What are the chances of being injured in a road traffic accident? Well, it’s probably more likely than you would think. Yes, the number of fatalities on our roads is falling year-on-year, but the number of accidents is worrying increasing. The latest available figures show that 23,000 accidents were recorded on the UK’s roads in 2012. That may surprise you, but what will probably scare you even more is that the AA now estimates that 1 in 25 drivers on our road network are currently driving without any form of insurance.
That means that are currently 2.5 million uninsured drivers on our roads.
Is that figure so surprising? Well, to put it into perspective the figures in Germany are 1 in 500 whilst in Sweden it’s only 1 in 1,000 uninsured. If that isn’t bad enough, the police believe that statistically uninsured drivers are also ten times more likely to drink and drive, and three times more likely to be convicted of driving without due care and attention. Sadly these sobering figures do not come as any great surprise to Harold Stock Solicitors. We frequently deal with the aftermath of accidents caused by uninsured drivers and are left to pick up the pieces and fight for the right of injured parties to get the recompense they rightly deserve.
We understand the concerns of law-abiding, fully-insured motorists. Naturally they want to know what their position would be if they were unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision with an uninsured driver at some point in the future. They want to know what should they do after an accident, how they can claim, who they can claim from, how much it will cost them, and if their no-claims bonuses will be affected. Well hopefully this brief guide to accidents involving uninsured drivers will provide some of the answers.
What happens if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver?
At-fault uninsured drivers are personally responsible for all damage and personal injuries they cause – well, in theory. Unfortunately, people driving without insurance rarely have the assets to meet any of their financial liabilities. The chances of successfully recovering damages from an uninsured driver are therefore slim. However, there are other ways of claiming compensation from a driver with no insurance for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident. There are strict guidelines in place which ensure victims can still claim the compensation for any injuries they sustain. These measures were introduced when the legal system and the government realised that without such protection many legally-insured motorists involved in accidents could be losing out financially. That’s why the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) was created.
The MIB is an industry-led organisation created to compensate victims of accidents involving uninsured or untraced drivers. Although the MIB’s initial role was to compensate victims for personal injury, its remit has now grown to include property damage claims (subject to an excess of £300). The MIB compensation claim’s process is generally speaking the same as claiming from an insurer. However, it can often be more complicated than a standard claim, so claimants will need the services of a specialist claims solicitor who is used to dealing with the MIB.
If you’re involved in accident with an uninsured vehicle and forced to claim on your own insurance, then the MIB will compensate your insurer for the costs of your claim. Once this compensation has been received, your insurer should reinstate your no-claims discount and cancel any corresponding premium increase. However, when a driver is untraced the MIB can pay compensation for property damage only where the vehicle concerned has been identified. If both driver and vehicle are not identified, as in ‘hit and run’ accidents, then the MIB will pay out for personal injury claims, but won’t pay out for property damage.
What should you do in the event of a road traffic accident?
Well, the first thing to do is not make an assumption that the driver who caused the accident is insured. Apart from that, you’ll need to follow the same procedure as you would with any other accident. Take details from the other driver, try and get witness statements and details and if possible take photos at the scene, particularly if you have access to a mobile device. You should also inform the police and contact a specialist MIB claims solicitor like Harold Stock & Co.
If you’ve sustained an injury as a result of the accident, an accident claims solicitor will be able to call in expert medical witnesses to give a full and accurate appraisal of your situation. Once the doctor has submitted a report, a copy will be sent to the MIB as well as your own legal team. Once the reports have been analysed, the MIB will then make you an offer of compensation. These offers are comparable with the figures you might expect if you were negotiating with an insured driver’s insurance company and all legal costs are paid by the MIB.
If you are someone close to you has recently been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, we would urge you to contact Harold Stock Solicitors as soon as possible. Harold Stock are proven experts at helping clients make a road accident claim for compensation following accidents with uninsured drivers. We have a team of specialist solicitors with both the knowledge and experience to ensure that we secure for you the compensation that you deserve. Depending upon the extent of your injuries, you may well have other immediate concerns too – about your long-term wellbeing, your job and your finances, for example. As part of your road accident claim, Harold Stock can also help you recover compensation for any additional expenses or losses that you have incurred.
Harold Stock’s solicitors will ensure that you have access to all the help and advice that you will need, not only to make a claim for compensation, but also to assist in arranging any medical support you may require to speed up your recovery. Our legal advisers will gather all of the necessary evidence to ensure we give your claim the best possible chance of success.
Call Harold Stock today for further information on 01457 835597.