Hit and Run Claim *
A hit and run is a road traffic accident in which a driver intentionally leaves the scene without leaving their contact and insurance details, leaving them effectively unidentified and untraceable. Unfortunately, this occurrence is more common than you might think and usually occurs when the other driver does not have valid insurance and wants to avoid Gardaí involvement, or in cases where the accident was their fault, simply does not want to face consequences of their actions. Following most car accidents, a claim for damages is made by the other party’s insurance provider. However, where a person flees the scene of an accident without leaving their details, you may still be able to make a claim through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). The MIBI was set up to compensate victims of road accidents that were caused by uninsured or unidentified drivers.
Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI)
The MIBI claim scheme is set up to cover personal injury claims * regardless of whether the vehicle at fault is identified or not or is insured or not. Vehicle and property damage claims are also covered by the organisation but in order to make a claim for this, a valid registration plate must be identified.
The MIBI carry out their own investigation when they receive your claim. It is advisable to contact a solicitor if you are unsure of how to claim for a hit and run accident as they will be best placed to represent your interests when submitting a claim to the MIBI. Once you have contacted a solicitor, there are a number of steps involved:
- Determining the insurance position of the alleged offending vehicle
- Obtaining Gardaí reports
- Establishing facts relating to the accident
- Obtaining medical records relating to any personal injuries sustained
- Obtaining records relating to damage to your vehicle, if applicable to your claim
What to do following a hit and run accident
Following a hit and run accident, it is important that you gather as much information as possible relating to the accident. This can both increase the chances of the liable driver being identified and can help the MIBI is assessing your case. This information includes;
- Seek medical attention – your health should be your number one priority at this stage.
- Information relating to the vehicle at fault such as, make, model and registration number
- Date, time and location of the accident
- Pictures and CCTV footage of the scene and injuries, if possible
- Details of any witnesses present
- Details relating to the damage of both vehicles, if possible
- Reports and details from the Gardaí you reported the accident to
- Breaks and fractures
- Back Injuries
- Head and Brain Injury
- Cuts and lacerations
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord damage
- Wrongful death
Speeding is one of the most common causes of road traffic accidents *. If another driver is driving above the speed limit they are more likely to cause an accident as they may lose control of their car and hit another driver. In such cases, injuries may be more serious as with high speed may come harder impact and less time for the other driver to react.
Disobeying the rules of the road
There is a universal expectation that all road users will obey the rules of the road, however, there are times when people will ignore the rules and accident can occur. Injuries will depend on how fast both parties are travelling the circumstances of the accident.
Failing to stop at a red light
There is a common expectation that all road users will obey the traffic lights. If any rules are broken the lives of others is put at risk. In a recent Motor Insurance Poll carried out by the AA, 7.6% of drivers in Ireland break red lights at least occasionally. With oncoming traffic, if somebody breaks a light the liability may rest with them if they caused an accident.
Driver fatigue is a common cause of car accidents 8, particularly for those driving longer distances or those driving at night. Fatigue can lead to poor reaction times and reflexes while driving and in extreme cases can lead to a driver falling asleep at the wheel causing an accident. This can be a common cause of a hit and run accident as drivers may not be fully aware of the surroundings.
Using a mobile phone while driving
One of the most common causes of road traffic accidents * is a driver using their phone behind the wheel. Since 2014, the use of mobile phones while driving has been illegal. Using a phone can distract a person in a number of ways and cause them to drive outside of their lane, become distracted and can also affect the speed they are driving at. This is a common cause of hit and run accidents * as the person liable may not want it to be known that they were using their phone.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
In most recent stats published by the Health Research Board, Ireland is among the highest alcohol consuming countries in the EU. According to RSA’s most recent report, 38% of all fatalities and other road collisions involved drivers who had consumed alcohol.
Alcohol and drugs impair a person’s driving ability and increase the risk of a collision. People who drive at the legal limit are 6 times more likely to be involved in a collision. When you drive under the influence you are breaking one of the most important rules of the road. This is commonly associated with hit and run accidents * as people who cause an accident as a result of drink driving will not want to be found above the legal limit.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE
If you are considering making a claim for a road traffic accident * or would like to find out more information on the process of making a claim feel free to contact our solicitors on 01 649 9900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With over 30 years’ experience, Tracey Solicitors ensure not to overwhelm you with legal jargon and can provide you with legal advice and guidance with your best interest at heart, in a language that you can understand.