You’ve been hit, and you know it wasn’t your fault. Once you’ve shaken yourself down and regained your composure, you speak to the driver of the other vehicle. Then you discover they don’t have any insurance or you get the details, only to find it’s a made up policy, or an older one that’s already expired.
Or worse still, the offending vehicle simply pulls off and drives away. The dreaded hit and run incident. Not only bad from a legal standpoint, but a truly callous act if someone has been hurt and injured. Fortunately there have been laws and organisations in place to protect you from uninsured drivers – but what are the practical steps you need to take should such a situation arise?
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau
If you happen to be involved in the unfortunate situation where an uninsured car has caused you to suffer damage, then you’ll most likely end up having to claim on your own insurance. However, you’re not stuck with the bill, as the MIB (Motor Insurers’ Bureau) was created in 1946 to deal with such problems.
The MIB will actually reimburse your insurer, which should lead to the insurer honouring your current no claims agreement and not issuing any premium increase to cover the claim. Additionally the MIB will also cover personal injury claims, and property damage claims, but the driver and vehicle must be identified in the latter case.
You’ve Been Hit – What Next?
The accident has happened. What do you need to do at the scene – or what steps should you be taking immediately after the incident?
Get the other driver’s details
As with any accident you need to exchange details, even if the other driver is uninsured. They may be cagey or offer to pay cash, but be insistent and check phone numbers at the scene by dialling there and then. If they claim the car belongs to an employer, get the details of the business too. Failure to supply insurance details on request is a criminal offence – so if this happens then contact your local police.
Hit and run (driving off without giving details)
If you’re involved in a hit and run, try to get the number plate detail. Often bystanders and other drivers will be sympathetic to your situation, and may capture these details for you, so stop and ask around. If anyone has any information, be sure to ask them for their contact information, so they can assist the police or your lawyers, should there be an investigation or court case.
Contact the police
If someone has failed to keep up insurance payments, or failed to get payments altogether then they have broken the law. And you’re going to need a crime incident number to support your claims with your insurance company and the MIB. If the driver has failed to disclose details at the scene of the accident, then this is the right time to make a formal complaint.
Contact your insurer
Next, get in touch with your insurance company, and explain all the details to them, passing over the crime incident number and details of any witnesses you’ve collected. In some cases they may, if you have the appropriate type of cover, pay out for immediate, essential repairs, to get your vehicle back on the road.
Inform the MIB
Now you’ve contacted the appropriate authorities and your insurers, it’s time to get in touch with the MIB. You must be sure that your accident was not your fault – for instance, if you rear ended the other driver, then it’s most likely down to you, whether or not the other driver was breaking the law or not.
Filing for personal injury? You have a three year window in which to make a claim. You will be able to fill in a form online, or you can print one off – or if you don’t have a printer, contact the MIB and they’ll be able to send you a paper copy, you can return in the post.
Get a lawyer
Finally talk to a specialist lawyer who understands your rights in this situation – especially in cases of personal injury. They’ll be able to guide you through the process, ensuring you get the right compensation for your injuries and repairs.
There are exemptions to making personal injury claims with the MIB. These include the following:
- The accident did not happen on a UK road – if the accident happened on private land, then you may not be able to claim with the MIB.
- You were in an accident where the driver of your vehicle was drunk – or you were drunk – in this circumstance the MIB will not honour any claim where either the person in charge of your vehicle was drunk (in the event of a claim against the driver or a third party driver) or you were drunk in charge of your vehicle.
- You knew the car was not insured – and you rode in the passenger seat ,and became injured as a result of an accident.
Also bear in mind that just because a driver is untraceable, this does not necessarily mean that they are uninsured and may result in your claim being rejected. Also, even if you’re uninsured and hit by another vehicle and they are at fault – then they still need to pay for repairs under the terms of their insurance.