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If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Gathering evidence

Evidence required to support a claim for property damage.

To prove a claim for damages, a person must have evidence to support their case, for example, be able to show that the other driver was in the wrong.

Gathering evidence is important if the driver:

  • is covered by an insurance policy, or
  • decides to pursue a claim for damage in court.

Evidence may be in the form of:

  • witnesses—either a passenger in the vehicle or someone at the scene
  • photographs—at the scene of the accident, markings caused by the accident, damage to vehicles, or
  • a police report.

Quotes for repairs

The driver will have to give evidence to prove that the vehicle was damaged as a result of the accident and that the amount claimed for the cost of repair is reasonable.

How many quotes are needed?

It is not compulsory for a driver to get more than one quote, but they may have to demonstrate that the amount claimed for the cost of the repair was reasonable. A simple way of doing this is to have more than one quote from independent panel beaters.

A person could also choose to go to an independent assessor for a detailed evaluation of the cost for repair.

The costs of quotes and independent assessments, if any, may be added to the cost of repairs. Generally there is no charge for getting a quote for repairs.

The vehicle owner has the right to choose who does the repairs, and it may be useful in this case, to get one quote and one independent assessment.

See 'Cost of repairs' in Lawyers Practice Manual under Motor vehicle property damage claims in the Magistrates' Court [3.3.101](opens in a new window).

Is the vehicle a 'write-off'?

If the cost of repairing a vehicle is more than its value, a vehicle owner may not be able to get a quote for repairs. In this situation they may get a valuation from an independent assessor or from a vehicle valuation website such as Redbook in order to determine the cost of financial loss suffered.

For more details about vehicles classified as write-offs see Written-off vehicles.

More information

References

Lawyers Practice Manual

See 'Cost of repairs [3.3.202]' under Motor vehicle property damage claims in the Magistrates' Court [3.3.101](opens in a new window).

Redbook valuers

This commercial site can be used to get an estimate of the value of a vehicle involved in an accident.

See Redbook—online car valuations(opens in a new window).

Acknowledgement

Content on this page was originally adapted from Motor Vehicle Accident Manual, 2012. Thanks to Footscray Community Legal Centre inc and to Ali Yildiz and Denis Nelthorpe.

Thanks to Matthew Martin, Senior lawyer, WEstJustice for assistance with review in April 2019.

Updated