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HNK recover £99,700 for claimant injured during an attempted robbery on his vehicle

In 2018, HNK made a successful claim to The Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB) on behalf of a claimant for damages and personal injury.

Our client suffered the theft of his vehicle and sustained injuries from being knocked down during the course of the theft.

The van was abandoned, and the driver was nowhere to be found. As the driver was untraceable, our client made a claim to The Motor Insurers Bureau under the Untraced Driver’s Agreement (MIB). The Motor Insurers Bureau is a vehicle insurance body that compensates victims of road accidents caused by uninsured and untraceable drivers. The MIB is only used as a last resort, as the offending party’s insurance is used to claim in road accidents. You can make a claim to the MIB when the offending person is uninsured and gives no or false information or is unidentifiable.Read on to find out more about MO v The Motor Insurers Bureau, which details how and under what circumstances you can make a successful claim.

Background of the case

On the morning of the 19th of April 2018, our client (C) was walking towards his leased Mercedes Sprinter van on his way to work as a self-employed courier. Upon approach, C noticed a male sitting in the driver’s seat attempting to steal his vehicle. To try and stop the theft, C stood in front of the van. The offender was not deterred and drove towards the Claimant, knocking him down in the process. The offender drove away in the van, leaving C injured on the floor.

The Claimant was attended to by the police and paramedics on the scene. After evaluation, C was taken to Whipps Accident and Emergency Department for a suspected broken left wrist in addition to other injuries. The van was also found abandoned a few streets away from our client’s home address.

Whilst in the hospital, C underwent immediate surgical intervention of an open reduction surgery for a perilunate dislocation of his left wrist. This surgery involved the insertion of K-wires into his wrist to keep the bones in place.

The law

Road users have a duty of care to others set out in the Road Traffic Act 1988 and The Highway Code. This legislation sets out the standards that the Motor Insurers Bureau base their insurance coverage on.

The Highway Code states how all drivers have a duty of care to other road users and details how drivers should behave to reduce the risk of accidents. Motorists are held to a different standard of adhering to the skill of the average motorist.

If an accident does occur, the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that drivers have a duty to stop and give information to the injured party. If drivers do not stop or give details, this is considered a hit-and-run offence. Evidence shows drivers without insurance are more likely to commit a ‘hit and run’, so often uninsured and untraceable drivers go hand in hand. When these standards of the law are not met, you can use the Motor Insurers Bureau.

Additionally, injured parties do not just have to be other drivers; if the fault lies with a pedestrian or cyclist, the MIB may be your best course of action, as those individuals are not insured.

You can claim to the MIB for two different categories of damages: general and special damages.

General damages include:

  • Pain and suffering caused by the accident.
  • Loss of amenity i.e. a change in lifestyle or quality of life.

Special damages, or out-of-pocket expenses cover a wider range of damages, including:

  • Financial losses or future losses incurred.
  • Private rehabilitation.
  • Care and assistance, past or future, including modifications and equipment.
  • Damaged personal belongings such as clothing.
  • Additional commuting costs, costs of travel to medical appointments, and relocation costs.
  • Any other financial losses that you may have incurred resulting from an accident.

As you can see, the process is lengthy and requires substantial evidential support; we recommend using a solicitor to assist in gathering and categorising information.

Just under a month after the accident in May 2018, C approached HNK Solicitors to act on his behalf. HNK accepted his claim on a no-win-no-fee basis, with the case being handled by Jessica Holden, paralegal, under the supervision of Brian Higgs, a partner in the firm. The claim, along with medical and special damages evidence, was submitted to the MIB later that month.

Medical Evidence

Following the surgery, the Claimant was left with significant scarring and difficulty in lifting heavy objects. It was also documented that limitations to his hand would likely remain for the foreseeable future.

The medical expert informed the Claimant that he was likely to require further intervention in the form of a fusion operation arthrodesis would be expected within the next 20 years. This surgery would eliminate the pain in C’s hand at the expense of loss of movement. Another recommendation made by the expert was an ultrasound-guided injection, which could potentially delay the need for the arthrodesis procedure.

Our client also suffered from a minor injury to his chest and mild clinical symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

The medical reports from C’s orthopaedic surgeon described his injuries as “devastating”. The surgery, future need for surgery, medical treatments, and scarring were all considered under general damages in the claim.

Special Damages Evidence

HNK Solicitors also claimed special damages relating to the Claimant’s loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, care and assistance, and some vehicle expenses.

As a result of the injuries C sustained, he was considered at a significant disadvantage to employment. The special damages claim also considered C’s previous working patterns, which involved working six days a week, totalling 72 hours, with 12-hour workdays. When C eventually returned to work, it was only part-time, and he was restricted to less strenuous duties.

To avoid losing his contract with DPD, the Claimant subcontracted work or paid friends to complete the deliveries he was unable to make. Evidence of paychecks from DPD and bank statements of payments made to those he was subcontracting through were used to support the claim for loss of earnings.

The Claimant also required personal care and domestic assistance for a substantial period following the accident, including transport to appointments, household chores, and preparing food.

Our client also had to pay £350 excess for the damage to the leased vehicle, which we recovered through the claim.

The medical reports submitted were evidence of C’s injuries, and a forensic chartered accountant report supported C’s claim for special damages, ultimately leading to a successful claim. Following a review of the evidence, the Motor Insurers Bureau agreed to pay our client £99,700 in full as a final settlement for damages and legal costs.

HNK Solicitors can help with your claim

The role of the Motor Insurers Bureau as a not-for-profit organisation is to provide a safety net for the victims of untraceable drivers. They consider claims for both vehicle and property damage and for injury. Untraceable driver claims can include a hit and run, hitting something in a carriageway, or losing grip due to a deposit on the road, such as diesel.

Being involved in an accident can be an extremely distressing experience. However, to make the success of a claim more likely, if you are able, we recommend taking photos of the scene, checking to see witnesses, asking for their contact details, and recording the registration number, make, model or colour of the offending vehicle.

To make a successful claim, it is crucial to report the accident to the police within 14 days unless there is a good reason you’re unable to. If the police do not want to pursue it, always ensure you obtain a crime reference number. The MIB does not require a full report but will want evidence you at least tried to report the matter.

Additionally, you must report the accident to your insurance company. If you are fully insured, your insurer will be responsible for repairs. However, if you are insured on a third-party, fire, and theft basis, the MIB will handle your vehicle losses if you bring a claim to them within nine months of the accident.

Here at HNK Solicitors, we can help you with your untraceable driver claims and get the compensation you deserve. We provide free consultations and operate on a no-win, no-fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront to start a claim.

If you’d like to start your claim to the MIB today, simply fill out our online claim form. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the team on 0151 668 0810 or send us an email at

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