Cycling in Sydney Australia
Nominal Defendant v Hawkins  NSWCA 93
A good decision.
Hi Tim, Mr Hawkins, an ordinary cyclist was injured as a result of another driver's harrassment on the road. He didn't know who the driver was at the time and brought proceedings against the Nominal Defendant. The insurer for the Nominal Defendant lost at first instance (District Court) and appealed the decision. The insurer lost its appeal.
Just because an injured cyclist does not know who hit him or her on the road, it does not mean there is no recourse.
Well, according to http://www.maa.nsw.gov.au/default.aspx?MenuID=111 "The MAA randomly allocates your claim to one of the insurers".
The whole concept of nominal defendant is new to me and seems somewhat amazing. Live and learn!
This is a very useful post Lawrence, thanks heaps.
I knew only a little about the Nominal Defendant. Great to see how it works.
I wonder what would happen if lots of cases like this were brought to court.
I guess motorist's insurers would either bump up premiums or decline cover for naughty people.
Its a very risky call. If the other party is injured its a criminal offence to leave the scene, and if the injury falls under GBH definitions, then the driver is risking a charge under Brendans Law, which has the same penalties as dangerous driving. Even the passengers can be charged after the fact if none of them report it.
Its a good way to upgrade a traffic infringement notice, a stern talking to by the desk seargent and an insurance claim into serious criminal proceedings.