If you do not have insurance or if you have decided not to use your insurance company it is important to seek legal advice about what to do.
Who pays for damage from a motor car accident?
Generally, the person who is at fault in the accident is liable to pay for all the damage. However, it is important to seek advice about who was at fault. In some cases the courts decide that both parties are partly at fault and should pay a certain amount each.
What if the police have charged the other driver - will they have to pay?
Even if the police have charged one of the drivers with a traffic offence, this does not always mean they should pay for the damage to the car.
How do I make a claim against the other driver?
If the other driver is at fault, you should send a letter of demand to either that person or their insurance company.
You can download the following examples of standard letters of demand to help you draft your own letter to send to the other party when making a claim when the other person is either insured or not insured.
Sample letter of demand - other party insured and sample letter to the other driver's insurance company
Sample letter of demand - other party uninsured
You should attach copies of quotes to the letter of demand. There are no rules about how many quotes you must obtain but you should get at least two.
What if the other driver refuses to pay?
It is best to try and reach an agreement without going to court if possible. Court proceedings are costly and time consuming. However, if the other party:
- refuses to pay or
- refuses to make arrangements to pay
you may need to apply for a court order. This is done through the Magistrates Court of WA if the damage is less than $75,000. If the amount of damage claimed is for $10,000 or less, the case can be started as a minor case in the Magistrates Court. Otherwise it can be started as a general procedure claim if it is for under $75,000.
You should always seek legal advice before starting court proceedings.
For more information go to Starting a general procedure claim for a claim over $10,000 and to Starting a minor case claim for a claim under $10,000.
Where can I get more information?
- Contact Legal Aid WA's InfoLine on 1300 650 579 for information and referral.
Last reviewed: 13/08/2014