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VIC Car Accident 3 Years Ago - Can Taxi Sue Me Now?

Discussion in 'Traffic Law Forum' started by Tiger0508, 19 January 2015.

  1. Tiger0508

    Tiger0508 Member

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    I need some help.

    What happened:
    I had a car accident 3 years ago with a taxi (where I hit its behind) and I didn't have car insurance. Police came and took all the details. I never heard from the taxi, but then the taxi driver said he was going back overseas so I thought I’m the luckiest person alive. However, couple of days ago I (out of the blue) got served with a paper that essentially says I need to pay for losses and legal fees. I never got any previous notices and they did not go through an insurer. The paper includes hand-written table re how they came up with the cost, which I cannot follow.

    It looks like they replaced the car within 10 days of the accident, so loss of income is also charged. The driver and the owner is different so I am not sure who is suing me. The sum is totalling $33,000 – which I don't have.

    Question....
    My initial gut feeling is that there's something weird – why after so many years? what's this hand-written formula? why didn't they contact me previously? Not quote or formal receipt?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tiger0508,

    What sort of paper is it that you have been served with. Is it a court document? Like a Writ? Summons? Claim? or Application? (Not sure what they call them in VIC). Or is it merely a formal letter of demand?

    There is nothing preventing someone from bringing an action 3 years after the event. With property motor vehicle property damage claims you basically have 6 years to bring legal proceedings before the cause of action will be statute barred.

    I would see a Community Legal Centre about your options and show them the documents you have been given. It sounds as though they will need to come up with some better evidence to support their claim for $33,000 in any event.

    Check this out: http://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/traffic-offences/get-help
     
  3. Phildo

    Phildo Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't make sense - it is compulsory for all taxis to have insurance, although it is possible that the taxi had third party coverage only.

    It is very possible that the claim has been inflated. It would be safe to assume that you will have to pay out a bunch of money, but not necessarily that much.

    Depending on how hard the hit was, there might have been enough damage to the car to have it classified as a statutory write-off, meaning that the car can never be used on the road again. This would be why the car was ultimately replaced.

    You'll need to ask the taxi owner (ie not necessarily the driver) which insurance company the car was insured with at the time. It is odd that you have been approached by a driver - this is something that an insurance company would normally handle.

    It is possible that you can get some advice and input from the relevant department of transport in your state.

    However, be aware that crashing into a taxi is extremely expensive. The car is a workplace for multiple drivers, so each of those drivers loses his/her income until the car is back on the road or has been replaced.
     
  4. Billy321

    Billy321 Member

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    Hi Tiger0508
    I was reading this post and was wondering what the outcome was on this as I'm pretty much in the same predicament. Cheers
     

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