Eoin P. Campbell LLB, Solicitor
Sometimes it is impossible to obtain another driver’s details at the scene of an accident. A serious injury, for example, will no doubt take precedence over the exchange of names, addresses and insurance details and in most cases the Gardai will have attended the scene and recorded the identity of the other driver(s). If you wish to proceed with a car accidents compensation claim and need these details, they can be recovered from the Gardai once you have received medical attention, or by your solicitor on your behalf.
However, you may have been the victim of a ‘hit and run’ incident or have later discovered that the driver of the other vehicle was uninsured at the time of the accident. In such circumstances your solicitor can resolve the matter through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) – a body which exists to protect the victims of road traffic accidents when the party at fault is untraceable or uninsured. The MIBI can act as the ‘insurer’ of the unknown or untraced driver and can, if appropriate, make an uninsured car accidents compensation payment to the victim.
What Should I do Following a Road Traffic Accident?
Before making a personal injury compensation claim, be it with the MIBI or otherwise, you should always attend to your health and safety and that of your passengers. If there has been a serious injury an ambulance (together with the Gardai) should be called immediately. The Gardai will conduct an investigation — the details of which will be recorded in their “Road Traffic Accident Book”.
If you have been injured in a road traffic accident and an ambulance has not been summoned, you should always report to the casualty department of the nearest hospital or make an emergency appointment with your GP. Even if it seems that your injuries are not particularly serious, it is still advisable that you see a doctor. Your attendance at hospital or with your GP will be recorded in your medical records which can later be used in evidence to support your claim.
Making an Uninsured Car Accidents Compensation Claim
Once your injuries have been attended to, making an uninsured car accidents compensation claim follows a very similar process to that should you have the full insurance details of the liable party.
The MIBI first needs to confirm that the vehicle has no insurance cover. This is something you can find out by approaching them directly or instructing a solicitor to act on your behalf. Thereafter, you (or your solicitor) advise the MIBI that you intend to pursue a personal injury claim against the uninsured driver and name the MIBI as the “defendant” on your application to the InjuriesBoard.ie.
The MIBI may wish to conduct their own interview with you (it is advisable to have a solicitor present) or request via the InjuriesBoard.ie that you attend an independent medical examination. Thereafter, once the InjuriesBoard.ie has issued a Notice of Assessment which both parties agree upon, payment of uninsured car accidents compensation is made within 28 days.
The Benefits of Using a Solicitor
The main benefit of using the services of an experienced solicitor when making an uninsured car accidents compensation claim is to ensure that you are adequately compensated for your injuries. It is worth considering that the MIBI is funded by car insurance companies and employs claims handlers for the same purpose as insurance companies — trying to minimise the amount of compensation they pay.
Therefore, it is essential that your application to the InjuriesBoard.ie is comprehensively completed, that you are represented in any interview with the MIBI and that, if you are approached by representatives of the MIBI with an offer of early settlement, you are aware of how much uninsured car accidents compensation you are entitled to receive.
Furthermore, the MIBI are just as entitled to dispute any assessment made by the InjuriesBoard.ie, and if you are issued with an “Authorisation” to pursue your uninsured car accidents compensation claim through the courts, it will be an advantage to you if you have had a solicitor involved from the very beginning who has already prepared the strongest possible case on your behalf.
It is important to note that each case is unique. If you have recently been the victim of a road traffic accident caused by the negligence of an uninsured driver and feel that you have a potential personal injury claim you are advised to discuss all of the points raised in the preceding article with a solicitor at the earliest opportunity.
Copyright © 2009-2015 Eoin Campbell
About the Author
Eoin P. Campbell is an honours law graduate (LL.B) and qualified solicitor whose primary professional experience is the area of litigation and in particular personal injury claims. Eoin P. Campbell is currently lecturing in law at two universities in Lyon, France.