Crash victim in overseas battle

Beeac’s Pat Breen must seek damages from an Indonesian driver following a crash last December, and is calling for vehicle hire companies to be more accountable. Polwarth MP has also called for tougher rules for hire companies.

Beeac’s Pat Breen wants hire car companies to introduce mandatory third-party insurance for international drivers after a crash forced him to seek repayment from overseas.

Mr Breen said he was involved in a T-boning incident with an Indonesian motorist driving a hire vehicle in December.

He said the Indonesian motorist hired the vehicle from Enterprise Rent a Car in Melbourne at 10am on December 13, and the two vehicles crashed at the corner of Eurack Road and the Colac-Ballarat Road at 2pm that afternoon.

“The Indonesian driver was at fault, and was charged with dangerous driving by police in that day,” Mr Breen said.

He said the driver was not covered for third-party damage under the hire vehicle agreement and Enterprise had since refused to cover damage to his car.

Mr Breen said his vehicle was only covered for third-party damage, and he was daunted by the process of seeking damages directly from the driver, whose address is nearly 5000 kilometres away at Semarang in Java.

“My issue is that car hire companies are shedding their responsibility, they are just passing the buck,” he said.

Mr Breen said he would seek advice about pursuing the claim after the Roads Minister’s office referred him to legal aid.

Lawyer and road advocate Rebecca Alexander said a lack of accountability from hire companies could leave claimants in a difficult position if at-fault international drivers were uncooperative.

“Unfortunately on occasions you do have people who have really good claims, but it’s not worth pursuing because it is going to cost more to pursue it than what it’s worth in the end,” she said.

See today’s Colac Herald for more.

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