Stolen vehicle injury compensation claims
This article considers everything you should know about making a stolen vehicle accident compensation claim.
It is possible to make a compensation claim following an accident with a stolen and/or uninsured vehicle. However, there are added complexities;
What the law says:
The law states that drivers involved in an accident are required to stop and exchange personal details with others involved in the incident.
If a driver is unable to stop for any reason, there is a legal requirement for that driver to report the accident to the police within 24 hours. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.
When drivers abide by the law the cost of any damage or injury to a third party is covered by their insurance. But what happens when the driver in question has stolen the vehicle and possibly fails to stop
Many people believe that they cannot make a compensation claim if they have been involved in a hit and run accident where the other driver is untraceable. This is a misconception which often deters people from taking legitimate legal action.
Established in 1946, the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) is an organisation funded by UK insurance companies.
Through its 'Untraced Drivers' Agreement' it provides a means by which members of the public who have been injured or had their property damaged by untraceable drivers can claim compensation. It also has a facility for checking the insurance status of any vehicle.
I have a strong claim - why won't a solicitor take it on?
Under the 'Untraced Drivers' Agreement', claims can be made for personal injury compensation or for damage to property.
To be eligible to make a claim, a claimant must have reported the accident to the police within 5 days for damage to property; or within 14 days for personal injury. A crime number will have been issued, which must be produced when making an application.
If the claim is for personal injury the claimant has 3 years from the accident date within which to apply. Damage to property claims must be made within 9 months.
The MIB will pay compensation immediately once a positive assessment (i.e. an assessment in the claimant's favour) has been made.
As it is not possible to bring a case to Court where the defendant is untraceable, the claimant will be required to evidence that the other driver was responsible for the accident.
An experienced personal injury solicitor will be able to advise and assist in the collation of this evidence.
In addition the claimant will need to obtain medical evidence that determines the extent of the injury, its recovery period and any long term consequences to both health and financial loss. The medical evidence will also need to support a claim of 'causation' where a link between the injuries and the accident has been established.
Dealings with the MIB tend to be more protracted than they would be if handled by a commercial insurer.
Exactly how long it takes will depend on the nature of the accident. Claimants can liaise directly with the MIB but documentation of the required information may be complex.
With so many factors to consider in making a claim it may be advisable to seek legal advice from a personal injury specialist in order to achieve the best outcome.
If you have been injured in an accident with a stolen vehicle do not be deterred by the fact that the other driver is untraceable.
A judge will assess the case following government guidelines and the award made will take into consideration previous similar cases. Awards tend to be lower than the equivalent injury with an insured vehicle.
Road traffic accident claims
Every year almost 200,000* people are injured on Britain's roads. If you have been injured in a road accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation.
Find out more about claiming compensation for a road accident: Read more about road accident claims
*Source: Official Department of Transport statistics (gov.uk)
Personal injury solicitors now work on a No Win, No Fee basis.
No Win, No Fee means that if your claim is not successful, you will not need to pay any legal fees.
If you do win your case, a success fee will be deducted from the compensation award and paid to your solicitor.
Meet the team
The nationwide network of Quittance solicitors handle all types of road accident claims, from relatively minor claims to long-term injuries. Our lawyers are selected for their years of specialist experience and their success rate in winning claims.