Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver

If you have an accident with an uninsured driver, it can be confusing to know what your rights are and what steps you should take. Its important to understand which insurances are available and what questions you should ask.


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What types of car insurance policies are there?

Comprehensive car insurance


This covers you for damage you your vehicle as well as damage to other people’s vehicles and property. So if you have an accident and its your fault, your comprehensive insurance will pay to fix damage to your car and anyone else’s vehicle or property that was also damaged. This insurance does not cover injury claims.

Third party property insurance


This only covers you for damage to other people’s vehicles or property. If you have an accident and its your fault, your third party insurance will pay for the damage you caused to other people’s vehicles and property, but not your own vehicle.

Compulsory third party insurance


This covers you for liability for personal injury claims made by other people, but does not cover you for your own injuries. If you are at fault in a car accident and another party is badly injured, they are entitled to make a negligence claim against you. Your CTP insurance will pay any compensation you are liable for.

What happens if I am in an accident with an ‘uninsured driver’?


If the other driver says they have no insurance, it is important to clarify what they mean. Do they hold no insurance at all? Or do they simply mean they are not fully insured?

Is injury compensation insurance available?


In Queensland, all registered vehicles must hold compulsory third party (CTP) insurance which covers the at fault owner or driver for personal injury liability to other people. Therefore it is important to determine whether the other driver’s vehicle is registered or not.

If the at fault driver’s vehicle is registered, they will have CTP insurance to cover your personal injuries.
If the at fault driver’s vehicle is unregistered, you still have the right to make a personal injury claim against the “Nominal Defendant” in Queensland. This is a fund set up to act as the CTP insurer to compensate injury victims where the ‘at fault’ vehicle cannot be identified or is unregistered.

Is property damage insurance available?


In Queensland, there is no compulsory requirement to hold insurance for property damage. It is entirely up to the vehicle owner whether they purchase full comprehensive car insurance, third party property insurance or no property damage insurance at all.


It is important to ask the “uninsured driver” whether they have purchased only third party damage insurance or no property damage insurance at all. Regardless, you have the right to claim against the ‘at fault’ driver for damage to your vehicle whether or not they hold insurance.


If the at fault party does not have any property damage insurance, they will need to pay for all of the damage to their own vehicle and your vehicle out of their own pocket.

What happens if the vehicle has no current registration or the driver is unknown?


If the at fault driver’s vehicle is unregistered, chances are they won’t have compulsory third party insurance to cover you for personal injuries. However you still have the right to make a personal injury claim against the “Nominal Defendant” in Queensland. This is a fund set up to act as the CTP insurer to compensate injury victims where the ‘at fault’ vehicle cannot be identified or is unregistered.

How do I go about  making a claim for damage to my vehicle?


If another person is at fault for an accident, you are entitled to be compensated for damage to your vehicle. However, when there are numerous insurance policies involved and disputes over who caused the accident, it can be confusing to know what steps to take to get your car fixed. Your options will largely depend on your circumstances.

1. Make a claim on your own full comprehensive car policy


The most straight forward option is to make a claim on your own comprehensive car insurance policy (if you have one). Once you notify your insurer of the accident and provide them with all the information they require, they will pay for your vehicle to be fixed and then make a claim against the at-fault driver or their insurance company.

2. Make a formal demand


If you don’t have full comprehensive cover, you will have to deal directly with the other party. The best way to make a claim for the cost of your repairs is to send a letter of demand. Refer
for information on how to draft one yourself. The party may pay your demand themselves or refer it to their insurer for payment.

If you know the name of the other party’s insurer you have the option of sending a copy of the letter directly to them.

3. File a claim with QCAT


If the other party fails to respond to your letter of demand or is simply refusing to pay for your repair costs, you will need to make a claim in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to enforce your legal rights. It can hear disputes about property damage valued up to and including $25,000.

Next steps - get advice now

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.

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Last update on:
May 29, 2018
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.

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