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Title: Hit by guy with no insurance

Date: 06 August 2015

Question

I came off my vintage Norton Commando in April. I was filtering at a sensible speed, probably 10 mph or so, to get to the front of the queue at traffic lights. The car suddenly pulled out the queue to turn right but didn’t indicate and clearly did not check it was safe to do so.

Fortunately I was not badly injured with just wrist sprains (painful though!), bruising and a sore neck which still isn’t right. but there is damage to my leathers and the bike which I want to claim for. I have found out that the other driver did not have valid insurance as he failed to renew it the week before. His insurers are refusing to compensate me stating he had no insurance. What can I do?

Brian, Birmingham

Answer

You have a couple of options open to you. If the car driver has the means to pay then you can sue him personally through the small claims court. However, if he does not then you do not need to sue the uninsured driver directly. The Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB), a government body, compensates people injured by uninsured drivers (as well as untraced drivers). You need to submit a claim on their application form. Unlike the Untraced Drivers’ Agreement (applies to diesel spills, hit and run accidents and so on) standard legal costs are paid by the MIB in uninsured cases.

The Uninsured Drivers' Agreement is full of pitfalls and deadlines. I recommend that you instruct a solicitor so he/she can handle your claim on your behalf as the MIB is happy to reject claims where its rules have not been complied with. You are entitled to claim for damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity in addition to damages to compensate you for your financial losses. If the claim is successful it may be that the MIB seeks to recover its outlay from the person who did not have insurance but that does not concern you.

Another reason for using a solicitor is to deal with inevitable arguments from the MIB that you were partly to blame due to you filtering. An experienced motorcycle accident solicitor knows how to deal with such arguments.

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