HM Insights

What happens when a driver at fault doesn't have insurance?

What is the legal position for car users and car insurance?

It is mandatory that drivers of cars on Scottish public roads hold valid insurance. It is a criminal offence to drive without car insurance but every year in the UK it is estimated there are over 1 million uninsured vehicles on the roads. Over 500,000 uninsured cars have been seized in the last four years and in July 2016 the UK's 1.5 millionth uninsured vehicle was seized.

Uninsured Driver Compensation

What happens when a person is involved in a road traffic accident where the driver at fault is uninsured?

Unfortunately there are a number of drivers on Scottish roads who do not carry car insurance and cause accidents. If you are a victim of a road traffic accident - whether you are a pedestrian, other car user or are riding a cycle or motorcycle - and where the accident was caused by the fault of another party who is uninsured, it is possible to claim compensation via the Motor Insurance Bureau. However if the car itself has insurance then the legal position is that the insurance company of the owner of the car should meet any claim for compensation.

What is the Motor Insurance Bureau?

The Motor Insurance Bureau is an organisation that was set up to ensure that those injured by uninsured or untraced drivers are able to be compensated for their losses. This means that The Motor Insurance Bureau can help people who are involved in road traffic accidents where the normal routes of compensation might not exist or be difficult to trace.

The Motor Insurance Bureau holds and manages records of approximately 37 million vehicles on the Motor Insurance Database on behalf of insurance companies. The Motor Insurance Database is a central record of all insured vehicles in the UK.

What happens when someone is injured by an uninsured driver?

Our specialist Personal Injury Motor Accident team represented a gentleman and his wife who were pedestrians and were struck by a car whose driver was uninsured. Details of our clients' losses were intimated to the Motor Insurance Bureau who are obligated to handle claims in accordance with The Uninsured Drivers' Agreements and The Untraced Drivers' Agreements.

The Motor Insurance Bureau was obligated to make enquiries to see if the driver of the vehicle that struck our clients was insured. In this case, our specialist Personal Injury team was able to advise the Motor Insurance Bureau that the driver was not insured. Our specialist Motor Claims team were able to intimate details of our clients' cases and successfully claim compensation on their behalf.

We were able to assist the Motor Insurance Bureau by supplying details of how the accident happened and other relevant details. The Motor Insurance Bureau is required to carry out its own investigations to establish the facts and assess compensation for our clients' losses in accordance with their claims procedure. 

In this particular case the driver was charged with careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

How did the road traffic accident happen?

The accident happened in Dunfermline on Christmas Eve in a built up area. Our client and his wife were crossing a road and were struck by a car. The driver of the car allowed her car to veer onto an oncoming carriageway when our clients were crossing the road.

Our client was struck on the back by the car and thrown into the air. Following the accident the driver of the car left the scene of the accident despite the front windscreen being smashed by the impact of hitting our client. 

Our client was unable to move after being struck by the car and came close to being run over by a number of other cars. The accident was a terrifying ordeal.

What injuries and losses did the pedestrian suffer?

Our client was knocked to the ground by the car and suffered the following injuries:

  • Abrasions to the left side of his scalp;
  • Neck and shoulder injury;
  • Right calf and ankle injury; and
  • Severe bruising and considerable soft tissue damage.

Following the accident our client attended hospital and was x-rayed. He required to take a significant amount of analgesics for approximately six months following the accident. He required to attend physiotherapy to assist with his recovery and had to use a stick to assist his mobility.

Our client suffered long term effects as a result of his injuries including substantial lower back, neck, shoulder, abdominal and calf pain, all of which resulted in a major restriction to his lifestyle. Our client suffered significantly as a result of this distressing accident and continues to do so.

In addition to his physical injury, our client was self- employed and was unable to work over the Christmas period which was the busiest time of year for him. As a result of this our client suffered substantial loss of earnings.

The long term effects of the injury have had a significant effect on our client as he has restricted mobility as a result of his injuries, had to reduce his working hours and was unable to return to his pre- accident hobbies.

What losses was the client able to recover from the MIB?

We intimated a statement of the valuation of our client's claim and were able to negotiate a settlement for all losses suffered by our client including

  • Personal Injury;
  • loss of earnings;
  • inconvenience; and 
  • out of pocket expenses.

What did our Personal Injury specialist team do for this client?

Our Personal Injury team are experienced in representing pedestrians who are injured in road traffic accidents. We have extensive experience of representing people and claiming compensation through the Motor Insurance Bureau.

Contact our personal injury solicitors

If you've suffered a similar injury our solicitors can help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Get in touch now for a free chat about your claim.


The small print: This blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as providing legal advice.