Can you still bring a claim when the defendant driver is uninsured or untraceable?
The simple answer is yes you can.
This is good news for claimants as every year thousands of people are injured or killed by uninsured drivers or during a hit and run and they are still able to claim compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (‘MIB’).
The MIB was established over 70 years ago by the Government to assist those who have suffered loss at the hands of uninsured or untraceable drivers. All companies offering motor insurance services in the UK must be a member of the MIB. Approximately £30 from all insurance premiums will be paid to the MIB to ensure that funds are available for those injured by uninsured or untraced drivers.
A claim made through the MIB is subject to the same time limits as a standard personal injury claim where there is a known insurer. This means that you must bring your claim within three years from the date of the collision. This will be the case unless you are under the age of 18 or lack the mental capacity to bring a claim, in which case the limitation period is altered.
Who can bring a claim?
You may be able to make a claim if you sustained an injury on the road as a car driver, cyclist, biker, e-scooter rider, passenger, or a pedestrian.
In order for your claim to be accepted by the MIB you must report the incident to the police within 14 days of the collision, unless you have a good reason not to. In cases where a collision has caused serious injury, it is likely that the police will have attended the scene and so this will not usually be an issue. However, you will need to provide the MIB with proof of the fact that you have reported the incident to the police. This is usually done by supplying the MIB with the report reference number which you can obtain from the police.
The MIB provides compensation to law abiding citizens for injuries that they sustain, through no fault of their own, and where the blameworthy party cannot be identified. There are therefore some circumstances that are explicitly excluded, such as if you allowed yourself to be carried in a stolen or unlawfully taken vehicle.
What can you claim?
The MIB must award you a sum of money that is equal to what a court would award you for your injuries if you were able to bring a claim in the traditional way against the Defendant’s insurance company. Therefore, this includes both past and future losses. For example, loss of earnings, the cost of care, treatment costs and travel costs. You may also be able to claim for the damage to your property and replacement vehicle hire.
How to bring a claim?
A claim to the MIB can be made by submitting an application form. The MIB will then investigate the claim and, if the application is successful, make an award.
Once you accept a sum of money from the MIB, it will be in full and final settlement of your claim. It will not then be possible to return to the MIB asking for more money should your symptoms deteriorate. It is therefore very important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure the award is sufficient to properly compensate you for your injuries and for all past and future losses.
What is the process for bringing a claim?
The MIB will investigate, at their own cost, the circumstances of the collision in order to decide if they are able to accept the claim. This involves conducting investigations into whether the driver was insured, reviewing the police report, and requesting you provide a witness statement setting out the collision circumstances which can be used to help determine who was at fault.
The MIB will either confirm in writing that they accept the claim, or they may conclude that their investigations showed the incident is not covered by the MIB and reject the claim.
If the MIB accepts the claim, they will then make an award based on the severity of your injuries and your financial losses. In order to determine the value of your claim, it is likely that your solicitors, the MIB, or perhaps both will arrange for you to be examined by medical experts who will prepare reports detailing the injuries you sustained, any required treatment, and a future prognosis.
Once the MIB has investigated the claim and the extent of your injuries and losses, it will then notify your representatives of their decision to make an award of compensation. If you accept this award, the MIB will then pay the compensation within 14 days of acceptance. They will also pay a contribution towards your legal costs.
What to do next?
At Bolt Burdon Kemp, we have specialist solicitors who can help you bring a claim if you have sustained injuries due to a road traffic collision caused by an uninsured or untraced driver.
If you think that you may have a claim, you can speak to one of our specialist personal injury solicitors who will advise you accordingly. If you do have a claim and would like to pursue this, then they will be able to put your mind at rest in relation to the legal process and what will be expected of you as a claimant.
Our exceptional personal injury solicitors are experienced to in acting for people who have suffered the most serious injuries in road traffic collisions, including brain injuries, spinal injuries, loss of limb and death. We can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.
A successful legal claim could help you get your life back on track.