Hit and run refers to an accident where a person has been injured by a motor vehicle and the motor vehicle causing the injury is untraceable. When you fall a prey to ‘hit and run’ accident, you have the legal right to claim compensation even if the driver or the vehicle involved in the accident remains unidentified.

Compensation will be provided for:

  • The physical and/or psychological injuries sustained by you;
  • Loss of earnings;
  • Pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life;
  • Medical and rehabilitation costs; and
  • Your dependent spouse and/or dependent children.

Right to Claim Compensation

You can claim compensation from the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurer of the owner or the driver of the motor vehicle that injured you, provided negligence can be established. If it is proven that you were also at fault, you will still be entitled to claim compensation. In such an event, your compensation may be reduced.

An application for claim can be made to a Government insurer or a ‘Nominal Defendant’, where the motor vehicle that caused the injury remains untraceable. The Nominal Defendant receives compensation claims of people injured due to the negligent act of the owner or the driver of an uninsured or unidentified car. The Nominal Defendant receives funding from the payment of your CTP Insurance. All claims to the Nominal Defendant must be lodged within the specific time limit as per the law of the State where the accident took place.

In New South Wales (NSW), you should lodge your claim to the CTP insurer not later than 6 months from the date of the accident. Failure to lodge within the stipulated timeframe may forever waive your right to claim compensation against the Nominal Defendant.

While making the claim, you might be required to provide certain documentary evidences relating to the expenses incurred by you and these include:

  • Receipts of all medical expenses;
  • Receipts for travel and other expenses incurred in the process of receiving treatment;
  • Proof of income such as tax returns;
  • Documents evidencing your incapability to work such as medical certificates and sick leave forms;
  • Proof of loss of your income such as a letter from your employer; and
  • Records obtained from your accountant evidencing that you have lost work opportunities in case you run a business.

Eligibility to Claim Compensation

A claim for CTP personal injury compensation can be lodged by:

  • any person who has sustained a personal injury due to a motor vehicle accident and the person was not at fault. Here ‘any person’ may include a driver, a motorcyclist or a cyclist, a passenger or a pedestrian or any other person injured except the driver of the vehicle causing such injury; or
  • the dependent(s) of a person gravely injured as a result of the motor vehicle accident for which the injured person was not at fault.

Compensation

Your successful claim for compensation against the Nominal Defendant may include:

  • Reimbursement of hospital, medical and rehabilitation expenses;
  • Compensation for any past and future economic loss and impending medical expenses in relation to the injuries sustained by you;
  • Payment of any lump sum amount in situations where the injury has resulted in permanent impairment;
  • Payment of a lump sum amount for your pain and suffering; and
  • Payment of legal costs in relation to the claim for compensation.

If the injury has resulted in death, then a close relative including a spouse or a, de facto partner, brother, sister, half-brother, half-sister, parent or children of the deceased may make a compensation claim. In such situation, the person making the claim will be entitled to receive death benefits and funeral expenses.

Limitation to Make a Claim

If your claim made to the CTP insurer is not settled within 3 years from the date of the accident, then you can commence Court proceedings prior to the expiry of the 3 year period. This limitation to make a claim extends from 3 years to 6 years in case you were below 18 years of age at the time the accident took place.

If you have any further queries about the legalities of Hit & Run, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1800 770 780.

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