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About the “Nominal Defendant”

We have mentioned in the previous article that you will need to complete the Notice of Accident Claim Form (NOAC Form) and submit it to the ‘at fault’ vehicle’s insurer if you intend to make the CTP claim in a motor vehicle accident. However, what if the “at fault” vehicle is unidentified, for example, in a hit and run situation, or uninsured/unregistered when the motor vehicle does not have CTP insurance? In these situations, can you still make a claim? And to whom should you lodge the NOAC forms?

The short answer is yes. You are able to make a claim against the “Nominal Defendant” which is a statutory body established under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (MAI Act). The Nominal Defendant is to be taken as a licensed insurer, and its liability for personal injury caused in a motor vehicle accident is the same as any licensed insurer under a CTP insurance policy. In addition, in cases where the licensed insurer under a CTP insurance policy becomes insolvent, the MAI Act prescribes that the Nominal Defendant will become the insurer under the CTP insurance policy for which the insolvent insurer was the former insurer and will have the extended role in meeting the costs of your claim.

Timeframes

There are strict timeframes for lodgement of your notice of claim under the legislation.

The notice must be given:

  • within three months if it is to be given to the Nominal Defendant because the motor vehicle cannot be identified; or
  • in any other case whichever of the following dates is earlier:
    • within nine months after the motor vehicle crash or, if symptoms of the injury are not immediately apparent, the first appearance of symptoms of the injury;
    • if you have a solicitor managing your claim, within one month of the first consultation with the solicitor.

Your claim could be rejected if you lodge outside the timeframes. Early lodgement of your claim will assist in early access to treatment and rehabilitation if required.

Contact your solicitor as soon as practical if you are involved in a hit and run situation.

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