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Accident Claims

Question:

I had a crash and I was the guilty party. I requested the injured party to provide me with the details of their assessment for insurance purposes. I've not heard from them since. Is there a time limit for the innocent party to submit their claim?

Answer:

All civil claims, including claims for motor vehicle accident damage, have a prescription period of three years. This means that the party who has suffered the damages as a result of an accident has three (3) years within which to institute legal proceedings against you for recovery of his / her vehicle damages. If the party with whom you collided does not immediately supply you with details of his / her insurance excess or insurance details, it would be advisable to keep on file all details of that party, details of any independant witnesses who may have seen the accident, photos of the accident scene as well as the accident report number / copy of the accident report. These may come in handy if you are subsequently contacted by the third party or their insurer and if you need to negotiate a settlement of their claim. Should a third party approach you more than three (3) years after an accident to claim for his / her damages, you may raise the defence of prescription and legally refuse to pay for their damages.

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