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SA Car Accident Causing Damage to Fence - Am I Liable?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Pop, 10 October 2017.

  1. Pop

    Pop Member

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    Whilst giving my son his first driving lesson, he panicked and drove into a brick fence, damaging a section of it. The vehicle has no comprehensive car insurance. The bricks in the fence, being 40-50 years old, are no longer available according to the house owner, therefore she is claiming through her insurance firm the cost of replacing the whole fence with a new fence costing around $12,000. Which as the car was not insured, I would be responsible to pay.

    My question is, am I liable for the full cost of the whole new fence or a percentage of the cost, as it is up to 50 years old, or the cost of repairing the damaged section only. I believe that the bricks actually are available!
     
  2. Zerojay

    Zerojay Active Member

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    Sorry to hear about your misfortune Pop.
    I do not give legal advice. I just have some experience from working for an insurer in the claims department for 20 years.
    I suggest you obtain your own reports/quotes for repair of the wall, including opinion as to its condition prior to the accident. Get the builder to confirm in his quote the availability of matching bricks.
    Keep in mind the building insurer can only stand in the shoes of the wall owner in regards to recovery from you. In other words, the insurer cannot recover more than the wall owner could if there was no insurance in place. Also the owner has a legal responsibility to mitigate the loss - do everything reasonable to keep the cost down- such as repair and paint or render the wall in lieu of replacement if there is a brick mismatch.
     
  3. Pop

    Pop Member

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    Thanks for going to the trouble of answering my predicament Zerojay, particularly the last sentence, regarding the owner's responsibility to keep the cost down.
     
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