Having a car accident can be bad enough, but what happens if you’re hit by an uninsured driver?
This raises several crucial questions if you then want to make a claim:
- Can you make a claim at all?
- What will your insurance company do?
- What happens if the uninsured drivers runs away from the scene?
- Can you bring a legal action against them?
A large number of accidents in the UK involving motor vehicles also involve uninsured drivers.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) provides compensation for accidents involving uninsured and hit and run drivers.
In 2018, it recorded more than 26,000 personal injuries from collisions with uninsured vehicles or untraced drivers.
Every 20 minutes, one person in the UK is injured this way.
What Must You Do if You’re in a Car Accident?
There are certain things you MUST do if you’re involved in a car accident, whether the other driver is insured or not.
Make a note of the other vehicle’s make, model and registration number and what damage there is to the other vehicle.
Note the scene of the accident, including any road markings, traffic lights and driving conditions. Make a note whether the other vehicle had its lights or signals on.
Get the other driver’s name and address.
Get contact names, details and statements from any independent witnesses.
If you can, take photographs of the scene and the vehicles involved, which you can then refer to when making a claim.
The other driver MUST give you their insurance details. If they do not, you can report this to the police.
What Happens if the Other Driver is Uninsured?
Normally, if the other driver has insurance, this would cover you, providing the accident was their fault.
If they are uninsured, however, you can still claim for your damages on your own insurance, providing it is fully comprehensive.
There may be certain consequences if you do this:
- You will have to pay an excess fee
- You may lose your no claims bonus.
Some insurance providers may choose to waive the excess fee, and if they include an uninsured driver promise in their policy, they may also let you keep your no claims bonus.
However, if you do make a claim against an uninsured driver, this will still increase your premium when you come to renew your insurance.
There are certain conditions you will need to meet if you are making a claim:
- You must be able to show that the accident was not your fault
- You will need details of the uninsured driver and their vehicle
- You must have the contact details of witnesses.
What if the Uninsured Driver Fails to Stop After the Accident?
If the uninsured driver has fled the scene without leaving details, you should report the incident to the police.
Failing to stop after an accident is an offence. You should report this within nine months of the accident occurring.
However, the police may not take immediate action if there has been no personal injury involved.
But there are alternatives if your insurance is not fully comprehensive, or you cannot provide the details of the uninsured driver.
How Can You Claim Compensation?
MIB (the Motor Insurers’ Bureau) provides compensation for accidents involving uninsured and hit and run drivers.
Although you should report an accident to the police within nine months, MIB recommends that for personal injury claims, you should do this within 14 days, and for damage to property, within five days.
As with other forms of personal injury claim, to make your claim to MIB, you should do this within three years of the accident.
The MIB will investigate the accident, and will accept or reject your claim based on its findings.
For example, if MIB believes you were at fault, or partially at fault, it will reject or reduce your claim.
It will not pay purely on the basis that other driver is untraceable or uninsured.
You must have evidence to back up your claim for compensation.
There are circumstances where MIB refuse your claim:
- If you were a passenger in an uninsured vehicle which you knew, or ought to have known, was uninsured
- If you were a passenger in an uninsured vehicle driven by a drink-driver.
To make a claim, the accident must have occurred on a public road or area, with full access to the public.
MIB states that claimants can seek independent legal advice at any stage of making a claim.
Can You Sue an Uninsured Driver?
You may be able to claim compensation from MIB, but does this mean the other driver still gets away with it?
If the MIB settles your claim, they will seek to recover their costs from the other driver.
Your legal representative, acting on your behalf, will make your claim to MIB in the same way you would approach an insurance company.
Even if the uninsured driver is untraceable, you can still make your claim. It may take longer, but providing you provide the right evidence, it can still be successful.
Accident claims against uninsured drivers can involve:
- Personal injury claims
- General damages.
It is against the law to drive without insurance. The uninsured driver in your claim may therefore face prosecution, and an investigation as to whether they have other necessary documentation for their vehicle. The police have the right to carry out these investigations.
What to Do If You Have Had an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
As we have shown, you can make a claim in this type of situation. The best way to do this is to work with a legal expert in this area.
For help and advice about making a claim against an uninsured driver, please call us on 0151 256 7898, email email@example.com or fill in our contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.