Have you been injured in a car or road accident with an unlicensed driver? When a driver is unlicensed there are natural concerns about their lack of insurance or means to pay for your losses. This article provides some information on your rights, which you have regardless of the at-fault party lacking a licence or insurance.
A person operating a motor vehicle who does not have a legal driver’s licence for Queensland is an unlicensed driver. Being unlicensed does not mean that the driver does not have insurance; as personal injury CTP insurance is linked to the registration of the vehicle being driven. As a result, if you are in an accident with an unlicensed driver and they cause personal injury to you, you will be eligible to claim against their CTP insurance.
Quick statistics on unlicensed drivers:
With these statistics, it is no wonder accidents with unlicensed drivers are common! It is important for drivers to know what their rights are and what to do if they are in an accident with an unlicensed driver.
For example: if you rear-end a vehicle driven by an unlicensed driver, it will still be you (or your insurer) who is at-fault and therefore liable to pay the damage to their vehicle and any claim for injury compensation. A difficulty that arises in accidents with unlicensed drivers is that the insurance company of the vehicle they are driving is unlikely to pay their liability for property damage. This is because driving unlicensed is usually a condition to negate any insurance coverage.
Unlicensed driver accidents are all too common, and we want to explore some of the common outcomes of being in an accident with an unlicensed driver.
If you have your own comprehensive car insurance policy, this should cover your vehicle damage regardless, and your insurer will usually pay you out immediately and then attempt to recover the amount from the unlicensed driver.
When it comes to personal injury insurance the situation is different. Comprehensive Third Party (CTP) Insurance is the only insurance that will pay out regardless of whether the at-fault driver is unlicensed or has a suspended or revoked licence. CTP covers any injury compensation which the at-fault driver would be liable to pay.
As we mentioned above, it’s possible to seek compensation under CTP insurance which every driver in Queensland will have as part of registration. But, in some cases drivers will drive unregistered vehicles. If this is the case, there is a statutory body called the nominal defendant which operates to compensate persons injured as a result of an accident with an uninsured driver.
If you have been injured in an accident there are strict time limits which apply in Queensland; you have three years from the date of the accident to commence your claim for injury compensation. That’s why it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible after you have been injured in a car accident so that you can find out whether you should pursue legal action against the at-fault party.
An uninsured driver is someone who does not have comprehensive or third party insurance cover on their vehicle. If you are in an accident with someone who does not have insurance it may be difficult to recover costs for damage sustained to your vehicle. Queensland drivers with a registered vehicle will have CTP insurance to cover any personal injury suffered in an accident.
It is not easy to know if someone is uninsured unless they tell you after being in an accident with them. You can only hope that someone has been honest with you after an accident; despite this there are some key things you can and should do after an accident to ensure that you are protected no matter what.
You will need to make contact with your insurance provider (if you have one) as soon as possible to report the accident and let them know what has happened so that your insurer can begin the process of recovering money for the damage to your vehicle.
An uninsured driver does not need to be reported per se - but it may make things a little harder for you to secure repairs on your vehicle. However, if you know that the person driving the other vehicle is driving an unregistered car you will need to report this to the police as this is an offence.
If you are involved in an accident with a driver who admits or who you suspect to be unlicensed contact Policelink on 131 444 and they will determine if police attendance is required at the scene of the accident.
If you have already left the scene of the accident, you should still report the matter to a police station and they will investigate the suspected license offence. There are serious penalties for unlicensed driving including large fines and imprisonment.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver this can make recovering money for the damage to your vehicle difficult. This is because any damage sustained will need to be paid for by the driver directly; and many people do not have this kind of money ready to hand over after an accident takes place. Your insurance provider will repair your vehicle and will often commence recovery procedures to get the money back from an at-fault driver.
If you are uninsured and have been in an accident with someone who was at fault, and also uninsured, you can follow a process to secure payment for the cost of repairs.
It’s important to get advice for your specific situation. Check if you can make a risk-free compensation claim and get free initial advice from our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
Check the process to recover costs from at fault driver in a road accident. Create a letter of demand in minutes with our free tool.
Check your legal rights in Queensland if you've been hit by a drunk driver. Information for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrian.