Queensland operates a common law ‘fault’ based Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme, which was first introduced in 1936. The scheme provides motor vehicle owners, drivers, passengers and other insured persons with an insurance policy that covers their unlimited liability for personal injury caused by, through or in connection with the use of the insured motor vehicle in incidents to which the Motor Accident Insurance Act 1994 (MAI Act) applies.
For the injured third party, it provides access to common law rights, where the injured person has a right to approach a law court to seek monetary compensation from the person ‘at fault’ for the personal injury and other related losses. As a fault based scheme it requires proof of liability, meaning the injured party must be able to establish negligence against an owner or driver of a motor vehicle. Consequently, circumstances can arise where an injured person can not obtain compensation, such as when they were the driver wholly at fault in the accident because there is no negligent party against whom a claim can be made.
The Queensland scheme is governed by the MAI Act and underwritten by private licensed insurers who accept applications for insurance and manage claims on behalf of their policyholders. Compensation is paid to accident victims from the respective insurer’s premium pool. Since 1994, the scheme has had an increased focus on the rehabilitation of injured persons and places certain obligations on insurers and claimants.
The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) regulates and monitors the scheme. The Nominal Defendant determines liability for and manages claims by injured persons where the ‘at fault’ vehicle is uninsured or unidentified. It also acts as insurer of last resort if a licensed insurer becomes insolvent.