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Receiving Compensation for a Hit and Run Accident

Compensation for a Hit and Run Accident

If you have received an injury in a road traffic accident, after which the driver who caused the accident departed the scene without providing contact and insurance information, you could still be eligible to claim compensation for a hit and run accident. Failure to provide this information before leaving the scene of an accident in the UK is a criminal offence. However some drivers do this in the hope that this will prevent police involvement or criminal prosecutions.

While it is becoming increasingly difficult for drivers to leave unnoticed due to the high numbers of CCTV cameras recording the traffic on the roads, some negligent drivers still manage to remain undetected. If the driver of the vehicle in question is found by police, a hit and run accident compensation claim will continue as normal through the insurance policy of the negligent party. In some cases, the driver may depart the scene as they lack a valid insurance policy. In these cases you may be unable to pursue a ‘regular’ personal injury claim as they have no insurance policy against which to claim compensation for a hit and run accident.

When Drivers are Unknown or Uninsured

The action to take after a hit and run collision can differ. In normal circumstances following a road traffic accident, a claimant may issue a personal injury claim against the insurance policy of another road user whose negligence caused the accident and injury. From this claim the victim of the accident will receive a compensation settlement to account for his or her injuries.

This routine becomes more complex in the case of a driver who cannot be traced or is uninsured. As the claim cannot be made against an existing insurance policy, a road traffic accident claim cannot be made in the normal method. If this is the case, a claim to receive compensation for a hit and run accident will be made against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).

Since it was established in 1946, the role of the MIB is to ensure that victims of car accidents caused by the negligence of uninsured or unknown drivers can receive compensation for their injuries. Of every motor insurance policy sold in the UK, a proportion is paid into to the MIB compensation fund. As insurance companies fund the MIB, a personal injury solicitor should therefore be consulted regarding any claim for hit and run compensation.

How Negligence affects Hit and Run Compensation

When a negligent driver has fled the scene of an accident, they have committed a criminal offence. When located by the police, they will be subject to criminal prosecution due to the hit and run. This does not mean the claimant is automatically entitled to compensation, and it still must be proven that the driver who departed the scene was the cause of the accident owing to their lack of care.

There is an obligation for every driver on the road to drive in a reasonable manner and act safely regarding other road users. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to uphold this obligation and another person is injured as a result. In this case, an injury compensation claim can be made against the negligent party. A hit and run compensation claim made against the MIB will also require proof of negligence, although if neither the vehicle nor driver can be traced this can complicate matters. A personal injury solicitor who is experienced with hit and run claims should always be contacted when dealing with such a case.

What Action to Take After a Hit and Run Collision

Compensation for a hit and run accident can be affected if the procedures following an incident are not followed. Being unaware of the action to take after a hit and run collision can weaken your right to claim compensation.

If you have been involved in an accident, your immediate priority should be taking care of your health. While the police investigation will be assisted if you have the vehicle registration number of the negligent party, your health should not be put at risk in order to get this detail. Receiving professional medical care is paramount, and you should attend the emergency department of a nearby hospital as a precaution if your injuries were not considered serious enough to summon an ambulance.

Even if your injuries do not appear to be serious, you should still seek a medical check-up. Some injuries such as soft tissue damage may not be obvious immediately and, if medical treatment is not sought promptly, the injury could worsen. Postponing any medical treatment following an accident can also have an impact on the amount of compensation which can be claimed, if it is deemed the claimant has displayed a disregard for his or her own health.

The police must also be aware of any hit and run accident which has occurred and, if they were not present at the scene of the accident, a report must be made to them. If witnesses were present at the time of your accident, their contact details should be noted and if the accident involved other drivers, their names, addresses, insurance policy details and vehicle registration numbers should also be noted.

Hit and Run Compensation Amounts

The amount of compensation for a hit and run accident to which you may be entitled – whether you are dealing with the insurance company of the negligent party or the MIB – can vary according to your own personal circumstances. It is also important to consider that, as the MIB is funded by insurance companies, it is unlikely that you will be offered your full entitlement to hit and run injury compensation without professional legal help.

A preliminary figure of injury compensation would be calculated based on the location, nature and severity of your injury in relation to injury compensation values published in the Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages. Also included in your compensation settlement should be compensation for any reduction in your quality of life, as well as damages for any psychological trauma you have experienced due to the hit and run accident or suffered during the process of recovery.

Any quantifiable expenses which have arisen due to the accident may also be recovered. These can involve repairs to your vehicle, medical costs, loss of earnings you have experienced or other expenses. The “special damages” factor of the claim for hit and run accident compensation should ensure that your financial situation will be as though the accident had never occurred.

Due to the UK Statute of Limitations, there is a time limit placed upon making a claim after a hit and run accident. For this reason a hit and run compensation claim should not be delayed, as a claim which is made beyond this time limit will probably not be allowed to proceed.

Further Advice on Compensation for a Hit and Run Accident

In the event that a negligent driver cannot be located or is uninsured, a claim for hit and run compensation cannot be made against their policy. In these cases the Motor Insurer’s Bureau will take the place of the absent insurance company. Compensation will be paid from the MIB compensation fund, though despite being set up for the very purpose of paying injury compensation on behalf of uninsured or absent drivers, the process can be complex.

The sum of compensation you receive can depend on the action you take after a hot and run collision and the preparation and investigation which has gone into the claim. Consulting a personal injury solicitor will ensure your full entitlement to hit and run compensation and, in this situation, it is highly recommended that you first speak with a personal injury solicitor before making a claim against the MIB.