Can I get compensation in a “hit and run?”

Published 15 Apr 2020

Hit-and-run accidents are unfortunate events that can leave you in a difficult position: Your vehicle may be badly damaged, you or someone you know may be injured (or worse) and you may feel you have little recourse to claim compensation or damages.

However, that's not necessarily the case. According to the New South Wales State Insurance Regulatory Authority, all insurers in NSW are required to participate in what is called the Nominal Defendant fund to ensure that even people involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle – or one in which the vehicle or driver cannot be identified, such as a hit and run – can claim compensation.

A closer look at nominal defendants

Of course, it is always better to have the registration number of a vehicle involved in an accident. Therefore, it is paramount that you undertake due search and enquiry in attempt to locate the vehicle that caused the accident. Due search and enquiry includes such things as reporting the accident to police, door knocks if the accident occurred in a suburban area, letterbox drop of leaflets asking for information, posters left in public places calling on information, and advertisements in the local paper. 

In cases where a vehicle simply cannot be identified, despite undertaking due search and enquiry, the Nominal Defendant steps up; upon receipt of appropriate forms, the claim will be distributed to an insurer, and the nominal defendant office will let you know which insurer to deal with.

What to do

Depending upon a number of factors, you may need to file a Personal Injury Claim Form, the NSW SIRA added. These are intended for claims over $5,000 that are not payable by the insurer under early payment (or if that compensation is not normally covered by the Accident Notification Form, which you should also have filled out).

An ANF must be filled out no more than six months from when the accident took place, but preferably that would happen as soon as possible. These claims may include the reasonable and necessary medical and potential care costs associated with the accident, as well as other losses suffered as a result of injuries or deaths in such accidents. You will be required to provide proof of these expenses.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Get in touch with the legal experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners to find out more about the options that are available to you and what you can do to maximise your benefits. We offer a 90-day free trial of No Win No Fee legal services to ensure you know what we can offer you. Give us a call today.