The “blameless” accident

Injuries caused in a motor vehicle accident as a result of the negligence of another driver normally gives rise to an entitlement to compensation and damages. If you are a passenger in a vehicle of the driver of the not at fault vehicle or if you are a pedestrian hit by the at fault vehicle you can normally claim.

Sometimes however no one is to blame? For example, what if you are driving a motorcycle on a country road and you collide with a kangaroo? I have a case of this very type for a very unlucky man who sustained injuries that have left him unable to work and without proper use of his arm.

The District Court recently interpreted the “blameless” accident provisions of the Motor Accident Compensation Act 1999 (NSW).

In that case the motor vehicle accident occurred in 2011. The injured person was a driver of a motor vehicle that was in a single vehicle accident involving a tree that had fallen onto the road striking the motor vehicle and causing it to career out of control. As a result the driver sustained very serious injuries.

The Judge decided that there had been a motor vehicle accident and that it was a “blameless accident”. The injured person was awarded damages for his serious injuries.

The blameless accident provisions apply to drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

For all motor accidents there are strict time limits applying to lodgement of claims, usually within six months of the accident. If you wish to discuss your potential entitlements please call Toby Tancred.