Hit and run road traffic accident injury claims
Being involved in a road traffic accident can be a traumatic and stressful time. Being involved in a road traffic accident involving a hit and run driver can be even worse, and can often leave you feeling even more intimidated.
It is a legal requirement for all parties involved in a collision to stop their vehicle, so for a driver to leave the scene is a criminal offence.
If you have been involved in a car accident with a hit and run driver and you were injured due to no fault of your own, you should be entitled to make a claim for compensation. However, these claims are often dealt with differently.
How are hit and run claims dealt with?
There are many cases with hit and run drivers where the police are able to trace the vehicle and its driver. In these cases, and when the driver has valid insurance, your personal injury claim will be processed as normal.
However, a common reason why drivers leave the scene of an accident is because they don’t have valid insurance. If the police are able to track down the driver and discover that this is the case, then your claim can be submitted through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) via something known as the Uninsured Driver Scheme.
If this is the situation you find yourself in, a solicitor will assist you in processing your claim through the bureau.
There are also a number of cases where the driver who left the scene simply cannot be traced. These are the more tricky cases. If this is your situation then you should contact the MIB to see if they can help you in making a claim.
You may find that certain solicitors will only take on this type of claim if you are a Trade Union member (or a family member of one) through your Trade Union scheme.
The Motor Insurers Bureau
The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) is an organisation which specialised in helping members of the public who have been involved in a road accident with a driver who cannot be traced or with a driver who is not insurer.
Because of the work the bureau do, it is possible for you to contact them straight away following a collision, rather than speaking to a solicitor first.
However, it is advised where possible that you do contact a solicitor before speaking to the MIB as their procedures after often extensive and complicated, so speaking to a solicitor first allows them to advise you and guide you through the process.
As mentioned above, some solicitors will only be able to help you if you are a member of a Trade Union (only for cases where the third party driver is untraceable or uninsured). In these cases, you should go straight to the Motor Insurers Bureau.
Seeking legal advice
With all personal injury claims, the aim is to prove that the third party driver was responsible for your injuries. This is often a lot harder to do when dealing with a hit and run driver.
When you seek legal advice following a road traffic accident with someone who has left the scene, you will most likely be asked for certain details about the collision. To speed the process along you should always try to gather as much evidence as possible at the scene of the accident. For example:
- Note the date, time and location of the accident
- Note the weather conditions and conditions of the road
- Note (or take photographs if possible) the make, colour and model of the third party car
- Take any photographs you feel are necessary
- Speak to any witnesses and if they are willing to make a statement get their details
- Keep documents and receipts of any medical treatment, travel expenses or loss of earnings
It is understandable if you struggle to gather all the information above, as you will likely be very distressed and confused after a hit and run road traffic accident. Not to mention sustaining any injuries. However, one very important thing you should do following a collision is to report it to the police immediately.