If you suffer injury due to a road traffic accident which is not your fault, you can make a claim for compensation. All road users owe a duty of care to other road users, so if an accident is caused by their negligence they can be liable for damages for any injury caused. Road users are required to be ‘reasonable’ drivers – no concessions are made for learner drivers or other inexperience.
If you were also negligent but the fault was primarily that of the other person, compensation may still be awarded, but will be reduced in proportion to your negligence.
Liability issues over road accidents can be disputed, so it is important to get as much evidence as you can. A photograph (such as on a cameraphone) recording the vehicle positions immediately after a minor accident can be helpful.
It is illegal to drive without some form of insurance and any claims will be dealt with by the other drivers motor insurers. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) will compensate the claimant if the defendant is uninsured or unidentifiable. The MIB is a private company of which all providers of compulsory motor insurance are legally obliged to be contributing members. The MIB would also provide compensation where the identity of the person responsible for the accident could not be ascertained – an example of this could be where there has been a spill of oil on the road which causes an accident.
Complex claims can take longer to resolve and criminal proceedings will be initiated if the police believe reckless driving was involved.