An insurance company is seeking almost $3000 in repair costs from an elderly man who was hit by a car while crossing an Auckland road.

But his family say the 73-year-old has no means to pay, and the case against him is "unfair".

On November 24 Shulin Guo was hit by a car as he crossed the motorway onramp on Symonds Street to get to a bus stop.

Many pedestrians use the route to cross as it is the only way to access the bus stop.


Guo was hit by a van, knocked unconscious and suffered injuries including broken ribs and cuts and bruises to his face and body.

Guo was taken to hospital, where he spent six days recovering.

Initially he could not remember the incident, but now says he can recall checking for traffic before he crossed.

However the driver of the van and an independent witness told police they saw the elderly man step out onto the road without looking.

Police told Guo's son Johnny that the collision was an accident and there would be no further action.

"We thought this was all over," Johnny Guo said.

"And then this letter arrived."

The letter was from insurance company Ando seeking $2660.25 from Guo for repairs to the van that hit him.


The van received minor damage including a broken wing mirror and several dents.

"It's a fact of life that accidents sometimes do happen and we know that recently you were involved in an accident with our client, whose vehicle was damaged," the letter read.

"Our client's account of the accident suggests that you were responsible."

Johnny Guo and Shulin Guo's daughter Yang Yang said they and Guo were confident he had checked for cars and were disappointed police had not conducted a full interview with him.

Shulin Guo is being pursued by insurance company Ando for repair costs to a van that hit him in November. Photo / Michael Craig
Shulin Guo is being pursued by insurance company Ando for repair costs to a van that hit him in November. Photo / Michael Craig

Yang advised Ando that Guo would not be accepting liability.

A claims handler then told her in an email: "If you are unhappy with the police report, that would be something you would have to talk to the police about."

He then explained that there were two options - Guo could accept liability and pay the repair costs either in full or via a $30-$50 per week payment plan.

However if he rejected liability Ando would take Guo to the Disputes Tribunal to attempt to recover the money.

Guo is retired and has no income or savings.

He and his wife live with Johnny Guo and Yang, who financially support the elderly couple.

"On one side, this is obviously quite a big amount of money," Yang said.

"On the other side, my dad is really, really sad and feels like he is being treated unfairly.

"He is quite worried about the situation - worried about what we are going to do, what's going to happen… he feels guilty for getting us involved.

"And we are really, really upset about this whole thing."

Johnny Guo added: "I just don't think he's liable to pay for any damage," he said.

"It was an accident, it's not fair, it's just not right."

Inspector Ben Offner said police stood by the report.

"The investigating officer has not received any correspondence or contact from the pedestrian to indicate that he now has a recollection of the incident," he said.

"In the absence of any other information being received to us, Police stand by the findings in the report."

Ando general manager of claims Tanya Clews said the claim would pursued.

Based on the facts, Guo was responsible for the damage caused to the van, she said, and it was "normal practice" for insurance companies to seek recovery of costs from responsible third parties".

"We are sympathetic to Mr Guo's situation, and sensitive to the fact that he has been injured" she said.

"Unfortunately, the fact that Mr Guo was a pedestrian, and injured in the accident, does not alter the fact that he was responsible for the damage."

Most contents insurance policies provided cover for personal liability.

However Johnny Guo said his father was not covered by his policy.