More often than not car accidents are resolved quickly and fairly by the people involved, normally with the assistance and management of the drivers’ insurance companies. But there might be an occasion where you have to take action to recover your car accident costs.
The easiest and cheapest way to trigger this process of recovering your costs is to send the at-fault driver or their insurer a letter of demand. A letter of demand is a clear and strongly worded request for payment. There is an example letter of demand at the bottom of this article to help you write your own.
The first step to writing a letter of demand is to work out the costs you wish to recover. These will no doubt include the cost to repair your vehicle to the condition it was in before the accident (or the wholesale value if the car is written off) and the towing fees you incurred. They might also include your medical expenses and/or the cost to repair damage to any other property destroyed as a result of the accident. When you’re gathering quotes for the repairs to your vehicle, ensure to get at least two or three independent estimates.
Once you have determined the quantum of your costs, you can go ahead and write the letter of demand. Note, it is important to include the phrase “Without Prejudice” on all correspondence with the other driver or their insurer so that any negotiations you have are exempt from being used against you if the matter were to go to Court.
Sample letter of demand
|31 January 2015
Mr Wendell Williams
14 Wemley Way
Wilston NSW 2158
Dear Mr Williams,
Accident that took place on 10 January 2015 at Wilston, NSW.
At approximately 11:25am on 10 January 2015 you and I were involved in a car accident at the intersection of Left Street and Right Way. I was driving a purple Toyota Camry, registration no. ABC123 and you were driving a green Toyota Landcruiser, registration no. DEF456.
I was turning left with a green light onto Left Street and you were driving south down Right Way. You drove through the red light on Right Way at the intersection and collided with the rear of my vehicle, causing damage to my right side, rear fender and boot.
As a result of this incident, I incurred towing costs and I am soon to incur repair costs. Enclosed with this letter are a receipt for my towing costs and three quotes for the repairs. The towing cost was $240 and the lowest quote for the repairs is for $2,800.
If you are insured, please pass on this letter to your insurance company and request that they contact me to begin the settlement process. If you are not insured, please make contact with me on 0412 345 678 to organise payment within 14 days of today’s date. If you do not do either of these things, I will pursue my legal options.