Going to court - Car crashes

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If you cannot agree with the other driver about who pays for the property damage, either of you may send a letter of demand. If agreement is not reached court proceedings can be started in the Magistrates Court.

The person who starts a court case in the Magistrates Court is called the claimant. The person who the claim is against is called the defendant. The claimant has 6 years to start court action from the date of the crash.

A claim under $75,000 can be heard as a general procedure claim. If the amount being claimed is under $10,000, it can be heard as a minor case claim.

There are no guarantees that you will get what you are owed if you go to court. Sometimes you could also be ordered to pay the legal costs of the other party.  General procedure claim costs can be high., Minor case claim costs are usually limited to court, witness and service fees.

The video Thinking of going to court? highlights some of the potential problems with court action.

Do I need a lawyer?

You should get legal advice before starting a claim.

Generally, you are not allowed to be represented by a lawyer in minor case claims. However, the court can give permission in some situations if all parties agree. In a general procedure claim you will usually have to pay for your lawyer (if you use one) and you may only get some of your legal costs back if your claim is successful.

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The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.