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You may have been in a collision with an uninsured or unidentified driver. Perhaps the other driver left the scene of the accident without the opportunity for you to obtain a third-party vehicle registration or personal information, or they provided false details or were uninsured. In these cases, the victim would be unable to claim against a motor insurer - their only choice would be to pursue the claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). This can be difficult, as criteria need to be met to qualify for a successful claim against the MIB.
What is the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)?
The MIB is an organisation founded in 1946 and is based in Milton Keynes. The organisation mainly operates two schemes:
What is the MIB Untraced Agreement?
The MIB has agreements with the UK government to compensate victims of road traffic accidents in cases where the at-fault driver cannot be traced. There have been a number of agreements over time which will apply depending on the date of the accident.
The most recent agreement for England, Wales, and Scotland applies to accidents on or after the 1st of March 2017. Those agreements can be found on the MIB’s website.
I’ve been in an accident with an uninsured driver. Can I claim?
Yes, you can. You may have taken the full contact details of the other driver and their vehicle registration, only to later find out that they had been driving without insurance.
In this situation, a claim for injury and any documented expenses can be made against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) under the Uninsured Drivers Agreement.
Why use Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to help me claim through one of the MIB Agreements?
Oakwood Solicitors Ltd has many years of experience in dealing with claims proceeding under the MIB Uninsured and Untraced Agreements. We have run and won many appeals and understand the burden of proof required in order to satisfy the MIB that an award should be made.
We are happy to discuss any potential claim with a client as part of a free consultation and will be happy to work on a ‘no-win, no-fee’ basis.
What do I need to make a claim against the MIB through the Untraced Agreement?
Where possible, take as much information about the other vehicle as you can from the driver. With a hit and run, even the make, model, and colour of the other car can assist. Make sure that you report the matter to the police and obtain a reference number for the incident. Ideally, also take the name and number of the officer you spoke to. Ensure to report the matter to the police within 14 days, or as soon as reasonably possible.
If you find out that you have been provided with false details by the other driver, report the accident to the police immediately. Report the matter to your insurers, even if it is only for informational purposes.
It will also be important that there is some evidence of you having sustained an injury. If you are experiencing symptoms immediately following the accident, tell the police when you report it to them. If those symptoms come on later, make sure to visit the hospital or attend your GP.
The MIB will require evidence that you have sustained an injury, so seeking medical attention and having them documented by a medical professional is a crucial part of proving that the injuries were sustained. If any recommendations for further treatment are made, ensure that you follow up on them.
Can I claim for expenses?
Yes, documented losses can be claimed for through the MIB Untraced Agreement. If you have not retained any evidence of your expenses, it is not likely that you will be able to recover them from the MIB. If you are able to obtain a recovery of any of these losses elsewhere, such as from your vehicle insurer, you should try to do so.
For claims that don’t involve personal injury, the accident must be reported to the police within 5 days and a claim should be made within 9 months.
Will I need to go to court if I am making a claim against an untraced driver?
No. Claims proceeding in the Untraced Drivers Agreement will not involve court action. This is because the other driver cannot be traced and therefore, there is nobody to commence court proceedings against.
Do I need to do anything different following an accident given the other driver had no insurance?
Not particularly. Just ensure to retain the information you took about the other driver involved in the accident and try and obtain as much information about the other vehicle as possible. If the other driver can be positively identified, the claim will qualify for the MIB Uninsured Agreement.
Reporting the accident to your own insurers promptly can also assist.
I was a passenger in a vehicle being driven without insurance. Can I still make a claim?
The answer is yes, unless the MIB can demonstrate that you were, or should without a doubt have been aware that the vehicle you were travelling in didn’t have insurance. Clearly when you get in a vehicle, it is not commonplace to ask the driver to show you their certificate of insurance and so it can be quite difficult for the MIB to successfully make that argument. The same position applies even if it was your own driver who was responsible for the collision.
Where is the money coming from to settle my claim?
The MIB is funded through a contribution from everyone’s insurance premiums. The MIB says that approximately £30 from each person’s premium goes towards funding compensation paid by the MIB.
What are Assignment and Agreement forms?
These are documents that, once signed, mean that whilst the MIB is settling your claim, it has your agreement to assign that compensation amount as a debt to the other driver. This allows them to pursue a recovery of the compensation they have paid to you from the uninsured driver.
Will I need to go to court for a claim in the Uninsured Agreement?
This is unlikely, as only a small minority of Uninsured Agreement claims will require court proceedings to be issued on them. Further still, only a small number of those claims with active court proceedings will make it all the way to trial. Most cases will settle beforehand as it is in everyone’s best interests, both economically and from a risk and workload perspective, to avoid taking matters to court.
Will the MIB deal with the matter any differently to an insurance company?
The MIB has a little longer to investigate liability for the claim, as they will obviously need to try and trace the other driver and question them about the accident. Other than that, the claim will generally be dealt with in the same way.
What if the MIB refuses to settle my Uninsured Agreement claim?
This is dealt with in the same way as it would normally be done when an agreement cannot be reached with an insurance company. If negotiations fail, court proceedings can be issued against the other driver (because their name and address have been established). The MIB must be named as a second defendant within the court proceedings, but other than that there is very little difference.
If the MIB rejects my Untraced Agreement claim, what can I do?
If an MIB claim is rejected, this decision will be sent in writing. There will be an opportunity to appeal the decision made by the MIB. A deadline to make any appeal will be provided within the rejection letter.
An appeal can be made on the grounds that their decision is wrong or that the claim requires further investigation. If the appeal is not accepted by the MIB, it may be that an independent arbitrator will review the matter and provide a finding.
How long does a claim in the MIB Uninsured Agreement take to conclude?
The MIB states that a straight forward claim can take between four and five months to run.
From our experience, claims under the Uninsured Agreement generally take between six and fifteen months to conclude. It can vary depending on the complexity of the liability investigations and the amount of medical evidence that is required to be able to value the claim.
How will the MIB deal with the matter differently to an insurance company?
The MIB will commence its investigations on receipt of an application. They will apply for a copy of the police report initially. On receipt of this, it will consider liability for the accident. This will clearly only be based on the information you have provided and the evidence within the police report, such as your statement and those of any witnesses to the accident.
The MIB may also contact the DVLA and your own motor insurers. The MIB may wish to arrange for one of their investigators to contact you to make a statement.
Once the MIB is satisfied that liability rests with the other driver, it may apply for a copy of your medical records and proceed to arrange a medical examination for you. This is so that a report can be obtained from a doctor which will set out the details of your injury, the prognosis (which is the expected recovery period), and any further recommendations for treatment.
If the MIB feels able to settle the matter, it may make a settlement offer when they send your medical evidence.
How long does a claim in the MIB Untraced Agreement take to conclude?
The MIB website states:
“We will make every effort to decide on whether to make a compensation payment within three months.”
From our own experience of MIB Untraced claims, that timescale is closer to 6-12 months.
It may also take the MIB an additional 6 months (depending on the severity and the nature of the injuries) to obtain the medical evidence and have the matter in a position to conclude it with a settlement offer.
Can I claim for my loss of earnings and other expenses from the MIB?
Yes, you can make a claim for expenses such as loss of earnings, vehicle damage, medical expenses, treatment costs and care and assistance. Ensure that you retain any documentation that you have to support the loss such as invoices, photographs, wage slips and accounts.
If you do not have evidence of your loss, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain compensation from them from the MIB. If you can recover any of these losses elsewhere, such as from your vehicle insurer, you should attempt to do so.
Contact Oakwood Solicitors Ltd and provide us with some basic details about the accident, your injuries, and details of your financial losses. We will then be able to tell you if you have a viable claim. There is absolutely no obligation to proceed. You can provide information or get in touch by:
Rob Crompton has been with Oakwood Solicitors Ltd since July 2007, quickly proving his ability to deal with Road Traffic Accident claims efficiently and with an extremely high level of innovation and client care.