Damage to bikes, vehicles and other property

If your bike is damaged

If your bike is damaged in an accident you may need to repair or replace it. If you are insured for damage to your bike, contact your insurer. Some household contents insurance policies cover damage to bicycles.

If you are not insured, and the damage to your bicycle was completely or partly the fault of another person (driver, bicycle rider, pedestrian, animal owner), you can claim the cost of repair or replacement of your bike from that person.

The first step is to get quotes for the repair or replacement of your bike, and then send a letter of demand to the person at fault asking them to pay.

If the person at fault fails or refuses to pay, you can make a claim against them in the Local Court to recover the money. Most cases involving damage to a bicycle will be in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court, which has simplified procedures and capped legal costs orders.

The time limit for making a claim in court for damage to property is 6 years from the date of the accident.

For detailed information about letters of demand and making a claim in the Small Claims Division of the Local Court (including sample letters and forms and step-by-step guides), go to the LawAccess website.

If you do not have the name and address of the person at fault, it will be difficult for you to claim money from them.

If a driver refuses to give you their contact details and the accident was reported to the police, you may be able to get a copy of the police report. If the accident was not reported to the police you can make an ‘access application’ to Transport for NSW to get the details of the registered owner of the vehicle if you have the licence plate number. The LawAccess website has detailed information on how to identify the other party, how to make applications to the police and Transport for NSW and includes sample letters. There are fees associated with these applications.

The registered owner may not always be the person who was driving, however they may know who was.

If you are in this situation, you should get legal advice.

If another person's vehicle or property is damaged

You may be involved in an accident that causes damage to another person’s vehicle or property.

If the accident is your fault, or partly your fault, (or the other person believes you were at fault), that person could ask you to pay for repairing or replacing their damaged property. If you have public liability or third party property insurance you should contact your insurer. If you are a member of Bicycle NSW, you get public liability insurance as part of your standard membership fee. For more information go to Bicycle NSW.

If you do not have insurance and you receive a letter of demand or a court claim, you should get legal advice immediately.

If you agree you were at fault, but you cannot afford to pay for the damage, you can try and negotiate to pay by instalments, or to pay a reduced amount. If the other person makes a claim against you in court, you can apply to the court to pay in instalments.

If you do not agree that you were at fault, you should get legal advice about defending the claim.

The LawAccess website has detailed information for people who are being asked to pay money, including sample letters and forms and step-by-step guides.