Legal Accident Responsibilities

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10 years 10 months ago #28431 by Ronney
Just quickly for the moment, I know that legally when a person is injured in a motor vehicle accident it has to be reported to the police. How about when is causes damage to property. I was told today that this also has to be reported. Is this correct?

Thanks,
Ronnie

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10 years 10 months ago #388662 by Anne
Yes - if anyone wants to claim insurance. If its not reported to police and one person denies responsibility other party will then need to pursue through small claims or similar court.

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10 years 10 months ago #388724 by DiDi
Ronney - there are some fish hooks in this so it would have been easier to reply if you had mentioned what "property" had been damaged. For example, boundary fence on a property is not covered by some Insurance Companies whereas internal fences are.

Personally, I thought the Police were only involved when there was injury to people in an accident. Historically you would have had a hell of a job getting them there when the first question was always "Has anyone been hurt?". Mention alcohol and they would have been there is a heartbeat. Must brush up on my Insurance knowledge.

Can't see why they would be involved as it is not necessary to report everything to the Police. Guess it depends how and what was damaged.

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10 years 10 months ago #388736 by Crusha
Drivers Duties are covered in the Land Transport Act 1998

Section 22, Subsections 4 and 5 relate to property with no injury.

4. If the accident involves damage to an unoccupied motor vehicle or to other property belonging to a person other than the driver or rider, the driver or rider must (unless he or she is incapable of doing so by reason of injuries sustained by him or her in the accident), not later than 48 hours after the time of the accident, report to the owner—
  • (a) the driver's or rider's name and address; and
  • (b) the number on the registration plates assigned to the motor vehicle; and
  • (c) the location of the accident.
(5) If the accident involves damage to an unoccupied motor vehicle or to other property belonging to a person other than the driver or rider, but the owner cannot readily be contacted or identified, the driver or rider must report the accident to an enforcement officer as soon as practicable and in any case within 60 hours after the time of the accident

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10 years 10 months ago #388806 by DiDi
Crusha - can't tell you how many fences have been taken out in my previous rural area and no way did anyone report it to the Police. Sad huh? The law obviously but about as useless as a wet bus ticket if there are not witnesses.

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10 years 10 months ago #388824 by Crusha
Didi - yep, just like the old classic, ding in the supermarket carpark. If no-one is watching how many times have people left a note on the windscreen of the other vehicle.

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10 years 10 months ago #389133 by Ronney
Thanks for the replies to my badly worded post:rolleyes: In this case, property was a fence. A young lady lost her car on the metal, went through the fence and took out about 8 metres of it - broke one post off at ground level, lifted another out of the ground, and snapped 7 wires of an 8 wire fence before going down a bank and coming to rest on the roof against the old fence line. She was extremely lucky to walk away from it. Initially it looked as though we would have trouble getting compensation but in fact quite the reverse has happened. Her parents are adament that she has to pay for it one way or another so she has provided a new post and battens to replace those destroyed plus a coil of wire which Kevin told her to take back as he didn't need a whole coil. She was prepared to help him fix it and turned up yesterday to do so. However, there wasn't much she could really do so she is to come back and work out Kevin's labour by helping batten some other fences, and weed control.

I have since met the parents and they seem to have a committment to caring and turning out responsible children.

Cheers,
Ronnie

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10 years 10 months ago #389183 by DiDi
Ronney - what totally brilliant parents!

Also good on the girl for coming back too as I can probably name a few young girls who would stand there whining - " it wasn't my fault. Why should I?" etc.

Great outcome.

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10 years 10 months ago #389196 by LongRidge
Thank goodness for good parents ....
In the Tasman District, every fence that is on road reserve belongs to the Council, whether or not they paid for it, except when exceptions have been made under the Council's by-laws.
For Council roads, the Road Reserve is 1 meter back from either the edge of the road, or the top of an upward batter or the bottom of a downward batter.
So, in the Tasman District, unless you had got special permission to put the new fence up the batter, it is much more likely that the old fence is where the fence should have been. So, because you put the fence in the wrong place, unless you got that special permission, you have obstructed the road. So, legally, you would be responsible for fixing the fence ..... and the car .... :-(
This might be a timely reminder that if a property owner plants, or allows it to happen, fences or trees in the wrong place, and someone else hurts or kills themself on that landowners obstruction, then that landowner could be legally responsible for some or all of the injuries.

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10 years 10 months ago #389204 by igor
The road reserve is a legal entity determined by survey just like the titles of land we all own or wish to own. The surveyed road reserve in many areas does not bear any resemblance to the actual position of the road. This often results in the legal road reserve being farmed and the road being on private land. Often this is not discovered until major road works are undertaken.

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10 years 10 months ago #389311 by Anne
1 metre from the edge of the road isn't very far. I don't see many fences around here 1 m or closer to the road, unless they are temp ones for grazing the road side.

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10 years 10 months ago #389312 by LongRidge
Yes, but the Public Works Act means that the Council can take any land that it wants to. In Tasman, if you want a survey done of the land then the Council might pay for some of it. Also, in Tasman, they won't pay you anything for the land unless you ask for payment. We did for one of the roads on our title and got paid $2000 per hectare for the farm land and $1000 per hectare for the forestry land, which was about a quarter it's value. The legal expenses to try to get better payment did not warrant taking the Council to court for the hectare or so involved.

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10 years 10 months ago #389314 by LongRidge
State highways are, I think, 6 meters from the edge of the road to the fence.

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