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Have you been hit by an uninsured driver?

Your guide to claiming compensation from an uninsured driver

If you are involved in a car accident and discover the other driver was uninsured, what can you do? Can you still claim compensation or is that the end of any potential claim with you only being able to claim for your damaged vehicle from your own insurer? The good news is “no”, this is not the case and this guide explains the steps you would need to take to make a claim against an uninsured driver.

1 Don’t Panic

Fortunately, in 1946 a body called the Motor Insurers Bureau were set up to insure that victims of uninsured drivers still received compensation for their injuries. The Motor Insurers Bureau is funded by contributions from all of the major motor insurers. In effect, this means that each driver that buys insurance pays an additional £30 per policy to cover the cost of claims made against uninsured drivers, but at least it means if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident with one, you can still claim your compensation. Therefore, being hit by an uninsured driver should not lead to you panicking, you can still make a claim.

2 Evidence

It is important to obtain sufficient evidence to prove that you identified the other driver even though he does not have insurance. The reason for this is that if the other driver is not traceable, you will be dealt with under the ‘Untraced Drivers Agreement’ which pays far less compensation. If you are able to prove the identity of the other driver and trace his location but he does not have insurance you will be compensated more or less in the same way as if you were claiming against an insured driver. However, if you cannot prove the identity and cannot trace the driver, the compensation you will receive will be significantly reduced and your legal costs will not be paid in full. This will mean that you will have to pay some of the solicitor’s fees yourself.

It is therefore vital that you obtain evidence to support your claim which should include the following:

  • The names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident.
  • The name and address of the uninsured driver.
  • The details of the car (including make, model and registration number).
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident.

3 Find A Specialist Solicitor

You should ensure that you locate a solicitor that specialises in personal injury claims and has experience of making claims against the Motor Insurers Bureau. This is important for reasons described later in this article. However, basically, the process is more complicated when making a claim against uninsured drivers and you must therefore ensure that you find a solicitor with the required expertise.

4 Letter To The Motor Insurers Bureau

Once you have found a specialist solicitor they will obtain full details of your accident from you and then will send a letter to the Motor Insurers Bureau notifying them of your claim for compensation. They will also write to the uninsured driver and explain that the Motor Insurers Bureau will be involved on their behalf. In theory, the Motor Insurers Bureau can try and recover compensation that they pay to you from the uninsured driver but on most occasions if they have not purchased insurance it is because they did not have the money to do so, so obtaining any money from them will be difficult to say the least.

The letter will set out the full details of your claim and notify the MIB that the driver was uninsured.

5 Response From The Motor Insurers Bureau

Once the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) has reviewed your claim, they will confirm receipt of the evidence and start to investigate the circumstances of the claim. It is made more difficult for them because they do not have an insurer that is responsible for replying to their correspondence. The uninsured driver may not want to contact the MIB at all for fear that they will seek to recover any compensation paid from them. Therefore, the MIB may have to rely on your evidence and any evidence of any witnesses to the accident to prove that the accident was not your fault.

6 Settle Or Issue Proceedings?

If you have recovered from your injuries and are in a position to settle your claim, your solicitor might seek to receive offers in settlement from the MIB. If these are reasonable offers, your solicitor will advise acceptance and your claim will be concluded. In addition to your claim for compensation the MIB will also pay your solicitor’s costs.

7 Failure To Settle

If you cannot agree settlement terms with the MIB your solicitor will advise that proceedings be issued. This is when it is absolutely vital that you have a specialist solicitor on your side who understands how to make a claim against the MIB. They will need to comply with the many time limits that must be followed to ensure the claim against the MIB will be successful. If he is not aware of all of the time limits this could lead to your claim being struck out and instead of making a claim against the MIB you might have to sue your solicitor which will add delay and costs to your compensation claim.

However, if you have instructed a solicitor that specialises in personal injury claims they are likely to understand the terms of the Motor Insurers Bureau Agreement and comply with all of the time limits.

8 Settlement Of Your Claim

Very few personal injury claims reach a final Court hearing and it is likely that even if your solicitor has to issue proceedings against the MIB, a settlement will be agreed long in advance of any final hearing.

9 Conclusion

You can see from above that if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver you are still able to make a claim for compensation although it is important that you obtain advice from a solicitor that understands the more complicated process.