Property Damage

Note this page was last reviewed in 2008 and may not be current. Please send us a Lawmail if you need specific information or advice -

If your property is damaged…

If your property has been damaged in an accident and you have comprehensive insurance, you can either:

  • make a claim on your insurance policy (For more information, contact your insurance company);
  • demand payment from the other driver involved in the accident by sending them a letter of demand (Get Legal advice first), or
  • pay for the repairs yourself.

If you do not have comprehensive insurance, then your only options are to demand payment from the other driver or pay for the repairs yourself.

If you decide to demand payment from the other driver and they refuse to pay, you may have to sue them for compensation (or “damages”). In order to this, you will have to prove that they were “negligent” - in other words, that the accident was their fault.

In some cases it may be difficult to say who was responsible for causing the injury or damage, as there was some degree of fault by both parties. The Court might decide that although one person was mostly responsible, the other person “contributed” in some way. In such a situation, the Court might order the person who was mostly responsible to pay damages to the person who was less responsible, but reduce the amount of damages that person has to pay by the amount the other person is seen to have “contributed”.

If you are thinking of suing somebody, you should get Legal advice .

If someone else’s property is damaged…

They can:

  • make a claim on their insurance policy (if they have comprehensive insurance);
  • pay for the repairs themselves, or
  • demand payment from you by sending you a letter of demand.

If you receive a letter of demand, don’t ignore it! You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible (if you have any insurance other than compulsory third party insurance) and get Legal advice .


Click here to read a true story about a young person who gets sent a letter of demand: Petra's prang

See also: Suing or being sued

For additional information, see:
Road rules

Last updated in 2008 

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