The phrase ‘hit and run’ is unfortunately heard all too often in the news. It refers to any motorist involved in a road traffic accident who leaves the scene without helping or giving their details. Doing so is a criminal offence. According to Department of Transport statistics, hit and run drivers were involved in 12% of all accidents in 2015 which involved injury.
To suffer an injury because of a hit and run driver can be a deeply distressing experience. Usually you will receive no apology or explanation for what they’ve done. However, even if the other driver is never found or traced, you may still be able to claim compensation for the harm they have caused. These claims are often called ‘untraced driver claims’.
Truth Legal is a firm of specialist personal injury solicitors, perfectly equipped to help you in bringing an untraced driver claim for hit and run claims. We have the skills and experience to recover the compensation you deserve, and redress the harm you have suffered.
Hit and run drivers are not the only way untraced driver claims can arise. Even if the other driver stops after the accident, they could be equally untraceable if they provide you with details which later prove to be false.
Usually personal injury claims following road traffic accidents are made against the insurance company of the party you hold responsible. When an untraced driver is responsible, a claim can be submitted to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau instead.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
The MIB acts in a similar way to an insurance company, although it is actually an organisation funded by motor insurers across the industry (i.e. it is funded by the drivers who buy motor insurance). The MIB has agreements with the UK government to compensate victims of road traffic accidents in cases where the circumstances of the other driver’s insurance may be complicated. This covers situations where:
- The other driver cannot be traced.
- The other driver is uninsured. [link to uninsured driver claims page]
- The other driver was driving a vehicle registered in a foreign country.
- You are involved in an accident abroad (in certain situations).
Most of the claims the MIB receive involve untraced drivers. They estimate that this proportion could be as high as two-thirds of all the claims they receive.
Why make your compensation claim with Truth Legal?
Getting the right legal representation can make all the difference in your compensation claim. You should choose a firm of solicitors who are experts in the area of law relevant to your case. Truth Legal’s friendly team of solicitors have the specialist skills necessary to resolve your case successfully, with extensive experience of helping clients who have been the victims of hit and run drivers.
We are based in Harrogate with presences in London, York, and Manchester. We would be delighted to discuss your potential claim with us, either in person or over the telephone. The consultation is free and there is no obligation to instruct us.
To begin your claim now, please contact us.
If you already have a claim ongoing with another firm of solicitors, always remember that you are entitled to switch or change your solicitors. Your case might have been allocated to a firm not of your choosing by your insurance company. Claims management companies also operate ‘panels’ of solicitors’ firms. They instruct a firm from their panel to actually run your case for you. All of this means your case could be assigned to a law firm which you did not choose, and may not be best suited to act for you.
If you are not getting the service you deserve, perhaps because your legal representatives are unqualified, too busy, or lack specialist understanding of untraced driver claims, you should consider transferring your claim to Truth Legal.
Your claim against the MIB
Although an untraced driver claim shares many similarities with ‘conventional’ road traffic accident claims, there are some unique features:
- The accident should be reported to the police – You should report your accident to the police as soon as is reasonably practicable. Previously, untraced driver claims had to be reported within certain time limits but these have recently been relaxed.
- The other driver must be untraced – The MIB will also conduct investigations and try to find the other driver. If they succeed, and an insurance company is found, your claim with the MIB will cease and be redirected to that insurance company. If the other driver is found but they were driving without insurance, your case may be dealt with as an uninsured driver claim [link to uninsured driver claim page] This would still be through the MIB but some different rules apply.
- An excess may apply – The MIB may apply an excess to your claim. This operates in a similar way to an insurance policy excess, deducting a sum from the compensation you claim. The excess is currently £400. It will only apply to property damage which is included in your claim but, even if you have suffered an injury, it can be payable in certain situations. We can advise you in more detail on whether an excess will apply when we discuss the circumstances of your case.
What to do when you are the victim of a hit an run driver?
It is particularly important to gather evidence at the scene of the accident in an untraced driver claim. Though this is understandably difficult to remember at the time, it could make a huge difference to your claim. Key evidence includes:
- The make, model, and registration number of the other vehicle.
- A description of the other vehicle, such as the colour or any other details.
- A description of the other driver (if possible).
- Details of anything that the other driver might have said to you or done.
- Details of any witnesses to the accident, such as name, contact information, and what they saw.
- Photographs of the accident scene, if possible with the vehicles in situ.
The legal requirements of establishing your claim are the same as other personal injury claims; you still have to prove that the other driver had a duty of care towards you, that they fell short of the standards the duty requires, and that this caused your injuries.
The MIB will not automatically accept responsibility for the untraced driver’s actions. They will investigate the circumstances of the accident. If the MIB does not consider the untraced driver to be liable for the accident, they will dispute your compensation claim.
This is where Truth Legal’s specialist representation can make all the difference. We will fight your case tenaciously and do all we can to secure you the compensation you deserve.
In the same way as other personal injury claims, you can still claim for other losses you have incurred besides your injuries. Here are some of the most commonly incurred kinds of loss:
- Travel expenses.
- Medical expenses and treatment costs.
- Care and assistance.
- Loss of earnings.
Can untraced driver claims be funded by a No Win No Fee Agreement?
If the accident was not your fault, Truth Legal will normally conduct matters on the basis of a ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreement.
This means, in the vast majority of situations, that you will not have to pay our fees if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for you. On the other hand, if we are successful, our fees will be paid by a portion of your compensation award as well as in part by the MIB.
If you have any concerns on how an untraced driver claim is funded, we are more than willing to discuss matters with you in more depth. Please feel free to contact us.
More information on untraced driver claims
If you would like find out more, or you would like to discuss your circumstances in more detail, please contact us.
We offer free initial consultations with no obligation to proceed further.