In the unfortunate event you are involved in an incident with an uninsured or untraced driver and it is not your fault, do not worry as you will still be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
Who do I claim against?
A claim can be brought against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) under the Untraced Drivers Agreement if the offending vehicle is untraced, or under the Uninsured Drivers Agreement if the offending driver is uninsured.
The MIB is an organisation set up to compensate those in incidents involving uninsured and untraced drivers. The insurance companies fund the MIB by contributing a sum of money.
What do I do if the other vehicle drives away?
It is especially worrying if you have been involved in an accident and the offending vehicle drives away from the scene without leaving their details. As difficult it is in these circumstances, it is important to obtain as much information as possible. The MIB will need your co-operation throughout their investigations and will require as much information as possible. Here are my top tips:
- Take a note of the vehicle’s registration number, even if it is only a few digits from the number plate.
- Take a note of the colour, make and model of the vehicle.
- If you managed to see the number of occupants in the vehicle, make a note.
- If any witnesses were present at the scene and if it is safe to do so, make a note of their details. You will need their name, contact number and address so you can obtain witness statements in the future. Ask them if they saw the offending motorist and take details if they did.
- Contact the police and inform them of the incident. It is essential that you obtain a police log/reference number as you will this need to when making a claim.
- Check to see if there is any CCTV footage in the vicinity of the incident. If it is available, try to obtain a copy or make a note of where the camera is located e.g. on a lamppost.
- Take images of the location of the incident.
- If you are injured, seek medical assistance immediately. Go to your GP as a minimum if the injury is not too serious.
- Under the untraced drivers’ agreement, the MIB will not pay for vehicle damage. However, the MIB will pay for your personal injury if the claim is successful. Therefore, it is essential that you report the incident to your insurance company as they will be responsible for the repairs to your vehicle, unless you are able to repair the car privately (keep the vehicle repair invoice).
What about if I find out that the vehicle is not insured?
If the offending driver is uninsured, the MIB will still require as much information as possible regarding the accident circumstances. Most importantly, the vehicle registration, name of the driver and an address if possible.
What can I claim for?
If the claim is successful, the MIB will pay for your personal injury and any other special damages. These can vary from vehicle damages, prescription charges, physiotherapy treatment costs, loss of earning etc. Keep any receipts or invoices for proof when claiming these costs from the MIB.
I would recommend instructing an experienced personal injury solicitor as soon as possible, so you are aware of your rights early in the process. Your solicitor will be able to lead you through every step of the way.