Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team has secured damages for a cyclist who was injured by an uninsured driver.
The claimant was cycling along a busy London road when he was suddenly hit by a wooden bed base. It transpired that the bed base had been attached to the roof of the defendant’s vehicle, which had been travelling along the opposite carriageway, but had not been secured correctly. As the vehicle was passing the claimant, the wooden bed base fell and knocked the claimant down. This incident then led to subsequent accidents further along the route as other drivers made attempts to avoid hitting the claimant while he lay in the road.
Investigations into liability were carried out and revealed that the defendant was uninsured, his policy having expired eight weeks before the accident. This information meant that the claimant’s case needed to be redirected to the Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB).
As a result of the accident, the claimant sustained significant injuries to his back, knees, right hand and groin. Medical experts were instructed to report on his injuries and following a period of rehabilitation and negotiations, settlement was agreed with the MIB.
Charlene McAuliffe, an associate in Penningtons Manches’ personal injury team who advised on the case, said: “The actions of the defendant were particularly reckless and our client was very fortunate that he made a good recovery. We are pleased to have reached a successful outcome despite the other driver being uninsured."
The MIB is a not-for-profit body funded by the insurance industry, and ultimately the insurance policies of all drivers. It acts as a financial safety net for innocent motorists involved in accidents when the perpetrators are uninsured or cannot be traced. The latest figures from the MIB suggest that around 118,500 uninsured vehicles were seized from the UK's roads during 2015, marking an increase on the previous year.
Charlene added: "This is an unacceptable level and we continue to support the MIB and the police in their efforts to reduce this figure and bring the perpetrators to justice. It is important for the public to recognise, however, that while claims may be settled by the MIB, there are strict guidelines in place for victims of uninsured or untraced drivers and failure to follow the required steps can restrict your ability to make a claim. Independent legal advice should be obtained as soon as possible if you find yourself involved with an uninsured or untraced driver.”