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The Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (QLD) (‘the MAIA Act’) governs the operation of Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme. In the event that you are involved in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, and you elect to pursue a claim for damages, that claim is made against the CTP insurer or the at-fault vehicle. But what happens if you’re involved in a hit and run incident, and you are unable to identify the identity or registration number of the at-fault-vehicle? Are you simply ‘out of luck’, and unable to pursue a claim for damages? Thankfully, and sensibly, the MAIA Act also governs the operation of Queensland’s scheme of statutory insurance for uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
The Nominal Defendant is a statutory body established under the MAIA Act. The purpose of the Nominal Defendant is to compensate individuals that sustain injuries resultant of the negligent driving of an unidentified or uninsured vehicle, ensuring that such individuals are not deprived of appropriate treatment or compensation. Put simply, the Nominal Defendant stands-in and operates as a CTP insurer in circumstances in which the relevant CTP insurer cannot be identified, such as when you’ve been involved in a hit and run incident, or when there is no CTP insurer, such as when you’ve been involved in an incident with an uninsured vehicle.
An individual that pursues a claim for damages against the Nominal Defendant will not suffer any detriment in comparison to an individual that pursues a claim for damages against a traditional CTP insurer; you will receive the full compensation which you would be entitled to under any other circumstances.
A stated object of the MAIA Act is to promote and encourage, as far as practicable, the rehabilitation of claimants who sustain personal injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident. Pursuant to Section 51 of the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (QLD), the CTP insurer may make rehabilitation services available to you on the insurer’s own initiative, or at the request of you or your legal representatives. Once liability has been admitted by a CTP insurer, or the insurer has agreed to fund rehabilitation services without making an admission of liability, stronger rehabilitation obligations apply, with the CTP insurer required to ensure that reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation services are made available to you.
Lump Sum Compensation
In addition to reasonable and appropriate rehabilitation expenses, you may be entitled to lump sum compensation. The types of compensation for which you may be entitled to claim for are referred to as ‘heads of damage’. Such heads of damage may include, but may not be limited to, both past and future economic loss, pain and suffering and loss of amenities of life, gratuitous services, and future treatment expenses.
Please note, however, that your entitlement to the above depends significantly on your personal circumstances. Littles Lawyers offers a free Claim Checker, along with a Free Initial Consultation, should you wish to seek advice on your potential entitlements.