Recovering costs without using insurance - Car crashes

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In some limited situations, it may be appropriate to try and recover the repair costs directly from the other driver (or their insurer), without making a claim on your insurance policy. If you think you are partly at fault, it may be possible to negotiate the amount each driver has to pay.

It is still important to let your insurer know that you have been involved in a crash as soon as possible after the accident. 

If you don't tell your insurer about the crash and try to take action against the other driver yourself, you may find it hard to make a claim on your policy if you change your mind and want your insurer to take over. If you have interfered or made it harder for your insurer to take action against the other driver, your insurer may reduce or reject your claim.

Seek legal advice if you wish to demand payment without using your insurer.

Sending a letter of demand

You can try to recover the cost of repairs from the other driver for the damage to your car. To do this, send the driver (or their insurance company) a letter of demand asking them to pay for the cost of your repairs, towing and car storage. 

You should get legal advice about who is at fault before finalising the total amount of your claim and sending a letter of demand.

Reaching an agreement

It is best to try and reach an agreement without going to court.

If you reach an agreement with the other driver, you may be asked to sign a settlement agreement. This document releases the other driver from further responsibility in relation to the property damage. You should get legal advice before signing a settlement agreement.

If the other driver refuses:

  • to pay, or
  • to make arrangements to pay,

you may need to start a claim in the Magistrates Court.

Always get legal advice before starting court proceedings.


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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.