In this article, we aim to to provide some practical advice on what to do should you have the misfortune of being involved in a hit and run road accident, where the driver who was responsible flees the scene.
The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) was set up to deal with cases involving uninsured and untraced drivers. You can make a claim if you were a driver, motorbike rider, passenger, cyclist or a pedestrian, among others.
Reporting a hit and run accident
If you have an accident and the other driver flees, you should report the accident to the police as soon as possible, ideally while still at the scene. The MIB expect an accident to be reported to the police as soon as reasonably practicable. If the police won’t investigate, you should still ask them to provide a crime reference number to show the MIB that you tried to report the accident to the police.
After the accident, it is useful to try and obtain the details of any other road users who may have witnessed the accident and who might have written down or remembered the vehicle registration number. It is also worth checking with other road users if they have any dashcam or mobile phone footage of the accident taking place.
It is sensible to check if there are any CCTV cameras in the vicinity, either run by the local council or by local businesses, that may have caught the accident on camera. The police should be able to obtain this footage. Solicitors and insurers can also request copies of CCTV; however, this request must be made quickly, as the footage is often wiped within 28 days.
Some drivers do stop at the scene – but it transpires shortly afterwards that the details they have given are false. If the other vehicle does stop, take photographs of the front and back of the vehicle, so the make, model and vehicle registration can be clearly seen. If the other driver provides a telephone number, consider telephoning the number straight away, while still at the scene, to check that the number is legitimate.
Personal injury and property damage
The MIB will deal with claims for personal injury and property damage on the condition that certain criteria are met. If you are making a claim for personal injury, the MIB expects you to visit a medical professional (e.g. a GP or hospital etc) as soon as possible after the accident.
Once a claim has been submitted to the MIB, they will normally ask for copies of the information the police hold about the accident, together with copies of any GP or hospital records, if you were injured in the accident. The MIB will also arrange for one of their agents to visit you to take a detailed statement of what happened in the accident, the aftermath and the effects of any injuries sustained.
The MIB are likely to reject an applications for compensation if you have not reported the accident to the police or visited a medical professional.
If it is not possible to obtain the at-fault driver’s vehicle registration, it will not be possible to claim for vehicle damage or property damage (e.g. mobile phone damage, clothing damage, etc). The exception to this is if the injuries you suffered were of sufficient severity to require a two or more night stay in hospital or three or more appointments at hospital for outpatient treatment.
For more information on hit and run accidents or any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Nicholas Sage in our Personal Injury and Accident Claims team by emailing [email protected] or calling 0117 904 5957.