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Small claims - compensation for time & loss of use

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Seaway View Drop Down
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  Quote Seaway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Small claims - compensation for time & loss of use
    Posted: 18/March/2019 at 17:18
I've been managing a NSW local court small claims matter myself as I can't afford a solicitor. Briefly a person collided with my car and denied it despite dasham footage. Their insurance company has now also become involved.

I have been dealing with this matter for over a year and it has taken up a lot of my time to understand what I need to do and then act accordingly. Further my car has been off the road during the past year as I couldn't afford the cost of the repairs. By the same token I couldn't afford a hire car.

It turns out that one of the reasons why the insurance company has been fighting so hard is because the other driver filed a false insurance claim, and the insurance company relied on that information to fight my application. The insurance company it seems has now realised this and offered to pay the cost of repairs of $2000 in settlement, but nothing else such as court fees, interest, quotes, etc which amount to about $1,000. If I continue the matter and win at trial, I understand that I am likely to be awarded some or all of these additional costs.

If I do win, it seems however that I am unable to claim compensation for my not having the use of my car for 12 months, the fact that the defence has been based on a incorrect claim by the other driver, or for that matter my time in dealing with this matter (65 hours),

Is that correct?

If not would someone be able to point me towards the relevant part of legislation or case law?

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citizen-joe View Drop Down
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  Quote citizen-joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18/March/2019 at 18:08
The way to handle such a matter is to file a claim with your own insurance company, it is then up to them to negotiate with the other insurer.

Seaway View Drop Down
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  Quote Seaway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/March/2019 at 14:39
No comprehensive insurance otherwise I would have gone that way. What remains is that despite it appearing that a false claim has been submitted causing a prolonged court process there is no compensation for time and loss of use.

jaazzz View Drop Down
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  Quote jaazzz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20/March/2019 at 23:12
Originally posted by Seaway


If I do win, it seems however that I am unable to claim compensation for my not having the use of my car for 12 months, the fact that the defence has been based on a incorrect claim by the other driver, or for that matter my time in dealing with this matter (65 hours),

Is that correct?

Can't you accept the offer of $2,000 to repair from the insurer but continue your claim for other directly related costs from the driver? Certainly the other party would be required to pay court costs if you win.

As for compensation for not having your car, not sure,I assume it would be up to the magistrate of the day.



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Seaway View Drop Down
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  Quote Seaway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/March/2019 at 16:05
Thanks jaazzz that's a good suggestion.

Good news is that the other side has finally accepted liability. Bad news is that they still refuse to pay any other costs except direct car repairs. After doing the maths I've spent $2,100 on costs chasing the guy through court and renting a hire car occasionally.

More bad news. The court says that I should have declared those costs at the beginning even if they didn't exist at the time! Therefore because I didn't declare these unknown costs I'm not entitled to being reimbursed.

The good news is that I've been given a week to think up a sound reason why I should be re-imbursed.

The bad news is that the court says that if I don't succeed in convincing the magistrate then I will have to pay the legal costs of the other party.

The take away is that people in the wrong get lots of chances, but the the victims take all the risks and even when they succeed they still lose.



jaazzz View Drop Down
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  Quote jaazzz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/March/2019 at 16:51

Bad luck... I guess what he's saying is the respondent needs to be aware at the beginning of proceedings what amount is being sought.. That said, I don;t see the basis of why you should be required to pay ALL court costs if you fail to convince

The problem with taking people of limited means to court has always been that even if you win, you could be paid back over years & if they stop paying you need to take it back to court again..

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Seaway View Drop Down
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  Quote Seaway Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22/March/2019 at 17:12
Originally posted by jaazzz


That said, I don;t see the basis of why you should be required to pay ALL court costs if you fail to convince


Exactly. However even if the amount is based on the total of all costs only a portion of each amount is actually calculated. This is also why I couldn't afford my own lawyer. When I enquired a lawyer advised that even if I win then the other side would only need to pay about 20% of my legal fees. The lawyer I consulted initially quoted $5k to deal with my matter meaning I would only ever get $1,000 back.

The same for the other side. I would only have to pay about 20% of the legal fees of the other side. The thing is this matter has been going on for a year. The court has said they have never seen such a litigated small claim. I expect the other side (and with their team of lawyers) have far surpassed $5k in their legal fees. If their fees total $20k then I may be up for $4k.

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