Uninsured Vehicles: How to Claim for Damage

Man checking damaged car

The piles of paperwork after a car accident are confusing and stressful, and even more so when an uninsured vehicle is involved. It may seem like a maze of legal terms, legislation and form-filing, but you are not alone.

If you’ve found yourself in an accident with an uninsured vehicle, you may be unsure of how to proceed. We’re going to explain seven situations involving uninsured vehicles:

  1. What is Compulsory Third Party Insurance?
  2. What does the law require when you are involved in an accident?
  3. What to do when you have insurance, but the at-fault vehicle does not
  4. How to claim for damages to your vehicle
  5. What to do if the other party refuses to pay for the repairs
  6. How to get a hire car free-of-charge when you are uninsured
  7. What to do if someone is injured in an accident involving an uninsured car

1. What is Compulsory Third Party Insurance?

If your car is registered in Queensland it will be covered by Compulsory Third Party Insurance. CTP insurance only pays for physical injury resulting from a car accident. If the car is not registered, a State Government scheme acts as the insurer of the at-fault party and pays for any injury caused. However, what about damage to a car or other personal items? What is available to repay for property damage?

2. What does the law require when I am involved in an accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, the law requires that you exchange your name and address with the other party, as well as Queensland Police if they come to the scene. If someone is injured or killed, or if the damage is likely to exceed $2,500, then you should report the accident to the Police.

3. What do I do when the at-fault vehicle is uninsured?

If your car has comprehensive insurance and you believe that another party is at fault, usually your insurer will repair your car. They will then contact the responsible party and request payment for the repairs. You will need to provide your insurer with the details of the collision and the contact information of the at-fault driver. If the other driver is not insured, your insurer will sue them in a court. You could be asked to provide written or oral evidence about the motor accident.

4. How do I claim for damages if I don’t have insurance?

If you are not insured, gaining payment for the damages to your vehicle is more difficult. You should start by finding a few quotes for the repair of your car. Once you have these, you should send a detailed letter of demand to the responsible party. Make sure you attach copies of the quotes to this.

The letter should include:

  • Your details
  • The details of the accident
  • The damage caused to your vehicle (include images)
  • How they are at fault
  • A request to pay a precise sum (i.e. the quoted repair cost)
  • A reasonable timeframe in which to pay the sum

5. What should I do if they refuse to pay?

If the other party does not agree to pay for the repairs, the next step is to take legal action. How you will take this action will depend upon the amount of money you are seeking. When the damage is $25,000 or less, you will need to bring your property damage claim to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT). If compensation is more than $25,000, a different court will hear the case.

QCAT requires you to act for yourself, without a legal representative speaking for you. A member of QCAT will hear the case and make orders regarding the claim, and these orders are enforceable. If you need more information, all of the relevant court forms and ‘how to’ guides are available online.

What should I do if they still refuse to pay?

If the responsible person continues to avoid paying, you can seek to enforce the Tribunal’s decision. This may involve taking steps to bankrupt them. You will likely need to obtain legal assistance in this regard. You can also seek assistance from a local community legal centre or other resources providing free legal advice.

6. How can I get a hire car free-of-charge if I am not insured?

There are now third party hire car companies that will provide innocent parties with a hire car. You can drive this vehicle while yours is being repaired, at no cost to you. However, they will often only provide a hire car if the at-fault party is insured. The hire company will then pursue the responsible person’s insurance company for the payment.

7. What should I do if someone is injured?

If you or another person are injured in the accident, it’s important that you seek out legal advice. Motor vehicle injury claims have strict time limits, so make sure you act quickly.

Talk to our team

At Claimify, we know how confusing and time-consuming filing a claim can be – especially when an uninsured vehicle is involved. That’s why we’ve streamlined our claims process. We provide free, straightforward legal advice so you can rest easy. Talk to us today.