What can one do if they were hit by an uninsured driver ?
And – What happens when you get hit by an uninsured driver ?
Since 1961 there has been an obligation on vehicle drivers to have motor insurance in place while using a vehicle in a public place.
If then one is injured due to the negligence of another, the injured party can rest easier that at least there is insurance in place to cover the loss.
What happens though when one is injured in a road traffic accident and the other driver does not have insurance ?.
Parties involved a road accident have obligations to adhere to under S.106 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.
Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland
This Bureau is an organisation which has within its role a duty to compensate victims of road traffic accidents that were caused by drivers who either had no insurance or that could not be identified.
If you have been involved in an accident and the offending driver has no insurance, or is not identifiable, then you must submit a Claim Notification Form to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland to initiate the claim.
This application form requests information regarding the injured persons identification details, vehicle damage, personal injury, losses, vehicle details, accident details, garda details and offending vehicle details.
It is very important after an accident to contact the Gardai or request someone contact the Gardai to carry out an investigation, if this is possible keeping in mind the injuries of the person at the time.
The injured party should as soon as is possible furnish the Claim Notification Form to the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. They are entitled to prior notification of the claim.
The Bureau are entitled to material information about the claim, such as, medical reports. They must be able to investigate the accident for themselves and any information the injured party has about the accident and offending driver should be given to the Bureau, so they can investigate it properly.
The Bureau may engage an investigator for the accident and the injured party should ensure they co-operate with the investigator. Sometimes it can happen the offending driver absconds from the scene, and then theres a situation of an untraced motorist, which can be a difficult task for the investigator to get to the bottom of.
It is necessary for the injured party to establish if the offending driver had a policy of insurance in place. It is best practice to contact the Gardai as soon as is possible after an accident in addition to your attempt to get insurance details from the offending driver.
If you obtain the name and details of the offending driver at the scene, you or your solicitor should write to the other driver with a demand of notification of any insurance policy in place for their vehicle.
One must give the following information to the Bureau when notifying them of the claim:
- name, date of birth, PPS number and address of claimant.
- registration of vehicle alleged to be uninsured and where available the type and make of such vehicle.
- Name of Garda Station to which the accident has been reported.
- Reason why the claimant considers the vehicle to be uninsured.
- The steps that have been taken to establish insurance position.
- Name and address of owner and/or driver of the uninsured vehicle.
- Date and time of accident.
- Place of accident.
- Brief description of accident.
- If any other vehicle(s) involved, its registration number, and where available the type and make of such vehicle.
- Name and address of owner and/or driver, and insurance details.
Personal Injury Claims* Procedure
The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is responsible for dealing with personal injury* claims in Ireland. The Board deal with car accident claims. The procedure for initiating a personal injury* claim is straightforward. To complete your application you will need:
- A Medical Assessment Form that your treating doctor has completed;
- Your completed Application Form which you may submit by post or online;
- Your payment. The sum is €45 if the application is completed online and €90 if submitted by post.
You must submit receipts to show financial losses that you may have suffered following the accident. If you have any other documentation to support your claim, you can present it also. You should submit your application by mail if the application is for a minor or someone who is critically injured.
Under S.8 of the Civil Liability Act 2004 a ‘Letter of Claim’ is required to be sent to the offending driver. A person pursuing an action should serve notice in writing to the other person within 1 month of the date of the accident of their intention to pursue this course of action.
If the letter of claim is not sent to the offending party, a court can draw inferences from the injured party’s failure to do so.
Personal Injury Claim* Time Limits
There is a limit regarding how long an injured person has to initiate a legal action. This limit is pursuant to the statute of limitations act and if surpassed, it can cause your claim to be whats termed as statute barred from court. One has two years from the date of the accident to initiate the legal action.
The applicant (injured party) has 28 days to accept or reject any Injuries Board award, and if you don’t reply in this time, it is assumed that you rejected the award. The defendant, on the other hand, has 21 days to accept or reject any award, after which if they don’t reply they are deemed to have accepted.
Duties on Occurrence of an Accident
If you have been in an accident, it is important to ensure that you:
1. Remain at the scene of the accident.
2. Contact the Gardai and provide them with the following information; your name, address, the registration number of your car, and your insurance details. If the Garda don’t come, you must provide the information to the person who has been injured in the accident.
3. You should report your accident to the Gardai as early as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have the question is it worth taking a case against an uninsured driver and it’s a good question. We hope this post will of assistance when you are considering this with the detail you now have as mentioned above.
You can send a demand letter to the offending party requesting confirmation and detail of their insurance and you must send them whats called a letter of claim calling upon them to admit liability indicating to the facts. Then you should proceed to notify the M.I.B.I. mentioned above immediately and try to obtain the insurance details of the other party from the Gards perhaps.
It is prudent to contact the Gardai as soon as possible and maintain any information such as registration, drivers name etc. you can obtain.
This is answered above in terms of the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland. After this process, the following is information concerning the Injuries Board application process. The Injuries Board are the state body that deal with such claims.
An initial step for any injured party who wishes to initiate a personal injury* claim is to make an application to the Board. The Personal Injuries Assessment Board is a statutory body that carries out its own private, independent assessment of a persons personal injury* claim. It will not assess claims regarding the provision of any medical or surgical procedure in relation to a person, or the provision of any medical advice or treatment to a person.
A purely paper-based system, it never carries out oral hearings but assesses claims with regard to medical evidence, such as the medical report furnished by the injured party to the Board.
If the person who caused the injury consents to the Injuries Board assessing the application, or if they fail to state in writing whether they consent to the assessment or not, the Injuries Board will proceed to carry out the assessment.
If the person who causes the accident states in writing that they do not consent to the Injuries Board making an assessment, the Injuries Board will issue whats termed an authorisation, which permits the applicant (injured party) to bring legal proceedings.
This is called the Garda Abstract Report and details the parties involved in the accident and information particulars, such as, names, insurance details etc.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Due care has been taken in the publication of this article and we do not accept legal liability as a result of reliance on any material covered in the above article.
In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.