Car theft in Southeast Queensland is reaching epidemic proportions. Sometimes people can be injured in an accident involving a stolen car, often driven by an unlicensed teenager. This article talks about the entitlements to personal injury compensation, in circumstances where the car at fault was stolen, the driver was unlicensed or flees the scene of an accident and if the vehicle at fault is unidentified.
Can personal injury compensation be claimed if you have been hit by a stolen car?
A claim for personal injury compensation for injuries caused by a stolen vehicle, are treated exactly the same way as any other CTP claim for compensation. It does not matter whether the car was registered at the time the accident occurred.
What if the driver at fault was unlicensed or flees the scene of the accident?
If you are injured in an accident being driven by an unlicensed driver or the driver flees, once again a claim for personal injury compensation is treated the same as any CTP claim. Simply because the driver is unlicensed, does not mean the car is not covered by CTP insurance.
What if the vehicle at fault is unidentified?
The situation is a bit different in hit and run car accidents, where the driver fails to stop at the scene of the accident and the vehicle at fault cannot be identified.
In these types of accidents, a claim for personal injury compensation may be made against the Nominal Defendant.
The Nominal Defendant is a statutory body established under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 for the purpose of compensating people who are injured as a result of the negligent driving of an unidentified or unregistered motor vehicle.
You may have noticed that when you pay your motor vehicle registration, you also pay a levy to the Nominal Defendant. This money is paid into a fund and used to pay compensation to people injured in car accidents in the circumstances described above.
Strict time limits apply to claim against the Nominal Defendant
When a claim is made against the Nominal Defendant, strict time limits apply. A Notice of Accident Claim Form must be served on the Nominal Defendant within 3 months of the date of the accident. If this time limit is not complied with, then when the Notice is served it must accompany a reasonable excuse for the delay.
If a Notice of Accident Claim Form is not served on the Nominal Defendant within 9 months of the date of the accident, the claim becomes statute barred. This means that you lose all your rights to recover compensation for your injuries.
Urgent action required
If you have been injured as a result of a car accident involving an unidentified vehicle, then you should seek legal advice as soon as possible so that your legal rights to compensation are protected.
At GC Law, we have expert lawyers who can assist you.