Uninsured Drivers & Unidentified Vehicles*

Had an accident with an uninsured driver? Could not identify a vehicle you were involved with in a road traffic accident? You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us now to obtain further information.

Uninsured drivers and unidentified vehicles are involved in approximately 2,000 accidents per year.    In 2008 the average pay out for claims under the umbrella of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was €24,000.00.  According to the Chief Executive of the MIBI approximately 6% of road users may have issues in respect of insurance as they are either un-insured, or not in compliance with the conditions of their insurance policy.  The MIBI was established so as to assist parties who suffered injury or sustained property loss as a result of being involved in an accident with an un-insured/un-identified driver.   Gearoid Howard, Partner of Crimmins Howard Solicitors appeared on the Morning Focus show with John Cooke in Clare FM on Tuesday the 31st of May 2011 to discuss the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland and the benefits of the scheme.  According to Mr. Howard “There are 14 pre-conditions set out in the 2009 agreement between the Bureau and the Minister and it is essential that a person seeking to benefit from the cover provided by the scheme comply with those pre-conditions.   It is essential for people who are involved in an accident with an un-insured/un-identified driver to be aware that in order to benefit from the scheme it is important the they are co-operate with the Bureau and act promptly”.

There is an obligation under the scheme for a party who is involved in a road traffic accident to report the accident to An Garda Siochana within two days of the event or as soon as the claimant reasonably could.    In addition, the Claimant must make themselves available to the MIBI for interview.   If claimants are concerned about what may be discussed at the interview they can request for their Solicitor to attend and they are entitled to recover the costs of any such assistance provided by their Solicitor.   It is important for claimants to be aware that the information which they provide to the MIBI during the course of the interview is for the benefit of the civil claim only and may not be used in any circumstances in criminal proceedings.    It is important for claimants to be open and frank with the MIBI when providing information in respect of an accident.    If a claimant for instance, was drinking alcohol on the night that they had the accident or alternatively was not wearing a seatbelt that information should be provided to the MIBI at the outset.   It is important to be aware that where proceedings issue in Court and a claimant has not complied with the pre-conditions that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland may subsequently file a full defence to the claimant’s case, on the basis that the claimant did not comply with the pre-conditions and therefore is not entitled to the benefit of the cover provided by the scheme.

The time limits for a claim pursuant to the MIBI scheme are in line with Irish statutory provisions as set out in the Statute of Limitations.  The Statute of Limitations sets out the time periods in respect of the entitlement to bring a claim.  For example, an individual who suffers injury in an accident has two years to institute proceedings against the party responsible for the injury.   Where the injured party is unable to identify the defendant or, the defendant is un-insured that person may be entitled to benefit from the MIBI scheme.   However,  unless claims are taken within the time limit provided for under the Statute of Limitations the case may become statute barred and the claimant will not then be entitled to bring an action to recover damages.

There is a provision under the scheme for a claimant to recover compensation for damage caused to property.  The scheme provides that liability of the MIBI for damaged property shall not extend to damage caused by an unidentified vehicle unless compensation for a substantial injury involving an in-patient hospital stay for five days or more has also been paid subject to an excess of €500.00.   The agreement further states that the liability of MIBI shall not extend to the first €220.00 of damage to property suffered by any one property owner due to the negligent use of a vehicle  stolen or obtained by violence or threats or violence or used or taken possession of without the consent of the owner of the vehicle or other lawful authority

The MIBI also covers claimants who have been involved in accidents with foreign registered vehicles.   It is imperative, when involved in an accident with a foreign registered vehicle that you obtain the correct foreign registration plate details for the offending vehicle together with details of the country of origin of the vehicle.    If you cannot establish the registration number of the vehicle then you may not be able to pursue a claim for property damage.  That restriction however does apply to personal injury claims caused in an accident with a foreign registered vehicle.

If you have been involved in an accident which was caused by an un-insured driver or where the driver has left the scene of the accident and the vehicle was un-identified, it is important that you act promptly and comply with the requirements of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland in order to benefit from their scheme.

We at Crimmins Howard Solicitors have extensive experience in this area of injury work and will be happy to assist you with any questions that you may have on the topic.

Contact us today and we will be happy to advise you on how to proceed with your case.   To contact us, call us on 061 361088, email us at info@crimminshoward.ie and we will call you back. We are happy to meet you in the office for an initial consultation to discuss your case and thereafter to provide you with the benefit of advice so that you can decide how best to proceed.

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