One of the key factors in any compensation claim is establishing who is responsible for your injuries. In the case of a hit and run accident, this can be more difficult. But don't worry – it doesn't affect your entitlement to make a claim.
If the driver can't be traced, then your claim may involve the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB). This is an organisation funded by the insurance industry – a proportion of everyone's annual motor insurance premiums are put into a pool by the MIB to pay compensation in situations like this.
Whether the driver can be traced or not, your claim will go through the same four basic stages:
Stage One: Information Gathering
When you first contact us, we will advise you on whether we think you'll be able to make a claim for compensation.
If a driver has failed to stop at the scene, or driven off without leaving their details, then you should report the incident to the police – ideally straight away, but within nine days of the accident at the absolute latest. We will work with them to establish who is to blame, which may involve our own specialist road traffic accident investigation team. It is essential that you take reasonable steps to identify the driver and vehicles involved.
We're one of the only law firms in the UK with a collision investigation team like this, so you can be sure we'll leave no stone unturned when pursuing your claim. The team (which includes former police accident investigators and an advanced driving instructor) will interview witnesses, carry out site inspections and prepare reconstruction reports to find out who was at fault.
We don't just investigate your accident – we'll also arrange for a medical examination [link to medical examination page] of your injuries to identify any care or support needs you may have.
If the driver responsible cannot be traced, we will begin dealing with a claim to the MIB. We'll help you complete your application, advise you on any enquiries they may raise, and provide an independent valuation of your claim once the medical evidence has been prepared.
We'll also determine if we can pursue your claim under a No Win No Fee* agreement – this means you won't have to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful.
Stage Two: Rehabilitation
We're committed to helping our clients access the medical care and support they need as soon as possible, and this dedication has seen us named seven-time winners of the Claimant Solicitor of the Year award at the Post Magazine's Rehabilitation First Awards.
We'll work with you from the beginning of the claim process to understand what support you and your family need to improve both your physical and mental health.
Rehabilitation following a hit and run accident could include:
- Specialist medical care
- Mobility equipment
- Home and vehicle adjustments
The support you need to help you return to work and live independently will all be considered when calculating how much compensation you should receive. We'll also consider whether you could be entitled to early compensation payments to help you access rehabilitation support as soon as possible.
For more information on how we can help you gain access to rehabilitation support, please visit our Rehabilitation page.
Stage Three: Compensation
If the driver cannot be traced, then the amount of compensation you receive will be determined by the MIB. The MIB assesses damages in the same way as insurance companies or the courts, and the amount you receive will depend on a few factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- How long it has taken you to recover
- Medical care and support you require
- Lost earnings as a result of your injuries
- Damaged property as a result of the accident
In claims involving an untraced driver, the MIB will not pay for property or vehicle damage unless either the registration number for the other vehicle is known and the DVLA confirm it is a valid registration, or you have been in hospital for more than four nights as a result of the accident.
The MIB also does not pay for any loss which is insured elsewhere, such as repairs to a car which is comprehensively insured, or the costs of private medical treatment if you have health insurance. The MIB does not pay for interest on your financial loss. Otherwise, compensation is assessed in much the same way as for any other accident.
Stage Four: Conclusion
At the end of the claims process, you'll receive compensation if you have been successful. If you're making your claim with a No Win No Fee* agreement, then you won't pay anything if you lose the case.
The MIB do sometimes reject claims and, if they make an award, it can be too low. In this case, it is possible to pursue an appeal against the MIB, in which the claim is submitted to an independent arbitrator.
We can advise you on the chances of an appeal succeeding, and have extensive experience of drafting appeals against the MIB’s decisions, with a high success rate in the appeals we run.