If a motor vehicle damages property, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying for it. QCAT considers applications about property damage caused by a motor vehicle when a dispute arises up to $25,000.
(This amount is prescribed in Schedule 3 of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009).
The below information will help you to learn more about property damage caused by a motor vehicle, how to make an application when a dispute arises and key information you need to know if you are an applicant or respondent in a case.
What do you need to know about disputes relating to property damage caused by a motor vehicle?
If a motor vehicle accident damages property, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying for it. If they have insurance, their insurance company will manage this.
If the person who caused the accident does not have insurance and cannot immediately pay you the total cost of the damage, or their insurance company refuses to pay their claim, you can:
- negotiate with them to agree when and how they will pay for the damage, or
- apply to QCAT below to resolve the dispute
QCAT hears property damage disputes which are valued up to and including $25,000 (excluding interest).
If you have suffered property damage from something other than a motor vehicle, then you may wish to seek legal advice about your options.
An application about property damage caused by a motor vehicle can be made when:
- the property damage caused by a motor vehicle is not more than $25,000 (excluding interest); and
- the damage to property was caused by a vehicle, or arose out of the use of a vehicle (including damage to a house or a car)
An application about property damage caused by a motor vehicle cannot be made if the amount claimed exceeds QCAT's monetary limit:
QCAT cannot decide disputes involving claims worth more than $25,000 (excluding interest).
If the amount sought is more than $25,000, the applicant may choose to reduce the claim to $25,000 to enable it to be lodged with QCAT.
Disputes involving amounts worth more than $25,000 are heard by other courts. Claims for amounts:
- up to $150,000 can be commenced in the Magistrates Court
- between $150,000 and $750,000 can be commenced in the District Court
- for any amount over $750,000 can be commenced in the Supreme Court
The applicant should seek independent legal advice about how to proceed.
An application about property damage caused by a motor vehicle also cannot be made if:
A motor vehicle did not cause the damage to property. The applicant should seek independent legal advice about how to proceed.
The Limitation of Actions Act 1974 (Qld) imposes limitation periods in Queensland to commence a civil proceeding within 6 years of the incident happening.
Please ensure you confirm your dispute falls within the relevant time limit before making an application to QCAT.
What is the process for disputes about property damage caused by a motor vehicle?
Before you begin the dispute process, it is important that the applicant and respondent understand their obligations and how a case is progressed by QCAT.
QCAT considers disputes about property damage caused by a motor vehicle in two ways:
- if your claim amount is less than $1,500, your matter will be listed for a hearing, without the need for mediation
- if your claim amount is greater than $1,500, your matter will be listed for a mediation, and if not resolved, listed for a hearing
Mediation is a timely dispute resolution service in which a mediator assists parties to discuss their differences and find a solution that suits all parties to the dispute.
The mediator acts as an independent third party and guides the participants through a structured mediation process. The mediator is not there to make a decision about who is right or wrong, but rather, assists both parties in reaching an agreement.
If the parties do reach an agreement, the mediator may record the terms of the agreement in writing and each party will then sign the mediation agreement and receive a copy.
The parties may request that the agreement be made an order of QCAT.
If no agreement is reached at mediation, the matter will be set down for hearing on a different day.
In disputes relating to property damage caused by a motor vehicle you can ask QCAT to make orders relating to the following:
- a payment of money to you
- relief from payment of money
- costs of transporting a motor vehicle to the respondent if relevant to the claim; and
- payment of filing fees
When you start the application process below you will be asked to complete this section in the application form.
If you have received an application about a dispute relating to property damage caused by a motor vehicle and you are named as the respondent, it is important to understand the process you need to follow. You must:
- read the above information and follow the link below to understand the QCAT process and how the case will be progressed to a final hearing; and
- file your written submissions and any supporting documents in response to the application or, file a counter application if required
To learn more about how to file a counter application in a dispute related to property damage caused by a motor vehicle, the forms you need and what happens next in the minor civil process please click here.
The time for QCAT to finalise a case may vary depending on QCAT’s workload and the number of steps to be completed by parties as required by QCAT to resolve the dispute. The current average time to consider a minor civil dispute and finalise your case can be found on our expected timeframes page.
How do I make an application for a dispute about property damage caused by a motor vehicle?
To make an application, please select your case type from the list below:
Help and further information
Queensland legislation related to consumer and trader disputes includes the:
- Agents Financial Administration Act 2014
- Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Act 2014
- Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014
- Property Occupations Act 2014
- Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2009
The Acts are available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.
You can access a range of databases which keep records of previous decisions about minor civil dispute cases. This includes previous decisions made by:
- Small Claims Tribunal before 1 December 2009
- QCAT and QCATA after 1 December 2009, which can be found in the other minor civil disputes matters section on the Supreme Court of Queensland Library website
For legal advice:
* Contact the private solicitor of your choice
* Use Queensland Law Society’s Find a Solicitor service.
* Contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 65 11 88
* Contact Community Legal Centres Queensland for details on your local community legal centre on 07 3392 0092
For assistance in legal proceedings:
Law Right Court and QCAT Services
LawRight is an independent, non-profit community based legal organisation that coordinates pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups. Parties with proceedings in QCAT may be able to obtain assistance from LawRight’s Court and Tribunal Services to self-represent or in limited circumstances, be given representation.
If you are unsure whether you are eligible for assistance from LawRight or wish to make an enquiry, contact the service via phone on 07 3564 7561, or email at email@example.com, or writing to PO Box 12217, George Street QLD 4003.
To apply for help from LawRight, please complete the application form here. If you are unable to complete the online form, contact LawRight to discuss alternative arrangements
Community legal centres
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (Qld) Ltd (ATSILS) is a community-based organisation established to provide professional and culturally proficient legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Queensland. You can access website information or contact ATSILS on(07) 3025 3888.
Community Legal Centres Queensland can help you find the nearest community legal service available to you. You can also contact them on (07) 3392 0092.
Caxton Legal Centre is an independent, non-profit community organisation providing free legal and social work advice, assistance and referrals to the general public. Please note that the Caxton Legal Centre does not provide advice about building or other business and commercial disputes.
Women's Legal Service is a community legal centre that provides free legal advice and information to women in Queensland.
Youth Advocacy Centre offers free confidential legal and welfare assistance to young people under 17 years who live in or around Brisbane. Telephone support is also provided to young people outside of Brisbane and throughout Queensland.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT)’s registry is here to administer your case and provide general information. Please see below what registry staff can and cannot do to assist with your case.
Registry staff can:
* answer questions about QCAT processes
* provide information about QCAT’s different types of forms that are available for your consideration
* provide you with information and support about how to lodge an application
* refer and/or process any request to access the QCAT register of proceedings (a publicly available list of QCAT cases) or the record of proceedings (the case files themselves)
* advise on fees and allowances, and how to apply for a waiver of fees
* guide you in checking your forms are complete before lodgement (e.g. signed in the correct places)
* give you information on legal organisations that could help.
Registry staff cannot:
* provide legal advice
* advise on whether you should submit an application and whether you are filing under the correct legal area (eg minor civil dispute – consumer or trader or minor civil dispute – minor debt)
* tell you if you should lodge an appeal or a counter-application
* recommend a specific lawyer to assist you
* instruct you on how to word your application, supporting documents or what to say at a proceeding
* contact a QCAT member or adjudicator directly on your behalf
* predict likely outcomes of a case or appeal
* help you prepare your case
* advise what orders or decisions you should seek
* explain what you should do to follow QCAT directions
* recommend your next steps regarding enforcing an order or tribunal decision
* advise on exact timeframes for resolution of a case – this depends on your individual case