Road victims should not believe (as some do) that they are not a victim of crime. Previously "dangerous driving" was deemed, under the Criminal Code as a misdemeanour."Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle" is now deemed to be a crime under section 328a of the Criminal Code.



Who is a Victim? (from the Criminal Offence Victims Act)


A victim is a person who has suffered from a violation of the State’s criminal laws;

(a) because a crime is committed that involves violence against the person in a direct way; or

(b) because the person is a member of the immediate family of, or is a dependant of, a victim mentioned in paragraph (a); or

(c) because the person has directly suffered the harm in intervening to help a victim mentioned in paragraph (a).



Your Rights as a Victim:


A victim of crime should, on request, be advised by a law enforcement officer of the following;

·         The progress of investigations being conducted, unless disclosure is likely to jeopardise the investigation.

·         The charges laid for the crime and details of the place and date of hearing of the proceedings for the charge.

·         The name of the person charged.

·         The reasons for anyone’s decision to proceed with the charge or to amend the charge or to accept a plea to a lesser charge.

·         If the charged person is released on bail or otherwise before the proceedings on the charge is finished - the arrangements made for the release, including any condition and any application for a variation of the condition that may affect the victim’s safety or welfare.

·         The outcome of any proceedings, including appeals.




For whatever reason, you might be dissatisfied with your chosen legal representation, but  don’t despair. You are just as entitled to a second legal opinion as you are to a second medical opinion. And don’t be taken in by a lawyer’s claim of “No Win. No Pay”. There are still some solicitors who are not strictly “No Win. No Pay” and you should ask questions about this before committing yourself, otherwise you could find yourself with very expensive medical reports etc. before your claim is settled. Inadequate or misleading legal representation can adversely affect the amount of compensation that you are entitled to. Be wary of recommendations from well-meaning friends who might say things like,“Aunt Mary’s solicitor was very helpful with her divorce case”. Aunt Mary’s solicitor might be something of an expert in divorce matters but what is his/her expertise in the field of injury compensation? Lawyers tend to specialise in particular areas of law. Some will be unlikely to refuse your case just because it is a different area of expertise than theirs.



For information on legislation refer to the Traffic Act, the Criminal Code, the Coroners Act, Criminal Offence Victims Act and High Court precedents.  For other information refer to references under government.