Have you sustained an injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident in Canberra or the ACT?
An accident victim will be eligible for damages for injuries as a result (or partly as a result) of the negligence of a driver or owner of a motor vehicle other than themselves in the ACT. The vehicle responsible for the accident needs to have been registered. If the vehicle which caused the accident is unregistered, you are still entitled to claim damages provided the accident occurs on a public road in the ACT.
In Australia all States require road users to have Compulsory Green Slip, Third Party Insurance. It is the Third Party Insurer who will pay for the damages occasioned by its negligent insured.
Unfortunately not all road users abide by the law and some drive their vehicles on the road without registration or compulsory Third Party Insurance. In these cases, there is a body known as the Nominal Defendant who will be responsible for the damage. The Nominal Defendant is an insurer who assumes responsibility for the actions of an unregistered or uninsured driver.
The Nominal Defendant rotates each month so that the major participating insurers share responsibility for a month each. Before lodging a claim with the Nominal Defendant you will need to have made "due search and inquiry". This involves speaking to witnesses, reporting the matter to the police, asking people in the surrounding neighborhood and finally placing an advertisement in the local paper calling for witnesses to come forward.
If an injured person is partially at fault a claim may still be lodged. An apportionment will however be made to take into account the extent of liability. If for example as a pedestrian you cross a road instead of crossing on a pedestrian crossing you may be 50% at fault. In this case any settlement amount you recover will be deducted by 50%.
To be eligible for general damages (damages of non-economic nature ie injury to the body) your injuries will need to exceed 10% Whole Person Impairment. This is an American threshold which has been introduced in Australia. Generally injuries of soft tissue nature will not exceed 10%. Injuries involving fractures and breaks requiring surgery and resulting in a restriction of day to day activities may exceed 10%. There are a number of independent assessors who will ultimately assess each claimant and provide a written report.
The report is binding and there is only a limited right to appeal. Where the injury does not exceed 10% a claimant is still able to claim past and future treatment, past and future loss of wages and legal costs.
For a 90 Day Free Trial of our No Win No Fee Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Compensation Lawyers in Canberra contact us on 1800 004 878.