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Can I make a ‘Hit and Run’ claim?

There are on average over 200,000 casualties of road accidents reported to the police each year and of these, according to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), approximately 160 people are killed and 23,000 injured as a result of hit and run accidents and accidents caused by uninsured drivers. With recent flooding and dangerous driving conditions it is likely that the number of accidents will increase and a percentage of these will be caused by drivers who don’t stop or who haven’t bothered to get any insurance.

Many of the victims of these accidents will believe that they have no ability to claim compensation for the injuries and losses they have sustained as a result of such an accident. This is because they either do not know who caused the accident in which they were injured or think that there is little or no point in claiming against someone who doesn’t have insurance. However, this is not the case and victims of such accidents do have the possibility of submitting a compensation claim to the Motor Insurers Bureau.

The MIB established in 1946, is a non-profit making organisation and central fund providing a means of compensating the victims of road accidents by negligent uninsured and untraced drivers, i.e. drivers who fail to stop and leave the accident scene before they can be identified. It is funded by all UK motor insurers who all contribute and pay a share of its costs. Motor insurers are only allowed to operate if they belong to the Bureau. There are two agreements between the Government and the motor insurance industry under which the MIB operates. The first relates specifically to uninsured drivers and the second to untraced drivers. This isn’t a free for all to claim compensation and both agreements contain strict criteria under which an injured victim is entitled to claim compensation which ensures that only legitimate claims are successful.

The key elements to make a successful claim are that the accident must have been reported to the police within 14 days of it happening, or as soon as reasonably practical,  and the claim must be submitted to the MIB within 3 years to claim for personal injury and 9 months to claim for property damage alone. Obviously, the injuries or damage must have been caused by the uninsured or untraced driver and the MIB will liaise with the police to investigate a claim. It is not only drivers of other vehicles who are entitled to make a MIB claim, anyone, such as a pedestrian, cyclist or passenger are all entitled to do so.

For many who have been injured in a hit and run accident or by an uninsured driver, the feeling that there is nothing you can do makes the situation seem even worse. Not only are there the injuries to recover from but often people will have had to take time off work and may have lost earnings, they may have had to pay to repair their car and paying the bills each month can get tough. In an already difficult financial environment it is important that people are aware of what action they are able to take in such circumstances.

Harris Fowler has an expert road traffic accident department who can offer friendly and professional advice, if you have suffered injuries as a result of motor accident on 0800 213 214 or visit harrisfowler.co.uk

Harris Fowler is a trading name of Harris Fowler Limited and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority no. 558271.