The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) estimates that each year around 730,000 people are injured in accidents on Britain’s roads. It is difficult to provide an exact figure for the total number of road traffic accidents because a lot of accidents are not reported to the police and the government’s statistics are based on police accident reports.
The law requires that any driver of a car, lorry or motorbike who causes an accident must stop and give his / her name and address to any person who has suffered injury or damage to their vehicle or property. A driver is guilty of an offence if he /she fails to do so. The driver must also provide details of their motor insurance.
Pedestrians, motorcyclists, mobility scooter riders, cyclists and car drivers all suffer hit and run accidents where the driver of the vehicle that causes an accident fails to stop after the accident and offer assistance and provide details of their name and address.
Drivers fail to stop after accidents for various reasons, but it is frequently because they did not have motor insurance, or were driving dangerously and fear that they will be prosecuted in the magistrate’s court for causing the accident.
The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) advises that there are in the region of 1,000,000 drivers that are using motor vehicles on public roads without the legally required motor insurance that will pay compensation for injury or damage caused by an accident.
The MIB is the compensation body that will pay compensation to people who suffer accidents caused by hit and run drivers. The MIB is funded by motor insurance companies and part of every premium that is paid by a motorist for their motor insurance is used to finance the MIB.
If the unidentified driver who caused the accident was driving negligently then the MIB will consider paying compensation for the injury and damage caused by the hit and run accident. There are important time limits for the MIB considering a compensation claim, for instance, the accident must have been reported to the police within 14 days of the accident occurring (or within 5 days of the accident if only damage to property was suffered in the accident.) In addition, the accident must have occurred within 3 years of the claim for compensation being made to the MIB.
The Road Traffic Act 1988, section 170.
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