If you have suffered a loss, such as damage to your car after an accident and you want to sue for damages, you have several options open to you.
If any repair cost is small, say under $1,000, or if you don’t have insurance or you have a high excess, it may be worth handling the claim yourself to try and recover some of the costs. If a solicitor handles a claim for you, some of the legal costs for the work done may be recovered from the other party if you are successful. But this will depend on the amount you are claiming. A solicitor’s fees might exceed the amount awarded by the Court.
It is possible to minimise costs by handling all or part of a damages claim personally. The first step is to obtain quotes for the repairs to your car and give a copy to the other side with a formal written letter of demand for payment to you. If they do not respond, or disagree, you can then file a Statement of Claim claiming for your loss.
Of course, running a case on your own is not always advisable, particularly if the claim is defended. You should at least discuss the matter with a solicitor before going to court.
If the matter is in the Local Court, either party can request the court to refer defended motor vehicle property damage claims to an arbitrator.