In 2003 the Untraced Driver’s Agreement came into force with the Motor Insurers Bureau controlling a central pot to compensate injured victims involved in accidents with untraced drivers. This agreement was designed to allow victims to make a claim for injuries resulting out of “hit and run” accidents. The agreement imposed certain conditions which the applicant would have to meet.
Some legal advisors argued that the old agreement was unfair and sometimes the applicant would be worse off as the injured party. Critics called for a change.
In March 2017 the new Untraced Agreement came into force. A full review of the old agreement and the incorporation of new amended rules were implemented which gave victims a fairer right to make a claim. It has now been effective for just over a year so this has given us time to assess the changes in action.
Under the old regime the accident involving personal injury would have to be reported to the police within five to fourteen days. Thankfully this was changed to state that the Claimant would still be required to notify the police but that the timescale to do this was “as soon as reasonably practical” and not the previous five to fourteen days which would be as soon as possible.
So what else what changed?
Previously, and under the old agreement, the property excess that could be recovered stood at £300.00. Under the new agreement, this was increased to £400.00, which to the Claimant would appear more fair.
Interestingly enough, under the old agreement a claim for interest was difficult and stringent as the Motor Insurer’s Bureau would only make a calculated award for interest from the receipt of the police report. Now, and under the new agreement interest is recoverable from the date of the accident.
What about property damage and significant injuries?
Under Clause 7 of the agreement, property damage is still recoverable providing it works in conjunction with a significant injury. The MIB defined significant injury under Clause 7(2) whereby ‘somebody must have died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident or have suffered injuries of a severity requiring either a stay of 2 or more nights of in-patient treatment in hospital or 3 or more attendances at hospital for outpatient treatment’.
Is there a downside of the New Agreement?
At this moment in time it would appear that the new MIB agreement is fairer to the victim, but this does not mean the system can not be improved further and future amendments should not be ruled out.