Making personal injury claims against uninsured or untraced drivers

There are around 25,000 incidents every year in the UK involving uninsured drivers.

Accidents happen – it’s a fact of life. It’s also the reason why we take out insurance.

But if someone else is at fault, then it’s that person’s insurance that pays for any damage or injury you suffer.

So what happens if that person isn’t insured?

All motorists are required by law to have a valid insurance policy. But as we all know, not everyone obeys the law. No-one knows exactly how many uninsured drivers there are on Britain’s roads, but a fair estimate is about 1.2 million. Which is roughly one driver in every 36, although that could climb to as many as one in five in inner cities.

The chances of being hit by an uninsured driver are about a hundred times higher in the UK than in Germany. There about 1 in 500 drivers are uninsured, while in Sweden the figure is about one in 1,000. So it’s a particular problem for law-abiding British motorists.

So what happens if you suffer injury or property damage at the hands of an uninsured driver?

Fortunately, you’re not completely unprotected.

There are around 25,000 incidents every year in the UK involving uninsured drivers, and they’re dealt with by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). This non-profit company is funded by the insurance industry, through a levy that we all pay on top of our insurance premiums.

Provided you are insured – even if it’s only 3 Party – you should be able to make a claim on the MIB. The process works in the same way that it would if the guilty party was insured.

Of course, it’s not always easy proving that it was the other person’s fault, and claiming from the MIB can be complicated and time consuming. So it pays to have an experienced legal representative to look out for your interests.

As well as helping you with the claiming process, your lawyer can ensure that you get the right kind of medical examinations, and any treatment that you might need.

Depending on the type of injury you have suffered, you may also need to claim for the cost of long-term care and rehabilitation. Your lawyer can also help you to do this.

Chances are, if you’ve been in a traffic accident you’ll probably be shaken up and may not be thinking straight. But what you do in those first few moments could be critical.

The first thing is to take a note of the other vehicle’s registration number. If the driver’s uninsured, it’s quite possible that they will leave the scene without exchanging details. Try and get names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses too, and take photographs of the scene if possible.

You should contact the Police immediately and report the incident. You must do this within 5 days of the accident if there’s damage to property, and within 14 days if someone is injured.

You should visit a medical professional as soon as you can. Even if your injuries seem minor, and even if they don’t hurt, it’s essential that you have this confirmed, particularly if you’ve taken a bang on the head.

The sooner you start the claim process the better. Having a lawyer to fight your corner can give you peace of mind as well as making sure nothing gets missed. And if you enter into a no-win-no-fee arrangement, you won’t have to pay a penny in legal costs until your claim is paid.

(Daily Mirror article)