What is the Nominal Defendant for Car Accident Claims?

The nominal defendant's role is to compensate people injured in a road accident when there is an unidentified driver and no claim insurer.
A man driving a car with questions about the nominal defendant

You may need to make a car accident claim against the nominal defendant when you have been injured by negligent driving in a Queensland motor vehicle accident. But what does that mean, and how will it impact the damages payout for a motor vehicle accident?

Our comprehensive guide to understanding nominal defendant claims explains how it works. Whether you are a claimant, a law student, a legal professional, or simply interested in understanding the claim process, this guide is for you. We will explore:

• The definition of nominal defendant claims
• Understand how it works.
• The Nominal Defendant’s role
• The steps to filing a winning claim.

Defining the Nominal Defendant QLD

The Motor Accident Insurance Act of 1994 established the Nominal Defendant as a statutory body in Queensland to offer compensation to people hurt in traffic accidents as a result of careless driving or when the at-fault driver is uninsured or unidentified, which means they don’t have the required CTP (third-party) insurance.

Furthermore, this statutory organisation becomes the default insurer when any other licenced insurance company is bankrupt.

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The Queensland Nominal Defendant Scheme

In Queensland, all road users select a CTP insurance company when registering their motor vehicles. This compulsory insurance provides legal protection for motorists when something goes wrong, and there is a collision—additionally, a levy from the insurance premium funds this statutory body.

Hence, when you have an accident with unidentified or unregistered vehicles, the injured party can’t lodge a personal injury claim as there is no responsible CTP insurer. In this situation, the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 allows the statutory body to take on the insurer’s role.

Nominal Defendant Claims – What Are They?

People can make a Nominal Defendant Claim when they have personal injury arising from a car accident caused by:

• Interstate-registered vehicles
• Uninsured motor vehicles
• or an unidentified vehicle (e.g. hit and run accident)

In these circumstances, it is typically impossible to identify a liable insurer, in which case it assumes the responsibility of providing adequate medical treatment and fair CTP compensation.

Do I Have a Valid Claim?

How Does the Nominal Defendant Impact Car Accident Claims?

There should be no difference between making a nominal defendant claim or claiming against a CTP insurance company.

This statutory organisation receives funding by levying Queensland CTP insurance premiums to award compensation to injured people, just as they could when claiming against one of the four major QLD CTP insurers.

Nominal Defendant Compensation – The Stats

The MAIC annual report shows that in 2021-2022, the QLD Nominal Defendant paid a total compensation of $ 32.38 million, with approximately 50% of claims in the Brisbane region, with a further 29% in SE QLD and 16% in regional QLD.

Furthermore, their report reveals that about 43% of claims are for uninsured motor vehicles, with the balance being for unidentified drivers.

Nominal Defendant Claims by Type of Motor Vehicle Accident (1st July 2013 to 30th June 2018)
Accident TypeNumber of ClaimsPercentage
Passenger-at-fault vehicle91.3%
Passenger – other fault vehicle10314.5%
Table of QLD Nominal Defendant Claims by Type of Motor Vehicle Accident

What is the Role of a Nominal Defendant in a Legal Claim?

The Nominal Defendant’s primary function in a legal claim is procedural, which means they are there to satisfy a legal process—for example, listing all the relevant parties and confirming the applicable Court for the case.

Typically, they have a passive role, as they have no legal liability and, thus, are not involved in the litigation process. Instead, they give the Court power to impose a legally binding resolution or order that affects the rights or interests of the absent party.

Please know that the Nominal Defendant can have legal representation to protect their interests even though they have no liability. Furthermore, despite their lack of interest, their involvement could significantly impact everyone involved.

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Steps to Filing a Nominal Defendant Accident Claim

To successfully file a statutory accident claim, you must be well-prepared and adhere to all legal requirements. Here are the steps involved in the process:

Inform the police about your accident

You must remain at the motor vehicle accident scene and call the police when there are injuries.

Lodge within the strict timeframe

Nominal defendant claims have a shorter time limit than other personal injury claims, so make sure you know yours by immediately seeking legal advice from our accident compensation lawyers. In most cases, you must notify them within three months of the accident date or up to 9 months if you have an accepted explanation for the delay.

Compile evidence

Successfully claiming compensation for injuries caused in an accident relies on supporting evidence like police reports, medical assessments, doctors’ reports and witness statements.

Contact a personal injury lawyer

A personal injury lawyer can help you know when and how to use a statutory body for a road accident claim, ensuring you know your legal rights.

Lodge a claim

Once you’ve gathered all the evidence and hired a law firm, your legal team will help you lodge a statutory claim.

Attend court proceedings

Car accident insurance claims rarely proceed to court litigation. Still, if it did, a skilled compensation lawyer will make a huge difference, as they know the litigation process and help ensure you get your deserved outcome.

Lump sum payout

Once approved, you will receive a once-off lump sum payout as a full and final settlement.

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Why You Need Expert Legal Representation for Nominal Defendant Claims

Given the unique nature of nominal Defendant claims, expert legal representation is crucial for success. A car accident lawyer will provide valuable guidance and strategic advice during litigation. Here’s why you need specialist legal advice when dealing with this type of car accident compensation claim:

In-depth Knowledge

Lawyers with experience in statutory accident claims thoroughly understand the relevant legal standards and procedural requirements. They can navigate tricky legal situations and foresee difficulties.

Strategic Guidance

Skilled solicitors develop effective strategies to protect your interests and increase your chances of winning compensation. 

Procedural compliance

You must strictly follow procedural rules when filing a statutory accident claim. A skilled attorney ensures you are compliant, increasing your chance of success.

Negotiation and Advocacy

Solicitors will fight for your rights throughout the litigation process. Their negotiating and advocacy skills will enhance your damages settlements.

Working with a knowledgeable compensation lawyer helps you confidently navigate damages claims and reduce risks. Please consider the importance of expert legal representation in these complex cases.

At Splatt Lawyers, it’s free to know your legal rights. Get immediate support now by Calling 1800 700 125

Nominal Defendant Claim Lawyers Near You

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QLD Nominal Defendant Claim Lawyer Locations

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