Untraced Driver Claims

Figures show that the Motor Insurers' Bureau, which handles claims for people injured by negligent drivers who are untraced or uninsured, deals with over 26,000 injury claims a year.

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Guiding you through all aspects of untraced driver claims

Our personal injury team has significant, proven experience supporting people whose lives have been changed after suffering an injury caused by an untraced driver.  This includes people who have had a brain injury, spinal cord injury, an amputation, and multiple injuries.

The latest figures show that the Motor Insurers' Bureau, which handles claims for people injured by negligent drivers who are untraced or uninsured, deals with over 26,000 injury claims a year.  That is equivalent to someone being injured every 20 minutes

We recognise the challenges that our clients, and their families, face after an injury caused by an untraced driver. With this in mind, we always strive to help our clients to rebuild their lives; we aim to ultimately maximise their outcomes, wherever this is possible.

At Higgs LLP we prioritise your early rehabilitation needs and help with securing early interim payments wherever possible.  We also have an in-house client support manager who can help support you with a wide range of social needs.  We also offer ‘no win no fee’ agreements to fund your claim, which means that there is no financial risk to you if you lose.

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Making an untraced driver injury claim

In the UK it is a legal requirement to have third-party insurance when driving on the road and if you are then involved in an accident, to share your insurance details.  This can be done at the scene or by reporting to the police within 24 hours.  As a result, most traffic injury claims are handled by a motor insurer however, not everyone takes out insurance nor stops at the scene.  Whilst the police may be able to identify the car and driver, which may identify an insurer, in many cases the driver and vehicle remain untraced. 

In these cases, the claim will be presented to an organisation called the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).  The MIB is funded by every motor insurer in the country and is designed to act as a ‘safety net’, so that innocent victims of a road accident do not go uncompensated.  The MIB handle untraced driver claims in line with an agreement made with the Department of Transport.  The MIB also handle claims where a known driver who causes an accident is uninsured, these are handled under a separate agreement.

Serious untraced injury

If you have been seriously injured in an accident caused by an untraced driver, you will have been taken to hospital where the doctors and nursing staff will have provided your initial treatment and care needs.  Very often this may have involved one or more operations.  After then, when you are recovering, the hospital will usually involve other health professionals, such as occupational therapists and physiotherapists, to help with your rehabilitation before your discharge.  The exact nature of this help will depend on your injuries and individual circumstances.

As lawyers who specialise in road traffic injury, many patients will contact us very soon after their injury to ask for our help.  The main advantage of us being involved at this early stage, is that we may be able to arrange more rehabilitation to facilitate your discharge.  It is commonly accepted that early rehabilitation intervention improves your chances of reaching your maximal recovery sooner.  Your health is the top priority.

How our solicitors can help?

Our solicitors are specialists in untraced driver claims.  They understand how stressful it can be to make a legal claim for your injury, while at the same time trying to adapt to your injury; they also understand the impact that this has on your family.  

We believe that early intervention is the best way to help you maximise your chances of rehabilitation, so we focus, where possible, on arranging case manager support and interim payments, whilst we work to secure the best overall outcome for you and your family.  We always put you at the centre of everything we do.

As we are a broad-based practice we can provide holistic support and work with our colleagues in other legal disciplines to support your case, if needed.  It means you will benefit from a seamless, one-team approach.  You are in safe hands.

We are:

  • One of three law firms selected by The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to support patients at the hospital as part of the 4 Trauma 4 Patients support service
  • One of three firms selected by the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire operated by Cardinal Management to support patients as part of the Major Trauma Signposting project
  • One of three firms selected by the Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital operated by Cardinal Management to support patients as part of the Major Trauma Signposting project
  • Accredited members of Headway’s Head Injury Solicitors Directory
  • Spinal Injuries Association trusted legal partner for the West Midlands
  • Serious Injury Guide signatories
  • Members of:
    • The Motor Accident Solicitors Society
    • Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
    • Birmingham Law Society
    • Approved Law Society Personal Injury Panel and Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel
    • Approved by Association for Victims of Medical Accidents
    • Recognised in Chambers and Partners Directory
    • Recommended by the Legal 500 as leading personal injury and clinical negligence lawyers.

How can we help with your rehabilitation?

To help us work alongside your medical team in serious injury cases we will look to instruct a case manager in suitable cases.  A case manager is an independent healthcare professional, often a registered nurse, occupational therapist, or physiotherapist, who works outside of the legal claim process.  They would be asked to see you, often in your home environment, to prepare an immediate needs assessment report. They have access to your medical records and so are best placed to identify any additional care or support needs that you may require, as well as any aids or adaptations that you need.

The case manager is often instructed jointly with the MIB who handle claims involving untraced driver injuries.  However, sometimes this is not always possible for a number of reasons, in which case we may be able to instruct the case manager unilaterally, in suitable cases.

Depending on the severity of your untraced driver injuries, their impact on your life, and how you recover, the case manager may be involved supporting, coordinating your rehabilitation needs for a long time.

Evidence needed to make a claim

When we first see you, we will need to know that details of the incident that caused your injuries.  As well as taking details of your recall of what happened, we will also want to know if there are any photos or CCTV of the incident, and whether you have the details of any witnesses.  Objects involved in the incident may also provide important evidence and should be kept. 

The police should attend all road collisions involving an injury and release a copy of any their report once the criminal process is completed.  These reports can contain important evidence which may support establishing what happened and that the MIB should handle you claim as the victim of an untraced driver.

Starting the claim

The MIB application process is online, and the claim is progressed through the MIB’s portal.  The application sets out the basic circumstances of the incident, as far as they are known, details of your injuries and other losses such as lost income, as well as some personal details that they need to register the claim with the Department of Work and Pensions Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU). 

The CRU recovers money from insurers who accept liability for an injury claim, to reimburse the cost to the NHS of you needing an ambulance, staying in an NHS hospital and, also, any state benefits you may have needed due to your untraced driver injuries. 

We will also nominate details of the case managers we propose are suitable to prepare your immediate needs assessment.  The MIB are also provided with the investigating police details, as they will want to liaise with the police to satisfy themselves that you were injured by an untraced driver.

As there is no one identified as the driver, it is not possible to start court proceedings.  Clearly, if a driver is identified later, that driver could ultimately be sued, if necessary.  However, at the beginning, the conduct of the untraced driver claim is covered entirely by the MIB’s Untraced Driver Agreement.  The MIB will request an authority to access your medical records and often will also instruct an agent to see you, to obtain your witness statement of what happened, as well as covering your injuries and other losses. 

The MIB should then confirm whether they are prepared to accept your claim under the Untraced Driver Agreement as soon as they can, but there is no set timescale, as this will depend on when the police complete their own investigations.

Our accreditations

Head Injury Solicitor 2024
SIA Trusted Partner
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"The focus seems to be on catastrophic injury, seeing clients from the very earliest stages and supporting them through their rehabilitation journey"

Legal 500

"Andy Shaw is ambitious for the firm, but principally for his clients, bringing an unflappable nature, but with true empathy. He is as good as any personal injury lawyer in the country"

Legal 500

"They are really carving out a reputation as leading personal injury lawyers"

Chambers and Partners

Rehabilitation Code 2015 

Whilst an untraced driver claim is outside of the court’s pre-action protocols and the Rehabilitation Code 2015 (which states that parties should cooperate in facilitating early rehabilitation), in serious injury cases the MIB will often cooperate in rehabilitation.  In some serious untraced injury cases we are able to arrange early rehabilitation, even if the MIB is still reserving its position on whether to accept liability for the injury.

In our team we also have a client support manager, who is a registered social worker.  She supports clients and their families, particularly in the early stages of a claim when an insurer may not yet be engaged.  The issues they support with are various, but they may especially be needed when a client is ready to be discharged from hospital.  For example, their home may be unsuitable because of their injuries.  In these cases, the client support manager will liaise with the relevant local authority, who have a statutory duty in the circumstances to provide support.

Medical evidence to support an untraced driver injury claim

In any injury claim, the burden of proof rests with the claimant.  This means that even if the MIB accepts responsibility for the injury, then the claimant must still prove the extent of the injuries caused due to the incident and their prognosis.  In addition, they must prove what other losses have reasonably been caused either in the incident, such as car repairs, or caused by the injury, such as loss of earnings or care.

"They seem to go over and above for the client and are much easier to contact and deal with compared to most other legal firms. Steve Santy and Andy Shaw – both are extremely approachable and knowledgeable within their industry field"

Legal 500

"Andy Shaw and Steve Santy lead the team by example. It is obvious how client and rehabilitation focussed they are and that seems to permeate down through the team"

Legal 500

"Higgs is a well-known Black Country firm that frequently acts on severe and fatal personal injury cases. The firm is noted for its expert handling of head injury claims, burns and spinal cases, including those arising from RTAs, accidents at work and trips"

Chambers and Partners

Interim payments

Interim payments are another way in which we can support people with an untraced driver injury.  An untraced driver injury can have a significant impact on someone’s ability to work.  This may only be for an initial period whilst they are receiving treatment and rehabilitation however, some people may never be able to return to their work or may have to take up different work. 

It is also a fact that people with a disability are more likely to have time out of work and when out of work, to have longer periods of unemployment compared to people without a disability.  It is therefore unsurprising that many people with an untraced driver injury will have financial needs. 

When the MIB is engaged, we are often able to secure significant, early interim payments for clients.  However, if they are not there is no mechanism to force an interim payment if the MIB refuses to release an early payment.

Negotiate a settlement

When a claim for compensation is awarded by the MIB, untraced driver injury clients often still need support.  As a full-service law firm, we can provide a holistic service to our clients. 

For example, a number of clients will be on means-tested state benefits or may possibly be in the future. They are therefore advised to protect their entitlement to those benefits by putting their compensation into a trust, indeed, this is a step that that should do when they receive their first interim payment. This is a service that our private client team can provide and the costs of doing so, can be included within the claim.

Similarly, some clients may lack mental capacity to handle their financial affairs if they suffered a brain injury.  In these cases, if they had not appointed an attorney before their injury, then they will need help applying to the court of protection for a deputy to be appointed to look after their interests. Our private client team are experienced in helping our client with this process and they can even act as a professional deputy, if the court of protection considers that is appropriate. Again, the costs of the deputy can be included within the claim.

Even if none of these protections are necessary, clients who receive a significant sum of compensation, especially if it is intended to cover ongoing or future costs, will often need independent financial advice.  We can refer them to specialist independent financial advisers who understand the particular requirements of serious injury claimants.

Sometimes clients will need other legal advice and support during or after their claim, for example to handle the purchase of a suitable property, and our residential property can provide this service in-house. It is also a sad fact, that the pressures caused by a serious injury can be a factor in a family breaking-up.  If this happens, we also have a family team which is able to support and advise.

Why choose us as your untraced driver claims lawyers

Our highly specialised untraced driver claim team is made up of approachable, friendly lawyers who will guide you and your family through the process of pursuing an untraced driver claim.

Our specialist lawyers are vastly experienced in dealing with cases involving brain injury, spinal injury, amputations, serious orthopaedic injury, disease and occupational illness, chronic pain and severe psychological injuries.

Each member of our team shares a passion for putting clients and their families at the heart of everything we do. 

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Meet the untraced driver claim team