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Goran Tepshic

Getting Legal Help After Traffic Accident in Australia

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by , 03-23-2012 at 08:14 AM (7673 Views)
If you get into a car accident in Australia, you need to take steps to protect yourself from being sued; you may also want to sue the other party for your injuries. Your first step is to talk to your [B]car insurance[/B] company; if you cannot get satisfaction from your car insurance or there's a dispute about whether you are at fault for the accident, you should talk to a lawyer about suing for compensation for your damages. Read on to learn exactly what to do to get legal help after a car accident.


[B]Step 1:[/B] Report the accident to the police. Under Australian law, you have to file a police report if there is more than approximately $2,500 in damages or anyone was injured in the accident. However, you should file a police report regardless of whether you're required to. It's sometimes difficult to assess damage or injuries at the scene of the accident, and you want the police to have your version of events in case the other party makes a claim against you that you disagree with.

[HR][/HR][B]Step 2:[/B] Exchange insurance information with the other party to the accident if at all possible. At the very least, write down the other party's registration number. You should try to get his or her name and insurance policy number as well. If you are unable to get the driver's name, you will have to get it from the nearest Transport Customer Service Centre.

Contact your [URL=""]car donation company[/URL] to get a letter stating that you were involved in an accident with the owner of the other vehicle. Bring this letter and a copy of the police report to the Transport Customer Service Centre along with the vehicle owner's registration number. The Customer Service Centre can find the owner's name for you based on the registration number if you bring all of this documentation.

[HR][/HR][B]Step 3:[/B] Take your vehicle to two different repair shops to get quotes for repair of damages. If your car is not repairable, get quotes from two different salvage yards. Use this information to prepare a letter of demand to send to the other driver and his or her car insurance company.

[HR][/HR][B]Step 4:[/B] Write the letter of demand. The letter of demand lists the estimated cost of repairs or sale to the salvage yard plus costs of towing. If you are selling the car to a junk yard because it is not repairable, list the car's pre-accident value plus costs of towing. Inform the driver and his or her insurance company that they have 14 days to pay for damages.

[HR][/HR][B]Step 5:[/B] Contact an attorney if you receive a letter of demand from the other party's insurer or if the other party and his or her insurer refuse to pay the price you demand within 14 days of receiving your letter. Discuss whether it is worth it to pursue a legal case against the owner of the other vehicle. Your attorney will go over the facts of the accident with you to help you determine whether the other party was at fault for the accident. You can only sue for compensation if he or she was at fault. This is equally important if you get a demand letter, because you do not have to pay if you were not at fault for the accident.

[HR][/HR][B]Step 6:[/B] Sue the other driver in the civil courts. You and your attorney will have to demonstrate that the other driver was at fault for the accident as well as show that you have injuries and property damage. If you win your court case, the other driver will have to compensate you for your injuries and property damage. If you were the one who received the letter of demand, your attorney must prove that you are not at fault for the accident so that you don't have to pay compensation to the other party.

[HR][/HR][B]Step 7:[/B] Contact a financial ombudsman service representative if you have a dispute with your car insurance company or the other driver's car insurance company rather than your own insurance company. The financial ombudsman service representative can help negotiate an agreement. If you can't come to an agreement, you still have the option of filing a lawsuit as long as you do it within six years of the accident date.
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Updated 03-23-2012 at 11:19 AM by Goran Tepshic

Criminal Law , DUI/DWI