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Compensation for an Accident Involving an Uninsured Driver

Have you been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, that wasn’t your fault? Navigating the aftermath can be frustrating and financially draining, but you’re not alone, and you could be eligible to claim the compensation you deserve.

The facts on uninsured drivers

If you’re involved in a road traffic accident (RTA), the first thing you’ll typically do is ask the other driver for their insurance details, and most drivers will happily share them – but what happens if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver?

Unfortunately, the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) estimates one million uninsured drivers on UK roads, with the West Midlands, North Wales and Lancashire experiencing the highest numbers (Heald).

It’s worth noting that the UK has the safest roads in Europe, but that doesn’t mean drivers always take their responsibilities seriously.

  • UK traffic police catch around 2,676 uninsured drivers a month in the UK (Xcite).
  • There are 26,000 accidents caused by uninsured or untraced drivers yearly, with victims often experiencing life-changing injuries (MIB).
  • Uninsured driver claims cost insurance holders £53 extra yearly as insurance providers raise premiums to cover uninsured accidents (This is Money).
  • On average, five people die each day in road traffic accidents (Brake).

Can you claim against an uninsured driver?

Whether you’re a pedestrian, car owner or use other vehicles, you have the right to hold a negligent person accountable for their actions. Yes, you can claim against an uninsured driver – but the process is more complex.

There are two ways to make a compensation claim, and the route you choose depends on your insurance provider and whether you meet the MIB’s eligibility criteria.

Claiming through your insurance provider

If you have fully comprehensive car insurance, your insurance company might let you file a claim, even if the other party doesn’t have a policy. However, some people prefer to avoid this route, as claiming through your car insurance policy puts your no-claims bonus at risk.

Claimants with no-claims bonus protection receive more protection, but you might face a higher premium when renewing your comprehensive cover. Another route to consider is claiming through the uninsured driver’s promise.

What does the uninsured driver promise mean?

If your insurance policy has an uninsured driver promise, you can make a claim through your provider – even if the negligent party is uninsured or untraceable. These agreements also ensure you don’t lose your no-claims bonus or have to pay any excess on the claim.

However, policies with an uninsured driver’s agreement often have higher premiums and not all providers offer them. Be sure to check your insurance information thoroughly before making a claim.

Claiming through the Motor Insurers Bureau

Drivers without a comprehensive policy can file for compensation through the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). You’ll still receive compensation, and making a claim won’t impact your premiums or no-claims bonus. However, these claims can take over a year to settle, and you’ll usually pay a £300 excess.

Also, the MIB can’t handle claims against untraced drivers, so not everyone will be eligible to receive compensation.

How to claim against uninsured drivers?

The first step in claiming against uninsured drivers is to determine your eligibility. Whether your car suffers severe damage or injuries from an accident with an uninsured driver, there’s only a case if you can prove the other party was negligent.

Call 0800 234 6438 or use the online form to request a callback and get free advice from a legal specialist. They’ll assess your case and let you know whether you’re entitled to compensation. A specialist solicitor will help you navigate the claims process and determine the appropriate route.

The MIB uninsured drivers claims process

If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you have the right to hold them responsible and receive financial support. However, the Motor Insurance Bureau has strict eligibility criteria, including:

  • The negligent driver must not be insured to drive that vehicle. The bureau will check the Motor Insurance Database (MID) to assess if the car holds valid insurance.
  • Your accident should have occurred in the last three years. It’s always best to file a personal injury claim quickly to ensure plenty of time.
  • If you’re claiming for car damage, there’s a time frame of six years. You can’t claim for accidents before then.
  • The accident was reported to the police within five days for car or property damage and 14 days for injuries.
  • You can prove you took steps to keep any losses at a minimum.
  • The accident must occur in the UK.

How to file a successful claim?

The MIB has a helpful guide for making a claim directly with them, but some people prefer to seek support from a specialist solicitor. While measures are in place to ensure you can receive financial compensation, some people might struggle to fulfil the requirements without support.

A no win no fee solicitor can help you:

Gather evidence

Collate eyewitness reports, CCTV footage and anything else that might support your claim and ensure you receive maximum compensation.

Argue your case

Detail the circumstances surrounding the accident and put forward a robust argument as to why you should receive compensation.

Clarify the damage

From highlighting your injuries to detailing general and special damages, your solicitor can also help you secure compensation and recover costs associated with the accident.

You can either contact a legal advice service on 0800 234 6438 or register with the Motor Insurance Bureau’s website and complete the registration form to deal with the claim alone.

Claiming through your insurance company

If you’d prefer to claim through your comprehensive policy, gathering as much evidence as possible is essential. Your insurance provider will want to assess negligence and ensure you weren’t at fault. Your claim will only be successful if you can:

  • Provide evidence to prove the other car was negligent. This includes gathering eyewitness accounts, taking photographs of the scene and receiving medical support for your injuries.
  • Keep accurate records of car and property damage and expenses that will support your claim.

What if I’m involved in an accident with a hit-and-run driver?

Hit-and-run or untraced drivers can cause a lot of damage on the road. Even if it’s a minor car accident, proving negligence can be challenging. However, law-abiding motorists shouldn’t suffer for someone else’s carelessness and gathering the following evidence can support your claim:

  • CCTV: Technology means most public roads have some form of CCTV. Accessing footage can be instrumental in proving your case.
  • Witnesses: Witnesses might have seen the untraced driver and be able to provide supporting statements.
  • Photos: Taking photos of the scene, including any damage to your car and personal property, proves the extent of the accident.
  • Dashcam: Cars with dashcams provide reliable accounts of accidents and can show the other driver’s negligence.

Can an uninsured driver claim against me?

Uninsured driving is risky, and the Road Traffic Act (1988) clearly states that motor insurance is compulsory for all road users. However, even if you cause an accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance, they can still file for compensation.

In such cases, your insurance provider will handle the claim and award financial support to the other driver. If the other party isn’t an insured driver, they might receive an unlimited fine and penalty points on their licence.

Explore your eligibility for uninsured driver claims today

If you’d like to determine whether you can claim compensation for a road traffic accident, please use the online form to request a call from an experienced legal advisor. They’ll learn about your accident and tell you whether you have a case.

The claims process can take a long time, but calling immediately gives you the best chance of receiving financial support and holding the negligent party accountable.

How much compensation can I receive?

The amount of compensation you might receive depends on multiple factors. Claims against uninsured drivers can cover property damage and injuries, considering both general and special damages.

For example, if you suffer life-changing injuries, you’ll receive compensation for the accident itself and any long-term complications and expenses it leads to.

Using a compensation calculator can give you an idea of how much money you might receive, but speaking to a legal advice service will provide more clarity.

Can I claim if an uninsured driver killed my loved one?

Yes, you can. Losing a spouse is painful enough – but it can feel particularly unfair if the negligent party was driving illegally. You can make a claim as long as you can gather evidence and prove negligence. It won’t bring your loved one back, but receiving financial support could relieve financial burdens.

Why do some drivers refuse to get car insurance?

Some road users actively avoid compulsory motor insurance because they don’t want to deal with the associated costs. Previous incidents or cases of reckless driving also result in higher premiums, which means some people try to trick the system.

These drivers cost other car owners yearly, but claiming through the MIB can ensure you hold them.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

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If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.