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Chasing money after bring hit by car


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Hi All, so in June I was hit by a car that suddenly turned across the bike lane without looking (Melbourne, Vic). Broke my rear hub and scratched up some stuff. Exchanged details and all was well, luckily I got away fairly unscathed given the speed of the accident. 

Got a bike shop quote, and he was going to claim his insurance. Then went quiet. I filed a police report and sent a letter of demand. Nothing. Sent a copy of the court documents pre filled in last week and said if you don't pay up by Monday then I'll file a small claims in the magistrates court, I also provided a heavy discount on the bike shop quote as I wanted to avoid court, and any money would help as I have totally refurbished my bike.

So now what do I do?  I can file with the court for $315, and then the likely outcome is he ignores the court summons and I get a default judgement for the money plus costs - but I understand getting the money is still difficult. Anyone have any experience or advice?

I'm inclined to file as I said a I would, and I don't think that it is right people can just run away from their responsibilities. But at the same time I don't want to throw good money after bad.

Edited by dazaau
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2 hours ago, trifun said:

Chase up police as well, don't let them shrug it off ( at least not until after you have the other guy's cash (cleared funds)) - this from experiance.

Thanks for that , here in Vic I think the police view it as a civil matter and so don't get involved once the driver has left their details. Or is this after the court order to pay has been issued? Or perhaps sometimes they will just chase it anyway if you persist? They policeman kindly rang them when I lodged the incident to confirm the details (but not to explicitly demand they pay), and when they didn't call back he sent a unit to their house, but nothing ever came of it. 

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Cops don't seem to like paperwork, but if someone hit you then one would presume some sort of infraction has occurred (even if "just" driving without due care and attention (you know the thing that gets lots of cyclists killed)), so I don't care if the cops prefer it to treated as a civil matter - better they get involved in minor things and reduce the sickening number of major things on our roads. Had them do this to me & mine too many times over the years, the perp always seem to lose their good intentions re compensation/repairs after they get home.

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  • 10 months later...

So update. 

some 15 months after the accident I finally got paid. The default judgement didn't get him over the line, but it affects their credit rating. But the thought of an oral examination in court and even more legal fees meant they paid in the end. 

What I find most interesting is if I was a car, it would have been sorted the next day. But cyclists, once people figure out there is no system (like for cars where your insurance will chase them, and either way you get sorted) they just try and fob it off. My brother got taken out by a car coming out of a driveway, put him in an ambulance and cracked his frame. Woman's husband was a cop who told her to just ignore it and it would be too hard to chase. And in that case I guess and many others it was. 

Anyway, for me, this is a win, one less person who can say just fob it off and she'll be right :)

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16 minutes ago, dazaau said:

So update. 

some 15 months after the accident I finally got paid. The default judgement didn't get him over the line, but it affects their credit rating. But the thought of an oral examination in court and even more legal fees meant they paid in the end. 

What I find most interesting is if I was a car, it would have been sorted the next day. But cyclists, once people figure out there is no system (like for cars where your insurance will chase them, and either way you get sorted) they just try and fob it off. My brother got taken out by a car coming out of a driveway, put him in an ambulance and cracked his frame. Woman's husband was a cop who told her to just ignore it and it would be too hard to chase. And in that case I guess and many others it was. 

Anyway, for me, this is a win, one less person who can say just fob it off and she'll be right :)

Great news, pleased you got it sorted out in the end

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5 hours ago, dazaau said:

So update. 

some 15 months after the accident I finally got paid. The default judgement didn't get him over the line, but it affects their credit rating. But the thought of an oral examination in court and even more legal fees meant they paid in the end. 

What I find most interesting is if I was a car, it would have been sorted the next day. But cyclists, once people figure out there is no system (like for cars where your insurance will chase them, and either way you get sorted) they just try and fob it off. My brother got taken out by a car coming out of a driveway, put him in an ambulance and cracked his frame. Woman's husband was a cop who told her to just ignore it and it would be too hard to chase. And in that case I guess and many others it was. 

Anyway, for me, this is a win, one less person who can say just fob it off and she'll be right :)

Good stuff.

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