It is well known that the ‘Nominal Defendant’ will pay compensation to a person who has been injured in a motor accident where the at-fault driver is either unknown or does not have compulsory third party (CTP).

What is not as commonly known, however, is that the Nominal Defendant can actually recover from the owner or driver of an uninsured vehicle that is at fault for an accident any amounts that the Nominal Defendant has paid.

This is set out in section 39 of the Motor Accidents Compensation Act:

(1) Any amount properly paid by the Nominal Defendant in satisfaction of a claim made or judgment obtained under section 33, 34 or 35 and the amount of any costs and expenses properly incurred by it in relation to any such claim or judgment may be recovered by the Nominal Defendant as a debt:

(a) from the person who, at the time of the occurrence out of which the claim arose or in respect of which the judgment was obtained, was the owner of the motor vehicle, or

(b) where at the time of such occurrence some other person was driving the motor vehicle, from the owner and the driver jointly or from either of them severally.

Those who believe that they may be liable to the Nominal Defendant should seek expert legal advice immediately, as there are several defences and exemptions that may be available.

Our expert lawyers are here to help. If you would like further information or require legal assistance you can Telephone us on 1300 292 700 or use our Legal Enquiry Form for same business day response. There is no cost to you for making initial contact with us.


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Key Takeaways