Personal Injury Claims and Uninsured Drivers
1. Can I claim against an uninsured Driver?
Road Traffic Accidents happen in Ireland on a regular basis and unfortunately, there is an increasing number of accidents involving uninsured drivers or unidentified drivers. The initial reaction from persons who find themselves in such situations is that they cannot bring a claim for personal injuries suffered as a result of road traffic accident with an uninsured driver or unidentified driver. This is simply not the case and claims of this nature are made possible by virtue of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (ie MIBI). Before going into more detail regarding the Scheme, it is necessary to outline the steps you should take when involved in a road traffic accident with an uninsured driver.
2. What to do when involved in a Road Traffic Accident with an uninsured driver?
If a Road Traffic Accident is caused by the negligence of an uninsured driver or unidentified driver, proving liability can be difficult. Documenting the accident becomes even more important. In particular, you should take the following actions immediately after the accident:
• Check yourself to see if you have been injured in any way. This should be your first priority.
• Request the personal details of the other person or persons involved in the accident if possible (ie their name, address, contact number).
• If it’s not possible to obtain the personal details of the other driver, try and document the make, model and registration number of the other vehicle involved in the collision.
• Take photos of the accident location and vehicles involved in the accident.
• Ask for the contact details of any witnesses to the accident.
• Report the accident to the Gardai.
• Report the accident to your Insurance Company.
• Attend your GP or local Hospital regarding your injuries.
• Engage with a Personal Injury Solicitor to begin your Personal Injury claim.
Once these steps have been taken and you have engaged with a Solicitor regarding your claim, your Solicitor will then prepare the necessary documentation to lodge your application with the Injuries Board. In cases involving uninsured drivers, extra steps need to be taken by your Solicitor to process your Personal Injury claim and this includes dealing with the MIBI.
3. What is the MIBI?
The MIBI is a non-profit organisation funded by all motor insurance companies in Ireland. It compensates injured parties of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured or unidentified drivers.
4. The MIBI Process
The first step for your Solicitor to take is to notify the MIBI of your accident and your intention to pursue a personal injury claim. This needs to be done as soon as possible following the accident. Your Solicitor will then need to complete and submit the MIBI claim notification form. The form requests all available information regarding the accident including the date, time and location of the accident, your personal details, vehicle registration numbers, make, model and damage done to vehicles involved, details of injuries sustained and attendances with medical professionals and also details of the Gardai that attended the scene of the accident if any. The details required in the form demonstrate why it is vital to obtain all information possible immediately following the accident as outlined earlier under paragraph 2.
The next step will be for the MIBI to begin their investigations into the matter. This will include establishing the insurance position of the offending driver and vehicle and interviewing the parties involved if necessary.
5. When the MIBI will not cover your claim
Certain personal injury claims are excluded under the MIBI scheme which means that the MIBI will not be liable to provide compensation to an injured party involved in a road traffic accident with an uninsured driver. These are set out in clause 5 of the 2009 MIBI agreement and include instances where, for example:
• The injured party entered a vehicle which caused them injuries which they knew had been stolen or taken by violence;
• The injured party knew “or ought reasonably to have known” that there was no policy of insurance for the vehicle in which they were injured.
If the matter does fall within the remit of the MIBI, the MIBI will nominate an Irish motor insurance company to deal with the claim. The Solicitor for the injured party then join the MIBI as a Respondent in the Injuries Board application and later as a co-defendant to Court proceedings if the Injuries Board does not proceed with an assessment of the claim. Where the owner and/or user of the uninsured vehicle are known, the injured party is obliged to take their claim against the owner, driver and MIBI as co-defendants.
If you have been involved in a Road Traffic Accident with an uninsured driver, rest assured that you can bring a personal injury claim for the injuries you have suffered provided you follow the steps outlined above and obtain the necessary information in relation to your accident. If you are looking for a Solicitor to begin your claim, please feel free to contact us and we will guide you through the process ensuring that you receive the best advice available.
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If you would like to discuss making a personal injury claim please contact us to discuss further by calling our phone number: 01 234 0044 . We will be happy to have a no obligation conversation with you to discuss your claim and provide you with advice and an initial opinion regarding your injury, the process from the personal injuries assessment board to issuing proceedings in a case. We pride ourselves in knowing that our clients are always fully informed and advised of all aspects of their case from the beginning when they first speak to us regarding an injury, right the way through to a final award or settlement.
Cosgrove Gaynard Solicitors, 39 Waterloo road, Dublin 4.
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