Most of us will have had near misses whilst driving or found ourselves cursing at the behaviour of some road users.
It’s a risk you take when you get behind the wheel, unfortunately. In many ways you’re putting your life in someone else’s hands: someone you know very little about. You have no idea what they are about to do next or how they are likely to drive. More worryingly still, you don’t even know whether they have a valid insurance policy.
All you can hope for is that these drivers take their responsibilities as seriously as you do. You have to hope they drive reasonably, and have been responsible enough to take out a valid insurance policy. Unfortunately, many people don’t. The number of uninsured drivers on our road is growing: according to the Police that number could be as high as 2 million. Although that fact is staggering enough, what should worry drivers more is the fact 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.
So what happens when these irresponsible people cause road traffic accidents?
Are injured parties safeguarded? Do they have to foot the cost of the accident, or are there any legal safeguards in place to protect law-abiding drivers? Well, in theory at-fault uninsured drivers are personally responsible for all damages and personal injuries they cause. However, that in itself is meaningless, as people driving without insurance generally have few or no assets to meet their financial liabilities. So the chances of successfully recovering damages from an uninsured driver are very slim indeed.
However, that doesn’t mean that victims can’t claim compensation from a driver with no insurance for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident. Victims can pursue a claim through the Motor Insurance Bureau. The MIB is an industry-led organisation created to compensate victims of accidents involving uninsured or untraced drivers. Initially the MIB’s role was to compensate victims for personal injury, however its remit has now grown to include property damage claims, (subject to an excess of £300). The MIB compensation claims’ process is in many ways similar to claiming from an insurer: however, it can prove to be more complicated than a standard claim, so claimants may need the services of a specialist claims solicitor like Harold Stock & Co.
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.
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, or someone close to you, have 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 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.