Who pays what when you have an ac­ci­dent

Manawatu Guardian - - NEWS -

It’s im­por­tant to know what has to be done if you have a car ac­ci­dent and you do not have in­surance.

If you caused the ac­ci­dent you will need to pay for the re­pairs to the other car/s. If the other driver is in­sured, their in­surer is likely to pay for their re­pairs. The in­surer will then ask you to pay them back for the re­pair costs. When you re­ceive a bill from the in­surer:

• If you agree with it — pay the in­surer, not the other driver. If you can’t pay it, con­tact the in­surer to dis­cuss op­tions.

• If you don’t agree — ask the in­surer for copies of the pre-re­pair pho­tos, assess­ment and re­pair costs. You will need your own re­pair es­ti­mate, from a panel beater or me­chanic, to chal­lenge it.

If the other driver caused the ac­ci­dent they must pay to re­pair any dam­age to your car. If the other party won’t ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity, you can make a claim to the Dis­putes Tri­bunal to set­tle the dis­pute over who is li­able. If the other driver has in­surance, their in­surer may pay for the re­pairs to your car.

If you dis­agree with the in­surer’s assess­ment of the dam­age, the re­pair costs or the value of your car, you will need to get your own re­ports from a rel­e­vant ex­pert, like a panel beater, me­chanic or ve­hi­cle val­uer, to help you chal­lenge the in­surer.

All con­tact with the in­surer should be writ­ten [email or let­ter] to keep a record. If you re­main dis­sat­is­fied with their re­sponse to your for­mal chal­lenge you can take a dis­pute about the re­pair costs or the value of a car to the Dis­putes Tri­bunal pro­vid­ing the claim is for $15,000 or less.

If this is not the case you will need to seek le­gal ad­vice about ap­ply­ing to the

‘If you caused the ac­ci­dent you will need to pay for the re­pairs to the other car/s. If the other driver is in­sured, their in­surer is likely to pay for their re­pairs. The in­surer will then ask you to pay them back for ’ the re­pair costs.

District Court to de­cide the mat­ter.

For free and con­fi­den­tial ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion on this or any other mat­ter visit the Palmer­ston North Ci­ti­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau in Han­cock Com­mu­nity House, 77 King St. We are open Mon-Fri from 9 am-4.30 pm, 357-0647 or 0800 367 222. We have a free le­gal ad­vice ser­vice by qual­i­fied lawyers most Thurs­day evenings at 7.30 pm, and a JP is avail­able on Tues­days from noon — 2.30 p.m. No ap­point­ment is nec­es­sary for ei­ther of these ser­vices.

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