In 2017, an elderly client of ROCHE Legal was shopping at a supermarket when a person riding a mobility scooter negligently reversed into them. The shopper was knocked down and caused them a serious injury. The person riding the mobility scooter saw what they had done, and chose to flee the scene without showing any concern or offering any assistance.
If you use a motorised wheelchair on a footpath or road area in Queensland, it must be registered. The at-fault mobility scooter would therefore have had Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance cover as part of it’s registration. However, immediately after the accident, the rider of the scooter promptly left the scene without giving out his details or anyone taking note of the registration number.
CCTV footage was available and provided by the supermarket to assist the victim, but upon review, the footage was not clear enough to be able to identify the rider or the mobility scooter’s registration details. Therefore it was not possible to identify the rider’s CTP insurer in order to claim compensatory damages.
Note: The supermarket itself was not considered liable for the incident as the incident fell outside of the scope of public liability insurance.
Thankfully, in Queensland there is a government body established under the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 for the purpose of compensating people who are injured as a result of the negligent driving of unidentified and/or uninsured (no CTP insurance) motor vehicles.
This body is known as The Nominal Defendant. The Nominal Defendant is taken to be a licensed insurer and is charged with defending claims, which in effect, allows victims of hit and runs to claim compensation.
The Nominal Defendant operation is funded by a levy within everybody’s CTP premiums. You probably don’t even know you’re paying it.
Because of the operation of the Nominal Defendant, our client had an avenue to make a claim for compensation.