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This article was published on April 7th, 2020
Our team of road traffic accident solicitors have dealt with a wide range of RTAs since our firm was formed, however, one of the common questions we are asked by clients is; “Can I claim compensation if I’m hit by an uninsured driver or the driver can’t be traced?” and the answer is yes, but it will involve the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
Many people are unaware of the existence of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) and its function, which enables it to provide assistance in cases where a driver cannot be traced, or a collision occurs and an uninsured driver is involved.
In this blog post our Catastrophic Injury team take a look at the purpose of the MIB as well as the legal process for claiming compensation following a road traffic collision involving an uninsured driver.
Established in 1946, the key values of the MIB include ‘reducing the level and impact of uninsured driving in the UK’ and ‘compensating victims of uninsured and untraced drivers fairly and promptly’. So, in a nutshell, the MIB will look to settle your claim if you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured or untraced motorist.
Any company offering motor insurance in the UK is obliged by law (S.95 Road Traffic Act 1988) to be a member of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and to contribute to its funding, with roughly £15 of every UK car insurance premium going towards their efforts.
Before you protest too much about this consider the fact that despite it being mandatory in this country for vehicles to be insured (S.143 Road Traffic Act 1988), it is estimated that there are around one million uninured drivers roaming the streets, roads and motorways of Britain.
Similarly, despite individuals being obliged by law to stop at the scene of an accident and provide their details (S.170 Road Traffic Act 1988), a small minority of drivers would rather attempt to evade punishment than stop and admit fault.
On average, the MIB settles around 25,000 claims a year and roughly 120 of these claims relate to an accident where someone had died at the hands of a driver who either had no insurance or who fled the scene. So there is every chance that you yourself might need the MIB at some point in the future.
For those unfortunate enough to be hit by a driver without insurance, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau will consider a claim under the “Uninsured Drivers Scheme”. Through this scheme, you can claim compensation for personal injury, the cost of repairing or replacing your bike, hire charges or property damage to items damaged in the accident as well as any rehabilitation treatment such as physiotherapy. The MIB will also pay in full any legal fees associated with bringing your claim.
Where the driver responsible for the accident leaves the scene and cannot be traced, the MIB will consider a claim under the “Untraced Drivers Scheme”.
Prior to 2017, in order to be eligible for compensation under this scheme, you used to have to report the accident to the police within 14 days. Although this is no longer a pre-requisite to claiming, it would be prudent to report it both to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible following the accident and certainly before submitting a claim to the MIB.
Whilst the MIB will consider compensation for personal injury, it will only consider payments for property damage in certain circumstances and you will likely have to make use of your comprehensive insurance policy for the damage to your bike.
Unfortunately, the MIB will also only cover part of any legal fees associated with bringing your claim and therefore you will most likely be required to make a contribution to your solicitor’s fees from any compensation awarded to you.
The MIB also operates a Green Card Scheme that deals with accidents abroad or with foreign registered vehicles but, given the complexity of this process, we’ll have to save this for another article.
In all the above circumstances the MIB must first establish that you are entitled to claim compensation before it will assist you and limitation periods apply; therefore, it would be in your best interests to secure the help of a professional who is already familiar with the MIB to prevent you from falling foul of the processes and procedures.
If you are in need of legal assistance and wish to pursue a claim for a road traffic accident involving an uninsured driver or want to know how the Motor Insurers’ Bureau will be involved in your claim, our team may be able to help.
In order to assess your claim and give you the best possible advice, we offer a free initial consultation. This helps us identify the circumstances of your claim and also assess its validity, our expert personal injury solicitors will then give you the most suitable advice as to what steps should be taken next.
If you’d like to discuss your potential claim with our team, please contact us for free today on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form by clicking here.