I don't have insurance - Can I still make an injury claim after a road accident?

Man on phone after car accident

If you were injured as a driver or motorcyclist and someone else was at fault, you may be able to make a road accident compensation claim. But what happens if you were driving without valid insurance when the accident occurred?

What does the law say?

Driving without insurance is an offence in the UK. You must hold at least third-party cover before driving on a public highway.

Driving without insurance is a serious offence. If convicted you could receive up to 8 penalty points or even an unlimited driving ban. You could also receive a maximum fine of £5,000.

The accident was not my fault - can I claim?

Your eligibility to make a claim as an uninsured driver will depend on the circumstances of the accident:

Passengers

You are, of course, not required to hold insurance as a passenger. If you were injured as a passenger, you would be able to make a compensation claim against the other driver if they were at fault.

If the driver of the car you were travelling in was at fault and the driver does not have valid insurance, you can pursue a claim through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

The MIB is an independent body that pays road accident compensation to the victims of uninsured or unidentified drivers. The MIB is funded by contributions from car insurance premiums.

What if I knew the driver had no insurance?

In the noted case of Pitts v Hunt, the claimant was a pillion passenger on a motorbike being driven by the defendant. The motorbike was involved in a crash with another vehicle in which the defendant was killed and the claimant was seriously injured.

The claimant filed for an injury claim against the defendant's estate. It was established that the claimant was aware that the defendant was riding when uninsured. Furthermore, both the claimant had the defendant had been drinking and the claimant had been encouraging the defendant to ride recklessly.

The claimant lost his claim as the court ruled that his injuries were sustained when participating in illegal activity with the defendant.

This case example does not mean that you won't be able to claim compensation if you were aware that the driver was uninsured. However, such cases can be complicated and you should speak to a solicitor about your situation.

Drivers

If you were driving a car or riding a motorbike without valid insurance when the accident occurred, it may still be possible for you to make a compensation claim.

If you were driving safely and were injured by another road user's actions, you may still be able to claim compensation even if you weren't holding insurance. If you were also driving recklessly, in breach of the Highway Code, or driving without a licence a claim could be much harder to win.

Regardless of the exact circumstances, driving without insurance will certainly complicate the claim process. It is recommended that you speak to a solicitor as soon as possible after the accident for advice.

What if I was hit by an untraceable or uninsured driver?

It is estimated that nearly 700,000 hit and run accidents happen every year on UK roads. More often than not the victims are cyclists or pedestrians, but hit-and-run accidents affecting drivers are also common.

If you have been injured in a road accident and the identity of the other driver is unknown, it should still be possible to claim compensation for a road traffic accident through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).

However, the MIB will only accept claims from drivers who held valid insurance at the time of the accident. If you were driving without insurance, you would not be eligible to claim through the MIB. It is recommended that you speak to a solicitor about your specific circumstances as soon as you can after your accident.

Read more:

Claiming compensation through the MIB

No win, no fee injury compensation claims

With no win, no fee, you can claim injury compensation without financial risk. If your claim isn't successful, you pay nothing. If you win, you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of your compensation.

Find out more about how no win, no fee claims work

How did your injury happen?

The claims process for a road traffic injury will depend on where and how the accident happened. Click the icons below for more information:

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Chris Salmon, Director

Author:
Chris Salmon, Director