Bob Beard, Personal Injury specialist at Coodes Solicitors, outlines your options if you are injured in a hit and run or an accident involving an uninsured driver.
You may be aware that you can claim compensation if you are involved in a road traffic accident that was not your fault, but what if the driver was uninsured or is untraceable? Though your case may be a little more complex for a lawyer to resolve, being in this situation should not deter you from making a claim.
It is illegal to drive without insurance, but unfortunately some people seek to avoid the cost of premiums by taking that risk. Other drivers may put themselves in a position of invalidating their insurance – for example by driving a vehicle they are not insured for, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Discovering that the person responsible does not have valid insurance can add to the stress of being injured in an accident. However, if you are in an accident and discover the other driver does not have insurance, you should follow the same basic steps as if you were involved in any other collision. That includes exchanging details and noting down any information about the other vehicle, especially its registration number. It is a legal requirement to provide these details if you are involved in an accident, so you should contact the Police if the other driver refuses to cooperate.
In most road traffic accident personal injury claims, the compensation comes from the insurance company of the driver at fault. However, if the driver is uninsured, the funds will need to come from the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau), a Government body that exists for these situations. Your personal injury lawyer will coordinate the claim and the MIB may also seek the involvement of an insurance company. It may just take a little longer to complete than the average claim, because of the MIB’s need to carry out their own investigations. However, it should not affect the end result.
Perhaps even more distressing than being injured by an uninsured driver is being involved in an accident with a driver who cannot be traced. If the driver flees the scene it can be more difficult to prove the facts of the case and who was at fault. Sadly, here at Coodes we have dealt with a number of these cases.
As with any road traffic accident, the Police will need to be involved in the first instance and fleeing the scene of an accident is a criminal offence.
It is possible to claim compensation if you are injured in a hit and run incident. As with accidents involving uninsured drivers, your lawyer will handle these claims through the MIB. If you can provide your personal injury lawyer with as much evidence as possible – including witness statements, police records, photographs of your vehicle, the scene and of your injuries – that will significantly help your case.
Being injured in a road traffic accident can have a significant impact on your life, including your mental and physical health and your ability to work. Getting legal advice following an accident can not only help you claim compensation, it can also enable you to get the right treatment to aid your rehabilitation. It is important to ensure you get the help you need, including compensation to help you get your life back on track.