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Table of contents

1. The true losses suffered in a Car Accident are often under-estimated.2. Who can claim motor vehicle injury compensation?3. What can you claim for as part of motor vehicle injury compensation?4. What are the most common road and car accident injuries?

If your vehicle has been damaged in a Queensland road accident and you are having trouble getting the repairs paid for, then a letter of demand may help you recover the debt. 

To make things easier, we’ve prepared a free letter of demand template which you can edit and send.

This article provides background information on letter of demands for car accidents and tips on the information you will need to edit and complete our template.

What is a letter of demand?

A letter of demand is a letter sent to a person who has caused damage to your car and has failed to pay money to cover the costs to repair or replace your car.

You will generally send a letter of demand when:

  • your vehicle was damaged or written off in an accident;
  • you were not at fault for the accident; and
  • the driver at fault has failed to pay for the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. 
  • you are uninsured for property damage (don't have comprehensive insurance)

It is important to send a letter of demand before you commence legal action with QCAT or a court to seek payment for damage caused to your vehicle.

Note: A letter of demand should not be needed if you have comprehensive car insurance

If you have comprehensive car insurance (i.e. property damage insurance) you can make a claim for the damage caused to your car through your insurer. They will then pay for the repairs to your vehicle and send a letter of demand to the driver at fault.

Call-out: Note: If you have comprehensive car insurance (i.e. property damage insurance) you can make a claim for the damage caused to your car through your insurer. They will then pay for the repairs to your vehicle and send a letter of demand to the driver at fault. 

What costs can I claim for?

How much payout icon

You can claim for the following costs in your letter of demand:

  • tow truck costs;
  • car hire costs;
  • cost of repairing your vehicle (or the cost of replacing your vehicle if it is written-off); and
  • damage caused to your other property as a result of the accident (e.g. your iPhone, clothes, valuables). 

Download the letter of demand template 

We’ve provided a few different options to ensure everyone can easily access and edit the template. Please choose the one most suited to yourself.

MS Word Document template - this will work with MS Word, Pages on Mac/iOS and most word processor programs/apps.

View and edit in Google Docs - click the link to view the Google Docs version. You can cut and paste from here into any other app.

Plain text template - this template in plain text lacks the rich-text formatting of the MS Word Doc or Google Docs versions but can be copied and pasted into any program such as email, Notes app and so on.

Information you will need to edit and complete the letter of demand template

What should I do

To make it quick and easy to edit the template and send your letter of demand.

Before you write a letter, it’s best to have the following information at hand:

  • Name and contact information of the driver/owner you believe to be at fault
  • Details of the vehicle that damaged your vehicle
  • Key details of the accident - location, time and a brief description
  • Proof of your damage – provide things such as photographs of the damage to your car, invoices for repair quotes, receipts for tow truck expenses etc); and
  • the total sum of all your damages/costs combined.

Call-out: If you’ve been injured in a car or road accident in Queensland then a different insurance scheme applies (called CTP or “compulsory third party” insurance). CTP insurance is linked to registering your vehicle and is different to insurance for property damage.  

Injured in a road accident? Check now on your legal rights with our experts.

Free & no obligation claims check

Common questions about letters of demand.

How does a letter of demand work?

When another person causes damage to your property, they are legally required to pay for that damage (the cost of that damage essentially becomes a debt).

A letter of demand is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a letter you send to recover debt that is not yet paid.

The letter explains how the damage arose, what the costs of that damage is and a demand that those costs be paid within a specific time frame. 

You are not legally required to seek legal advice before sending a letter of demand.

However, it can be very helpful to seek legal advice before you write a letter to give yourself the very best chance to recover the debt. 

We’ve provided a free letter of demand template which you can download and edit to get you started. This is for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any letters you send based on the template need to be sent on behalf of yourself/the person requesting money for property damage.

Can you email a letter of demand?

Yes, you can email a letter of demand. 

But we would suggest that you also send the letter of demand via Registered Post as well. This will help ensure the driver at fault for the car accident receives your letter of demand. 

What happens if the at-fault party still refuses to pay after the letter of demand?

If you don’t receive a response to the first letter of demand , there is nothing stopping you from sending a reminder letter.

However, if the driver at fault fails to respond or refuses to pay your demand, it would be a good idea to seek legal advice before commencing legal action.

If you decide that you wish to commence legal action, the court which you will need to commence your claim with will depend on the value of the damages you are seeking:

  • for claims between $0 - $25,000, you will need to commence a claim with QCAT;
  • for claims between $25,000 - $150,000 you will need to commence a claim with the Magistrates Court;
  • for claims between $150,000 - $750,00 you will need to commence a claim with the District Court;
  • for claims over +$750,00 you will need to commence a claim with the Supreme Court.
Posted by Kirk Watterston Senior Associate

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Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
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