Uninsured and Untraced Driver Claims
Mooneerams solicitors have been specialists in road traffic accident claims ever since the company was founded in 2002.
In that time our dedicated road traffic accident solicitors have made successful road traffic accident compensation claims on behalf of thousands of clients. The total amount of compensation that we have recovered on their behalf runs into millions of pounds.
It is bad enough being injured in a non-fault car accident where the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident, is insured.
At least then you can be pretty sure that when you start a personal injury compensation claim, that as long as you have an experienced firm of road traffic accident injury solicitors such as Mooneerams working on your side, you will recover the compensation that you deserve.
But, what happens if you have the same type of accident and the other driver turns out to be uninsured? Worse still what is the case if the other driver is untraced i.e. you are the victim of a hit and run?
A government organisation called the Motor Insurers Bureau (M.I.B.) produced some statistics in 2016 that revealed that there are 1 million uninsured drivers on the road in the UK. The statistics also alarmingly noted that every three days, someone is involved in an accident caused by an uninsured or a ‘hit and run’ motorist, where someone dies from the injuries sustained in the accident. Many more sustain non-fatal injuries.
This organisation was set up by the government to make sure that when someone is injured in an accident that isn’t their fault and the other driver is either uninsured or untraced, that the innocent victim does not go without compensation for the injuries that they’ve suffered.
The M.I.B covers all road accidents involving;
- Car Accidents
- Cycling Accidents
(where another road vehicle’s driver was at fault)
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Passenger claims
- Van /Truck Accidents
- HGV Vehicles
It is highly unlikely that a coach carrying passengers would be uninsured, but should that unlikely scenario happens, then those types of accidents happen then the M.I.B agreements would cover those too.
The procedures for dealing with your claim if you find yourself the victim of an accident involving an uninsured or untraced driver, differs depending on which of these two scenarios apply to you.
Obtaining Compensation When the Driver that Caused Your Accident Injury was Uninsured
Making a claim for injury compensation where the driver is uninsured, is similar to the way that your solicitor would go about making a claim against an insured driver. There are some rules though specific to these types of claims and if these rules are not followed then you could find yourself in the situation where the M.I.B. are able to refuse to pay out compensation.
- You must ask the driver at fault for the accident for details of his insurance as soon as possible. If the driver does not provide his details (possibly after repeated requests for him to do so) or admits that he has no insurance
- Your solicitor (or you if you are dealing with the claim yourself, you) must give formal notice to the M.I.B within 14 days of you issuing court proceedings against the uninsured driver. Every time a formal step is taken in the court proceedings, the M.I.B. must also be given notice of the steps being taken
- You have to make the application to the M.I.B. within three years of the accident. This really just follows the general rule for the time limits for making a personal injury claim, even when the driver is insured – that is, that a personal injury claim must be made (by starting court proceedings) within 3 years of the accident
- Once you have taken the steps of notifying the M.I.B, then your compensation claim will be dealt with in the same way that any road traffic accident compensation claim would be if the driver had been insured. Your compensation will be assessed in the same way and the legal costs that can be recovered at the end of the claim, will be assessed in the same way as a claim against an insured driver.
It is worth noting that an uninsured driver claim can still be pursued if there was insurance covering the other vehicle but the driver himself was not insured under that policy.
The funding of your uninsured driver claim can be done by agreeing with your solicitor that they will act for you on a No Win, No Fee arrangement. Contact Mooneerams on 029 2048 3615 to find out more about how they can assist you with a compensation claim against an uninsured driver.
Obtaining compensation when the driver that caused your accident injury was untraced (A hit and run accident)
If the driver that caused the accident in which you were injured drove off and remains untraced, or if he stopped and provided details which later prove to be false, then you will need to follow the M.I.B.’s rules that apply to untraced driver claims.
- Report the accident to the Police within 14 days, informing them that the driver is untraced. There is a good case for saying that even if a driver has given you a name and address after an accident, but doesn’t respond to follow up calls or emails in the following days after the accident, that you should report the accident to the Police before the 14-day period from the date of the accident has passed.
If it turns out that the other driver has not given a false name and address, then no harm has been done in reporting the accident anyway. At least though if the driver has given false details and the matter then becomes an untraced driver claim, you will have complied with the need to report the accident within the 14-day period
- You must notify the Bureau of the claim within 3 years of the accident. Obviously in an untraced driver compensation claim, there is no-one to issue court proceedings against. The claim will therefore be dealt with solely through the M.I.B. They will assess and negotiate settlement with you (your solicitor) in the same way as would be the case with an uninsured driver claim.
However, they will not pay the first £300 pounds of any property damage part of your claim. So, if you are trying to recover the excess on your vehicle insurance policy (if you are comprehensively insured) then if the policy excess is any amount up to £300 you will not recover it. If, for example, you have an excess of £500, you will only get back £200
The amount of legal costs you can recover following a successful untraced driver claim are very limited.
Call Mooneerams now on 029 2048 3615 if you have been injured in a uninsured or untraced driver accident within the last 3 years and we will be able to advise you whether you have a valid claim to pursue. Alternatively fill in one of our quick claim forms or email us at email@example.com and we’ll get straight back to you.