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Your guide to an uninsured driver

Two cars after a collision - uninsured drivers

Cases are not always straightforward...

Collisions with uninsured drivers are more common than you might think. Our road traffic accident specialists at Your Legal Friend bring a robust approach to ensure clients can successfully win compensation in both routine and more difficult claims or in cases that are not always so straightforward.

Did you know...

  • There is an estimated one in twenty five chance today of a motorist becoming involved in a road traffic accident with an uninsured driver.  (Automobile Association, 2012)
  • Uninsured drivers are responsible for causing around 160 fatalities and 23,000 injuries every year. (Automobile Association, 2012)
  • One in every 100 people aged between 17 and 35 age with a full driving licence has received points for driving a vehicle while uninsured.  (Institute of Advanced Motorists, 2013)

If you have an accident involving any vehicle, insured or uninsured...

It is important to remember the key things you should do at the time, which will greatly improve your chances of success in any subsequent legal action.

What you need to do...

1. It’s essential to obtain the following crucial items of information:

  • The other driver’s name and address
  • The other drivers’ vehicle registration number
  • The other driver’s make and model of vehicle

2. It’s critical to the success of your claim to collect and record as much factual evidence about:   

  • The damage to all vehicles involved
  • The accident scene itself

The quickest, easiest and most accurate way to record evidence is with a camera or via a high res mobile /smartphone camera.

The information you need is as follows:

  • Name of the road(s) - where the accident took place.
  • Overall accident views - which identify the location, i.e. roundabout, T-junction, side road, etc.
  • Road conditions  - road markings, road signs, light and weather conditions  - and whether the other car had its lights switched on.
  • A detailed record of what the other driver says as they may later deny being either present or directly involved in the accident.  Try to also get a face shot of the other driver.
  • Names and contact details of any independent witnesses to the accident so that they can be contacted to provide their evidence.
  • Police - an accident report number if the police are involved.

The law against uninsured drivers is very clear...

It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle without a valid insurance policy.

In 2011, the introduction of Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) made it an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle unless it is declared off the road.

Unless a vehicle is Registered with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) - confirming a vehicle is not used or kept on a public road - the maximum court fine for driving without insurance is up to £5,000 plus an automatic endorsement of at least 6 licence penalty points. It is also an offence for a vehicle owner to permit another person to use their vehicle without insurance

If you have an accident with an uninsured vehicle...

If you have a fully comprehensive car insurance, the cost of repairs to your vehicle should be covered but you could lose your ‘no claims discount’ unless you have paid for extra protection. You may also be required to pay for an initial amount of the repair cost unlessyour policy has waived ‘excess payment’ if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

If you are covered by 3rd party insurance cover only, your insurer will not pay for your repairs. Under 3rd party cover, if the other driver is uninsured you will not get any money unless the uninsured driver  can be traced and a case successfully brought against them in a small claims court, even then there’s no guarantee they will be able to pay damages.

What to do next...

It’s important toseek professional legal advice, which will help guide and support you in the hours and days following the trauma of a road traffic accident.

Recovering the maximum level of financial compensation that you are entitled to followingan accident with an uninsured driver requires having experts on your side with the legal know-how to achieve the best result for youin the small claims court.

Your Legal Friend has over 30 years’ invaluable experience in RTA small claims cases, enabling it to guide clients through court routines and procedures to a successful outcome.