- make an offer of compromise in full and final settlement offer of a reduced amount; and
- attach any evidence to support your case.
- Sample Letters Disputing Amount Claimed on our website
- Put it in writing on the LawAccess NSW website
- Sample terms of settlement on the LawAccess NSW website.
If you can’t agree on a settlement, the other party (or their insurer) can start court action. Note: Legal costs and Court costs maybe added onto the amount claimed. Note: You can defend the claim by filing a Defence within 28 days. A defence confirms that you deny some or all of the claim and the reasons why. Before filing a defence, you should get legal advice. The Court will decide the damages based on the evidence. The Court may also make order that one party pay the other party’s costs, for example, the Court may order the losing party pay the reasonable legal costs of the winning party. If you are arguing that the amount claimed is too much, you must be prepared to pay, or start paying, the amount you know you owe. To respond to a claim following a car accident see:
- Responding to a Statement of Claim on the LawAccess NSW website.
- If you are insured (comprehensive or third party property insurance), you should consider lodging a claim with your insurer immediately. If you can’t afford to pay your excess, select the option “I can’t afford my excess” below.
- If you can’t claim on your insurance, you should speak to a Financial Counsellor. To speak to a free Financial Counsellor, call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007. You may be able to negotiate a reduced amount, payment plan or a release from the liability under the General Insurance Code of Practice.
- Sample Letter to the other party’s insurer offering to pay an insurance debt on our website
- Sample letter to insurer requesting a release from debt on our website