9 Months to Get Damages Fixed! Wants 2k, Do I Need to Pay?

Hi,

So, in July last year (2018), my sister was involved in a very minor car accident at low speed while reversing out of a carpark spot. Her vehicle was not damaged and she didn't notice any major damages on the other vehicle, either ( https://imgur.com/a/dX3Buyp ). They exchanged details and that was the end of it.

Fast forward to November this year (2019) she received a letter from a law firm seeking payment for the repair bill of the driver she hit. According to all the invoices the driver got their car repaired in April this year (2019) almost 9 months after the accident. The damages are for the front bumper and headlights etc for about 2k.

I'm not sure who exactly was at fault, but my sister thinks it was most likely her own fault. However, the fact that the other driver has decided to get their car repaired more than 9 months later is a bit suss to me. Surely there's a statute of limitations or something in these instances.

If anyone has any experience or knowledge of the law, I'd really appreciate your comments.

Thanks :)

Update:

So, I had a look at the emails properly. It's not a lawfirm but a company called Waterman Receivables Management. Apparently they're acting on behalf of the insurance company. I've been on their website and they have no licence number, so I don't believe they're a debt collection agency but they're almost passing off as one. I'm definitely suss about the whole thing, I don't know if we should seek further information from them or just ignore any correspondence from them.

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Shouldn't really be getting legal advice from any online forum but the first question I would ask is where was culpability defined/agreed to? Are insurance involved at all? Police report (unlikely)? How do they prove the damage was your sister and they didn't hit a kangaroo a month before the repair?

  • +3 votes

    Agree with @Hybroid, where is the evidence it was the original damage sustained from the car park incident. The time gap seems very suspicious.
    Are there any photos of the damage taken by the repair company for the insurance claim, invoices for the repair work etc?

  •  

    Surely there's a statute of limitations or something in these instances.

    https://www.finder.com.au/how-long-to-file-a-car-accident-cl...

  • +1 vote

    First of all, google the actual law firm

    Secondly, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess your sister has 3rd party, speak to your insurance company

  • +1 vote

    I'm not sure who exactly was at fault, but my sister thinks it was most likely her own fault.

    The reversing party has to give way, so your sister is in the wrong.

    seeking payment for the repair bill of the driver she hit.

    Have you sister pass the bill over to her insurance company, they'll pay it once she pays her excess.

    If her excess is more than the $2k bill, then just pay the bill direct and move on.

  •  

    Just call your insurance and let them handle this. This is what they are for. Send them the photos too, and tell them you think the repair is inflated.
    They probably won't care because it's a hassle, but if your excess is high it might be worth telling them you don't agree with the costs and think you should be paying less.
    They still might not care, but if you're lucky they'll accept a lower excess from you to avoid hassle.

    I once had a driver file 6 months after an accident, but I was called by their insurance. It wasn't very high (maybe $600), and my insurance wasn't going to get involved (had gone over annual km limit), but I still thought the repairs they described were excessive and offered their insurance co $200, and that's all I paid.

  •  

    High chance they don't have insurance if they're trying to collect money through a law firm, which I don't believe is real. Sister should contact her insurance and go from there.

  •  

    a letter from a law firm seeking payment for the repair bill of the driver

    Isn’t this a bit unusual? It is normally the insurer that does this. Does the letterhead look authentic?

  •  

    Reversing = at fault.

    Have your sister raise a claim with her insurance company and have them deal with it. That's what the insurance is there for.

  • +2 votes

    Yeah, doesn't sound right. The law firm is probably a friend of the other driver. Otherwise they shouldn't be sending letters of demand without evidence or prior agreements.

    Send a letter back asking for evidence that the damage was from your sisters car. To show them you're serious, copy and paste their garbage warning about having to respond within 14 days of this letter bla bla bla. You'd be surprised how quickly they'll stop trying to fool you when they realise you're not scared.

  • -2 votes

    Definitely sketchy.

  •  

    Why did they replace headlights if there appears to be no damage? To me that sounds suss, like they had another incident and thought they’d get it fixed under someone else’s coin. Of course I’m only going off one dark photo of a small portion of the bumper and there may be concealed damage.

  •  

    The limit for them to pursue you for damages is 6 years in most states, 2 years in the rest

    If you disagree you can dispute it, but it is on you to prove they are being unreasonable

    https://mva.financialrights.org.au/dtop/i-dont-agree-with-th...

  • +1 vote

    The same thing happened to a good friend of mine.
    they won and paid nothing using the idea of whey such a delay.

    I could guess that the damage was done in a later crash.

    where they couldn't get damages.

  • +4 votes

    Sounds like they had another accident and then decided to chase it from the earlier crash…

    •  

      My thoughts exactly!

    • +2 votes

      That's almost certainly what they are doing.

      If headlights are damaged you'd get it repaired asap.

      Draw a big cock n balls on the letter and send it back.