To continue our personal injury claims advice series, we’ll give an overview of what to do if you are involved in an accident with uninsured drivers or untraced motorists. We hope you find the information useful.
First of all you must have motor insurance
You must have motor insurance to drive a car in your own name or as a named driver on someone else’s policy. To have the motor insurance requirement explained in detail by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) click here.
Failure to have motor insurance or driving without insurance in Ireland is generally punishable by:
– A fine of up to €5,000, 5 penalty points and at the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months. The court may decide that you be disqualified from driving instead of incurring penalty points. In that case, you will be disqualified for 2 years or more for a first offence and 4 years or more in the case of a second offence committed within 3 years of the first.
You should note that where a member of An Garda Síochána (Irish police force) believes that a vehicle registered in Ireland (or outside Ireland) is being used in a public place without insurance, the vehicle may be impounded.
Currently it is estimated that there are approximately 100,000 uninsured cars on Irish Roads. On a daily basis these cars are involved in Road Traffic Accidents.
Road Traffic Accidents – Untraced or Uninsured Drivers
Although car insurance is compulsory in Ireland, accidents can happen where the party at fault is uninsured, or for one reason or another their insurance does not cover them. Or, what sometimes can happen is the driver at fault may leave the scene of the accident and there is no way of identifying their vehicle at fault.
In such situations, the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (the MIBI) steps in to act as the insurer of the uninsured or unidentified motorist. A levy on motor insurers finances the MIBI who compensate innocent victims of road traffic accidents.
Procedure For Bringing Claims Against Uninsured Drivers via the MIBI
There are strict rules to adhere to when bringing a claim against the MIBI. The party seeking compensation must notify the MIBI of their intention to bring a claim, and once they accept the claim they will be named in any proceedings that follow.
As with any type of road traffic accident it is important first and foremost, to seek medical attention, even if the injuries don’t seem to be severe. This medical assessment is necessary as it often takes time for the full extent of injuries to become apparent and it can provide evidence to support your claim at a later stage.
It is also highly important to note the very strict time limits when making a claim against the MIBI. In order to claim, the accident must have been reported to the Gardaí within two days. In addition, the time limit for making claims for compensation is two years from the date of the accident.
Other conditions of making a claim are that the claimant must be available to be interviewed by a representative of the MIBI, they must furnish the MIBI with all relevant information (such as Garda reports, medical assessments etc.) and the MIBI must be notified before any claim involving them is lodged with the Injuries Boards or indeed with the Courts.
The claims procedure for uninsured/untraced motorist is the same as any other personal injuries cases. The claim will be sent to the Injuries Board for assessment and in the event either party contest the award the claim can then be pursued in court. For more detailed information on this see our blog post on personal injuries.
Contact Regan Solicitors For Help With MIBI Claims
As claims against the MIBI come with strict time limits and technical rules, if you wish to make a claim you should contact Regan Solicitors on 01 6874100 or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly to discuss your claim and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement