We were asked at a recent Hackney LCC meeting, what legal remedy did a cyclist have where they were the victim of a hit and run accident?
Such incidents are all too common in London. Recent figures from the Metropolitan Police suggest that about 15 cyclists a week are killed or injured as a result of a hit and run. Cyclists account for about 20% of casualties arising from hit and runs, even though they account for only about 2% of journeys made on our roads. The Green Party’s candidate for the Mayor of London – Jenny Jones – has sought to force this issue on to the political agenda.
Untraced Driver’s Agreement
If you are the victim of a hit and run, and suffer injury, you can make an application for compensation under the Untraced Drivers Agreement (“UDA”) to the Motor Insurers Bureau (“MIB”). Obviously, you can only make a claim where the driver responsible cannot be identified.
To succeed in such a claim, it is essential that the incident is reported to the police and that you have a crime reference number, or some other form of acknowledgment from the police. Under the Agreement you must report the incident within 14 days of its occurrence (or not later than 5 days where you are also claiming property damages). The time limits can only be extended where it was not reasonably possible to meet them.
If you are in doubt about whether you may want to make a claim you should at least protect your position by reporting to the police which will enable them to undertake any investigation that might lead to the driver being traced and if need be prosecuted.
The MIB, if they accept the claim, will commission a medical report before making an offer of compensation. There is an appeal process if the offer made is unacceptable.
The MIB will make a contribution to the cyclist’s legal costs where they have had professional advice in making the application, reviewing the correctness of the decision, and advice about the adequacy of the award, including making an appeal if necessary. So its worth seeking legal advice before you try to claim yourself, unless you are confident you can master the claim procedure
Please either call Patrick Spence on 020 7254 6205 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further queries about hit and run claims, or if you need assistance in pursuing such an application.