Legal assistance for cyclists – Hit & Run
Published on September 22, 2017 by David Tarrant
You can still make a claim even if you don’t know the registration number of the vehicle that hit you
If you are injured in a car accident and are not at fault, you can make a claim for treatment costs, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and care even if you do not know the registration number of the vehicle that hit you.
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 and/or uninsured (no Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance) motor vehicles.
Sometimes people are injured by a vehicle that was uninsured or unidentified (eg. hit and run), meaning the injured person wouldn’t usually be able to apply for CTP compensation.
However, in New South Wales all insurers are required to be part of the Nominal Defendant Fund. Where a vehicle is uninsured, or unidentified, the injured person can make a claim through the Nominal Defendant, meaning they don’t go without adequate treatment or compensation.
If the police did not attend the scene of the accident, you must report the accident to the police within 28 days and request that they provide you with an event number.
As soon as practically possible, attend your General Practitioner to be examined. They will note your accident in their clinical records and prescribe any treatment that you need.
At this point, it is important to consult a lawyer to assist in the completion of a Personal Injury Claim Form because incomplete or incorrect completion of the form can have dire consequences for your claim.
Further, in Nominal Defendant cases it is incumbent upon the injured person to take steps to identify the vehicle involved in the accident. This is known as “completing due search and enquiry”. This needs to be attended to as soon as possible after the accident. A lawyer can arrange for this to be done when they assist you in filling out your Claim form.
Most lawyers will act for you on a no-win-no-fee basis which means there are no up front costs to you.
The Motor Accidents Act is a minefield of limitation dates which will have an impact on your claim if one is missed.
It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help advise and negotiate you through the Nominal Defendant process.