Can I make a claim if the other driver is untraceable?
Even when the identity of the other driver involved in a 'hit and run' collision is unknown, it may be possible to claim compensation for a road traffic accident involving an untraceable driver.
In these cases there is a specific process to follow, and steps that should be taken to improve the chance of a successful claim.
In most cases, road accidents are handled by the negligent driver's insurance company. The insurer generally pays for vehicle repairs and pays compensation for any injuries sustained.
You may still be able to make a claim for compensation even if the other driver is untraceable or uninsured. Claims like these are made against a Government body set up for this purpose, the Motor Insurers' Bureau.
Making a claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau
The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) exists to compensate road users injured by uninsured or untraceable drivers. It is funded entirely by insurance premiums. Each year, a percentage of every motor insurance policy issued in the UK goes into the fund.
As long as a driver is legally insured, the MIB will compensate them for any damage to their vehicle and for personal injury sustained as a result of an accident involving an untraceable driver. There is no special restriction on the compensation the MIB can award.
The MIB will consider the injuries sustained and the long-term effect they will have on the Claimant's life, including their ability to work, when calculating compensation.
Things to do to help your claim
The MIB is a fund of last resort. This means that a Claimant must make reasonable attempts to trace the driver responsible for the accident before they file a claim.
Things you can do to help your claim include:
- reporting the incident to the police as soon as possible
- noting the make, model, registration and colour of the other driver's vehicle
- noting the extent of any damage to the other vehicle
- taking the details of any witnesses to the incident
Where the police and your insurer ultimately cannot trace the driver, a claim may be filed with MIB. You do not need a solicitor to do this, although a solicitor can help to complete the required paperwork. Solicitors can also advise on what you can do to improve the likelihood of success. Claims can be made through the MIB website.
Making a claim through your insurer
Making a claim to MIB can be a long and drawn out process. If your car is insured under a comprehensive policy, you may consider making a claim for the damage to your vehicle through your own insurer. In many cases, your insurer will settle the claim much faster than MIB.
If you lose your no claims discount as a result of the collision, you can put in a claim to the Motor Insurers' Bureau.
Quittance's solicitors handle many claims each month via the MIB. If you have been injured by an untraceable driver, contact Quittance to discuss your options or to start your claim today.