Hit and run accidents law
In basic terms, a hit and run accident is any incident where a driver has an accidental collision with a pedestrian, other vehicle or fixed object (such as a building) and leaves the scene without identifying themselves to the victim or reporting the incident to the police and other relevant authorities.
Failing to stop after an accident, whether or not someone is injured or property is damaged, is a criminal offence. It is also a legal requirement that all motor vehicles are insured so that, in the event of an accident causing injury, there is insurance in place to pay compensation to the innocent road user. For the most part, this system works well, but only if everyone follows the law and takes out motor liability insurance. Unfortunately, many vehicles are not insured and if the driver does not stop, there is often no way for them to be traced, meaning no hit and run claim can be made against their insurance.
The number of hit and run accidents, and especially those that cause serious injury, is a major problem because it means that those who do insure their vehicles are having to pay more in insurance premiums to cover those that do not abide by the law.
What to do if you’ve been the victim of a hit and run accident
The good news for those who are injured or have property damaged by hit and run drivers, is that they are able to make hit and run claims for compensation, even when the driver cannot be traced. This is done through the Untraced Drivers Scheme, which is designed to ensure that innocent victims of road accidents are properly compensated. A solicitor will be able to advise you what level of compensation you may be entitled to if you make a claim under the Untraced Drivers Scheme. They will also be able to explain the terms and conditions of the Scheme, the latest version of which came into force on the 1 March 2017 and is operated by the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).
How to make a compensation claim for a hit and run accident
To make a hit and run compensation claim, you will need to report the incident to the police and start a claim with the Motor Insurers Bureau. The MIB will then act like an insurer in investigating the accident to establish exactly what happened and who was at fault. However, as the driver did not stop and often cannot be traced, the MIB will usually not be able to interview them to establish if they were responsible for the injuries caused. Therefore, the MIB rely on the victim to assist them in investigating their personal injury compensation claim. This will normally include giving a statement and any other information required, either in writing or by interview.
To make a hit and run injury compensation claim, the victim should have reported the incident to the police as soon as reasonably practicable and be willing to fully co-operate with any subsequent police investigation. Making a hit and run claim involves filling out various forms and communicating with the MIB during their investigation, something IBB Claims’ solicitors will be happy to assist you with.
What happens when you make a hit and run compensation claim?
To investigate your claim, the MIB will usually need to:
- Establish the facts of the accident
- Confirm the identity of those involved (as much as possible)
- Obtain independent reports from witnesses and motor engineers
- Obtain a police report
- Contact other relevant organisations, such as the DVLA and your insurer
- Obtain copies of your medical records and an independent medical report (for personal injury claims only)
The MIB aim to make a decision about whether to award you compensation within 3 months, wherever possible, or 6 weeks for Low Value Personal Injury Claims. If you are judged eligible for compensation, deciding the exact amount will usually take longer than 3 months. The exact timescale will depend on issues such as how long it takes to obtain an independent medical report and whether medical experts agree on the effects of your injuries (where applicable).
Will you get compensation for a hit and run injury?
Once the investigation into your accident is complete, the MIB will make a compensation payment if it is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that your injury or the damage to your vehicle or property was caused in a way that the hit and run driver (had they been identified) would have been legally required to pay compensation.
What can you claim hit and run compensation for?
Following a hit and run accident you may be able to make a compensation claim for:
- Personal injury (including the cost of treatment and rehabilitation)
- Damage to your vehicle (only if you do not have comprehensive insurance)
- Damage to any other property (although it may be faster and simpler to claim through your own insurer, where possible)
Our solicitors will be happy to discuss your compensation options with you to help you make the best decision for your personal circumstances and allow you to put together the strongest possible claim.
Getting compensation for hit and run victims
If you have suffered a personal injury or property damage as the result of a hit and run accident, IBB Claims’ hit and run accidents solicitors can help you claim compensation, even if the driver is never traced. Our expertise and experience in these types of hit and run claims means we can give you the best possible chance of a successful claim, while minimising the time, effort and stress for you in getting the compensation you are entitled to.
To find out more about claiming compensation for a hit and run injury or damage to your vehicle or property, please contact us today by calling 0333 123 9099, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the simple enquiry form at the top of the page to request a callback.