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Can you claim personal injury compensation for a hit and run accident?

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Being a victim of a hit and run accident can be incredibly stressful, and in some cases – life changing. A ‘hit and run’ is when the driver who caused the accident, fails to stop at the scene or provide their details. This is a criminal offence.

Many people worry that they will not be able to claim compensation for any damage to their vehicle or injuries they suffered in a hit and run accident. Fortunately, even if the person who hit you can’t be identified, you can still claim compensation through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

How to claim for a hit and run accident

In many cases, the police can trace the driver responsible, for example, if a witness noted their licence plate number or this was caught on CCTV. If they have valid insurance, you can then normally make a claim through your insurer.

If the police are not able to trace the driver, or they have no insurance, then you may be able to claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), who compensate victims of uninsured and untraced drivers.

You will need to fill out a claim form and submit this to the MIB, with a separate claim form being required for each claimant, even if you were in the same vehicle.

If your claim is valued between £1,000 and £25,000, your claim will need to be submitted through the government claims portal so it can be handled through the Pre-Action Protocol for Low Value Personal Injury Claims in Road Traffic Accidents. This allows straightforward, lower value personal injury claims to be dealt with faster, so can allow you to receive compensation faster.

If you need to make a MIB claim, appointing a Personal Injury Solicitor can take the stress out of making a claim with jargon free and easy to understand advice, a solicitor can ensure you get the best possible outcome by putting forward a strong case for you.

Is there a time limit for making a hit and run claim?

If you need to make a claim for damage to your vehicle or other property, you should report the matter to the police as soon as possible. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau will then need to receive your claim within 3 years of the accident occurring if claiming personal injury. 6 years if claiming damage to a vehicle or property only (with no personal injury element) this is 5 years if the accident occurred in Scotland.

If you are a child or younger than 18 the 3 year time limit only begins from your 18th birthday. Meaning children and those younger than 18 have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim.

How much compensation can I expect from a personal injury claim?

This will vary depending on the severity of your injuries and how responsible the defendant was for those injuries.

You can claim for two different types of damages: special and general.

Special damages cover your financial losses, such as lost income whilst recovering from your injuries, medical expenses, travel expenses, care and assistance, future loss of earnings, DIY, gardening, damaged property, the cost of any treatment or specialist equipment etc.

General damages cover non-financial losses, such as the affect it has on your ability to carry out your normal day-to-day activities. Genereal damages are also described as being for pain, suffering and loss of amenity ‘PSLA’.

Will I need to attend court?

Generally, most personal injury claims can be settled outside of court through formal or informal negotiations. This is the quickest and easiest way to agree a settlement. If the defendant claims they are not liable for the accident or no settlement can be agreed, then the case may have to be taken to court.

Get friendly, expert help to make a hit and run accident claim

If you do need to make a claim for a hit and run accident, our personal injury solicitors can help to make the process as fast and stress-free as possible, while securing you the best available settlement.

For free, no obligation advice about starting any kind of personal injury claim, speak to David our Head of Personal Injury today on 01476 372043 or out of hours on 07801 479758, use our website enquiry feature, or use our contact page to find details of your nearest office.