Sadly, accidents involving hit and run drivers are on the rise. According to Motor Insurers’ Bureau statistics, 12 per cent of UK road traffic accidents reported to police involve a hit and run driver – around 17,000 incidents in total per year.

Many people assume that if you are injured in a road traffic accident involving an untraced driver it is impossible to make a claim for compensation. However, this is not the case as Therese Classon personal injury solicitor at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot, explains.

If you are injured in a road traffic accident and the driver responsible leaves the scene of the accident and cannot be traced, it is possible to make a compensation claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau under the Untraced Drivers Agreement.

It is important to make a claim as soon as possible as you only have 3 years from the date of the accident in which to make the claim.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is a body funded by the insurance industry which was set up to compensate people involved in incidents involving uninsured and untraced drivers.

If you are involved in an accident with an untraced driver you should try to follow the following steps:
• if possible, take a note of the colour, make, model and registration number of the vehicle they were driving;
• write down the names, numbers and addresses of any potential witnesses so they can provide witness statements later if needed;
• take photos of the scene of the accident;
• report the incident to the police as soon as practicable and obtain a police log/reference number from them; and
• if you are hurt, seek medical attention straight away.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau will make enquiries to try and discover the identity of the hit and run driver and you have a duty to provide as much information as you can. If the driver can be found, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau claim will cease and the claim will be transferred to the insurance companies involved. If the driver was uninsured, you can still claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau but the process is slightly different.

Once all the evidence is gathered and the Motor Insurers’ Bureau forms are filled out and submitted, your claim will be assessed. An excess may be applied to your claim for damage to property which will be deducted from your final compensation award.

How a solicitor can help…
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident it is a good idea to consult a specialist personal injury lawyer as soon as possible as there are certain criteria that need to be meet and time limits to be aware of. They will negotiate with the Motor Insurers’ Bureau with the aim of getting you the maximum compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, rehabilitation costs, travel expenses, loss of earnings, as well as compensation for future losses, and any adaptations required at your home.

For more information on claiming compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau if you are hurt by an untraced driver, or any other personal injury issue, contact Therese Classon at WBW Solicitors on 01626 202404 or email thereseclasson@wbw.co.uk.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.