What happens if a person injured in a car accident does not know the identity of the vehicle / driver at fault?

A claim cannot be made unless “due search and inquiry” has been made to establish the identity of the motor vehicle. Decided cases say that the due search and enquiries that have to be made are those that are “reasonable” in the circumstances. They have to be prompt and as thorough as possible in the circumstances.

The can include printing notices in local news papers seeking contact from the owner / driver of the car and relevant witnesses, canvassing the scene of the accident for witnesses from nearby homes and shops, placing notices at the scene of the accident seeking contact / witnesses. If the claimant can establish to the court that the identity of the driver / car was incapable of being established after due search and enquiries were conducted, the claimant can pursue the claim against the “nominal defendant”.

This publication is not legal advice. It is intended as a source of information only. No reader should act on any matter without first obtaining professional advice.