A member asked over 7 years ago

Car accident

About 1 year ago a young man ran into my car which was parked outside my home. He was very very drunk but as he was crying I did not call the police. Instead I took his word for it that he would fix it that week. He didn't, despite endless reminders. He told me he had ordered the parts over 5 times before agreeing to pay if I fixed it. He has not. My question is, is there anything I can do now or have I left it too late? I was hoping maybe a letter from a lawyer suggesting he pay the $500 agreed on. Is this possible? Thank you in advance for any clarification you can provide.

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. In NSW, legal claims such as yours must be pursued within six years from the date on which your claim arose. This means that, based on the information provided, it is not too late for you to act. There are several steps you can take to try to recover the money owed to you.

You could send a ‘letter of demand’ setting out the terms of the original agreement, the amount owed, a demand for payment (including a due date and a payment method), and explaining what action you will take if the payment is not made. Although there are no strict formalities for this document, a letter drafted by a lawyer may increase your chances of resolving the dispute quickly and easily.

If a letter of demand is unsuccessful in resolving the matter, you could pursue mediation at a Community Justice Centre, operated by the NSW Department of Justice (www.cjc.justice.nsw.gov.au). This is a free service designed to resolve disputes between private persons through mediation. Importantly, both parties must consent to attending the mediation and any outcome is not legally binding (i.e. it cannot be enforced against either party). The benefit of mediation is that you avoid the costs and delays of going to court.

If mediation is not viable or successful, you can commence legal proceedings at a Local Court (www.localcourt.justice.nsw.gov.au). You will need to lodge a Statement of Claim setting out the debt owed and the grounds on which you are claiming this money. Court proceedings can involve some risks, such as fees, delays and an adverse outcome.

Suggested way forward

You have several options available to you to recover the money owed. You should consider speaking to a lawyer who can advise you of the best course of action. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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