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Table of contents

1. The true losses suffered in a Car Accident are often under-estimated.2. Who can claim motor vehicle injury compensation?3. What can you claim for as part of motor vehicle injury compensation?4. What are the most common road and car accident injuries?

So you have been involved in a car accident. It wasn’t your fault - but you do not have any insurance. You may be looking for information on how you can claim for property damage to your vehicle, as well as for any injuries you might have suffered. 

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This article explains how you can claim compensation for injuries suffered, and also goes through some basic information to assist you with getting your vehicle back on the road. 

Every driver with a registered vehicle (such as a car, motorcycle or truck) has insurance which covers personal injuries. This is called Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance and is included as part of your registration payment. The purpose of CTP is to provide a means of financial compensation for people who have been injured in an accident with the vehicle. This may be an injury suffered as a passenger in the vehicle, as a driver or passenger in another vehicle, or as a pedestrian or cyclist

CTP insurance does not extend to vehicle or property damage, which means that if you are in a crash that was not your fault and neither driver has insurance other than CTP from their registration, you will need to make a claim against the at-fault driver for the cost of any repairs. Depending on the other driver’s objective financial situation this may be a difficult process.

Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers specialise in car and road injury claims

We are unable to provide legal advice for property damage-only claims where no physical or psychological injuries have occured. However, this article is designed to provide you with some helpful general information.

Been injured in a road accident that was not your fault? Murphy’s Law Injury Lawyers can help you to claim compensation from the at fault driver’s CTP insurance provider and will ensure you are supported throughout what can be a complex process. 

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You have no car insurance and someone hit your car

Driving is a common activity. While we do our best to take care to drive in a safe manner, from time to time car accidents do happen. Some of the common scenarios for property damage to vehicle include:

Neither myself or the at-fault driver have insurance

In the situation that neither driver has comprehensive car insurance, the cost of any repairs should be borne by the driver who was responsible for the accident. Depending on the scale of the damage to your vehicle, you may need to undertake comprehensive repairs, or may even have your vehicle written off. In this case, you will need to pursue the at-fault driver for the cost of repairs or the cost of replacing your vehicle which can be a difficult process.

[callout] Making a claim against the at fault driver should be started by sending a letter of demand. We have a template letter of demand for damage to your vehicle, which you can use to provide a clear request for the at-fault driver for the cost of repairs and associated damages. [endcallout]

I don’t have insurance but the at-fault driver does have insurance 

In this instance, you can make a claim against the at fault driver and their comprehensive insurance company can set in to pay the cost of repairs to your vehicle or replacement costs. Any compensation for personal injuries suffered will be a separate claim which is made through the CTP insurance provider. 

I have insurance but the at-fault driver doesn’t 

In the case where you have insurance, making a claim for damage to your vehicle is a fairly straightforward process. When an accident has happened, you will make a claim through your own insurance provider for the cost of the property damage to your vehicle. You will need to notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident so that they can commence the process of getting your vehicle back to its pre-accident condition promptly.

Your insurance will ordinarily cover you in the event that you are responsible for any damage to the other driver’s vehicle, which in some cases will be apportioned depending on who was responsible. For example, you may each have been equally responsible which means you will be liable for 50% of the cost of repairs to the other driver’s vehicle. 

How to get the at-fault driver to pay for my vehicle repairs.

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When you have been in an accident the usual process is for the drivers of the vehicles to exchange information, registration number information, and contact details and to provide information about their insurance products or provider, if they have one. In some cases, drivers do not have insurance, or are otherwise not willing to provide full details and refuses to pay.

In this section we explore two possible scenarios and explain how to go about commencing the process of getting the at-fault driver to pay for vehicle repairs. 

The at-fault driver is insured

If the at fault driver is insured, whether comprehensively or with third party property insurance, the process of claiming for the damage to your vehicle is straightforward. You simply need to ensure you get the details of their insurance provider and then submit the necessary information to them. They will liaise with you about how to proceed in terms of getting repairs to your vehicle.  

Both myself and the at-fault party are uninsured

What should I do

In cases where neither vehicles involved in the accident have comprehensive insurance, you will need to take some steps to go about getting your vehicle repaired, including: 

  1. Get a written quote to repair your vehicle. Getting two quotes can help support the claim but it is not a requirement. If your car has been written off (which means that the costs of repairs are more than the car is worth) you should get the most realistic valuation for the value of your vehicle less any salvage (wrecking) payment which may be made. You can find a valuation for your vehicle on a site like RedBook.
  2. Compile any other associated costs, such as towing or the costs of a hire car, which came about as a result of the accident. 
  3. Send the other party a letter of demand with copies of the information you have gathered (quotes and costs) and request payment within a set timeframe (28 days, for example). A letter of demand is a formal document which you can provide to someone which sets out what you are claiming, and why, and how you wish the payment to be made. It also outlines what action you may take if the payment is not made. Sending a letter of demand is highly recommended prior to taking further action against another party.
  4. If, after sending your letter of demand, the payment is not made for the repairs to your vehicle, you should commence a claim through the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). QCAT is the tribunal responsible for resolving disputes about a range of matters, including debt disputes which arise through claims for vehicle damage. 
  • Claims through QCAT can be made for amounts owing up to $25,000. If the damage sustained or loss exceeds $25k, you will be required to file a claim with the Court.
  • There is an application fee associated with a QCAT claim which varies depending on the amount you are claiming
  • You can commence a claim through QCAT online.
  • QCAT has the power to make an order which can then be enforced through the Magistrate’s Court.

If you are in the position of needing to make a claim against someone in QCAT, it is best to seek legal advice. You want to ensure that when the at-fault party receives a letter that you are in the best possible position to achieve a positive outcome. 

Myself or others were injured in the accident

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Being injured in motor vehicle accidents is something that we hope to avoid in our lives, but if it does happen you are covered by CTP insurance. This general insurance exists to provide cover for loss associated with an accident, including loss of wages and income, and also the costs associated with treatment and rehabilitation, where required. 

The process of claiming through CTP can be complex, which is why it is important to seek legal advice if you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault. Our lawyers can provide advice in a range of areas, including advice on how to: 

  • Get evidence of your injuries
  • Seek treatment for your rehabilitation and how to document any relevant steps
  • Provide information about your lost income or wages, if any
  • Commence a claim for compensation through a CTP provider
  • Ensure you receive the appropriate financial compensation for your injuries
  • Gather evidence on care you have received 

In the rare occasion where a driver is uninsured, or when you cannot identify the vehicle at fault for the accident (hit and run-type accident), there are protections in the form of the Nominal Defendant, a statutory body which exists to protect you even where CTP is unavailable. But there are very strict time limits that apply to commencing a claim against the Nominal Defendant, so you need to seek legal advice immediately in these circumstances. 

Get in touch with us today if you have been injured in a car accident that was not your fault. Our accident lawyers can assist you with identifying where you stand and will help you to see whether you have a claim for compensation. We operate on a no win no fee basis, which means that you will not pay us anything unless we are successful in helping you make a claim for compensation. 

Posted by Kirk Watterston Senior Associate

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Disclaimer: Please note, this content is designed as general information only and does not constitute legal advice. While we make every effort to fact check and keep items up to date, legislation may change from time to time. For advice on your specific situation then please contact us.
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