Prepare facts and evidence
You will need to present to the tribunal the facts about what happened in the accident. It will help your case if you are organised and present the facts and evidence clearly. It may help to draw a large map of the accident site showing the position of the cars at time of impact, especially if there are more than two cars involved.
To prepare your evidence, it may help to draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. On the left side, write the facts and on the right side, write the evidence that supports the facts.
Sample facts and evidence
Below are some sample facts to tell the adjudicator and the evidence requried to support those facts:
- Ford collided with my Mitsubishi. Ford sped up and ran a red light on Black St, Redwood.
- own sworn evidence
- evidence of any witnesses
- map of accident scene
- Mitsubishi had damage to the front bumper and lights.
- photograph of damage to car
- Had Mitsubishi towed ($200) and received quote to repair car ($2500).
- own sworn evidence
- written quote
- affidavit of repairer
- receipts for towing
- Sent letter of demand on 21 October 2013.
- copy of letter of demand
Evidence can include:
- verbal evidence from you or your witnesses
- affidavits from you, your witnesses, an assessor or repairer; affidavits are sworn statements signed in the presence of a justice of the peace, commissioner of declarations or a lawyer
- documents like repair bills, receipts and quotes
- photographs (eg of your car after the accident).
It can help to practise what you want to say in front of family and friends. You can also take notes into court and read from them or refer to them.
Organise your witnesses
You can also prepare for the hearing by organising your witnesses. Ask them if they would be willing to attend the hearing. If they can, ask them to prepare a list of points they will tell the adjudicator and ask them to meet you at the tribunal at least 15 minutes before the hearing starts.
If a witness can’t come to the hearing but is willing to give evidence, they can prepare an affidavit that outlines what they would have said to support your claim. In car accident claims, it is common to use a repairer’s affidavit if the car has been or is being fixed. You would use a loss adjustor’s affidavit if the car was written off. Remember an affidavit must be signed under oath or affirmed and witnessed by a justice of the peace, commissioner of declarations or a lawyer. See see Sample documents and forms.
If a witness does not want to provide evidence, you cannot force them to attend or write an affidavit.