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Can I Still Make A Personal Injury Claim If I Have Been Involved In A Hit And Run? #RoadSafetyWeek

It is Road Safety Week this week (19th – 25th November 2023). We want to highlight the importance of what can happen if you are involved in an accident which involves a hit and run. This can be an emotionally challenging time.

One of the first questions that many claimants are asked when they start the process of bringing a claim is ‘who is responsible for the accident and your injuries?’ Most of the time the answer is relatively straightforward whether it is an employer, the local council or the driver of a vehicle.

However, what happens if a driver leaves the scene of an accident without exchanging details, does not stop at all or it later transpires that the vehicle was stolen? The answer is that you can still make a claim via an organisation called the MIB.

Who are the MIB?

The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) is an organisation established in 1946 to compensate those who have been injured by either uninsured or untraced motorists.

In addition to this, the MIB also run and maintain databases to assist claimant’s in locating the correct insurance company to direct a claim to as well as to identify UK claims handlers for foreign vehicles.

The criteria for these claims are set out in a series of agreements between the government and the MIB. The most recent agreements came into force in 2015 in respect of claims against uninsured drivers and 2017 for claims against untraced drivers.

Claiming Against an Untraced Driver

Claims under the Untraced Drivers Agreement 2017 are submitted to the MIB via an online portal system. This allows information about the accident and injuries to be entered and any relevant documents to be uploaded.

Once the MIB have received the claim, they will commence their investigations which will normally include taking a statement from the injured party, requesting copies of their medical records, requesting information from the police and arranging an appointment with a medical expert to prepare a report on the injuries sustained.

In order to succeed in a claim against the MIB and be awarded damages, the MIB needs to be satisfied that the accident occurred as a result of the use of a motor vehicle, that the claimant sustained injury as a result and that the untraced driver would have been found to be at fault had they been identified.

The Untraced Drivers Agreement also places certain obligations on claimants and they can refuse to award compensation if a claimant fails to fulfil these. These obligations include:

  • Notifying the MIB of the claim by submission of their claim form (via their online portal)
  • Providing any information/documents requested by the MIB within a reasonable time
  • Generally giving any assistance that the MIB may reasonable require to investigate including the provision of a statement
  • Reporting the accident to the police (if not already done) as soon as reasonably practicable and co-operating with any police investigations and enquiries

The time limits for bringing claims against uninsured and untraced drivers is the same as any other personal injury claim namely 3 years from the date of the accident (or in the case of a child, 3 years from their 18th birthday) therefore if you have been involved in an accident with an untraced driver, you should not delay in lodging a claim with the MIB.

The amount of compensation awarded under the Untraced Agreement 2017 is assessed using the same criteria and guidelines as any other personal injury claim so a claimant is not disadvantaged by pursuing a claim under this scheme. There are some exceptions and a specialist lawyer can advise on this.

The Untraced Driver’s Agreement also provides for an appeal process for claimant’s who believe that their award is insufficient or the MIB were incorrect to reject their claim.

At Hodge Jones & Allen we are proud sponsors of Brake, a road safety charity that works with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries and support those who are bereaved and seriously injured.

Although the process may seem straightforward, it is important to seek advice from a specialist lawyer to help navigate the online system and advise on the evidence as well as any award made or potentially the appeal process. Contact our leading Personal Injury Solicitors now on 0808 271 9413 or request a call back. 

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