Going to court - Car crashes

car crash self-help guide logoIf you cannot agree with the other driver about who pays for the property damage, you or they may send a letter of demand. If agreement is not reached either driver can start court proceedings in the Magistrates Court.

The person who starts court proceedings 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 what you are owed will be recovered if you go to court. If you are unsuccessful in some cases you could be ordered to pay the costs of the other party. 

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 this sort of minor case claim. The court can give permission in some situations. You will usually have to pay for a lawyer if you use one, and even if you win you may only get some of your costs back.

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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.