Increases in Motorcycle Hit & Run Collisions
Over the past few years in the UK, there has been a progressive increase in the number of personal injury claims linked to motorcycle hit and run situations, suggesting there are more uninsured motorists driving around on our roads today.
Fortunately, the ever-increasing use of mobile phones mean it is increasingly difficult for guilty drivers to evade the law as they will usually be photographed or videoed.
Still, this does not answer the question; what must be done if you are a victim of a motorcycle hit and run?
What to do after a motorcycle hit and run
1. Take a photo of the vehicle’s number plate
First and foremost, if it looks like the other person is going to leave the scene or acting suspiciously, get your phone out and take a photo of the vehicle and number plate.
In fact, it is good practice to do this with any third party, immediately after the accident occurs or as soon as possible.
Whilst claims can proceed against untraced hit and run drivers, they are more difficult and some heads of claim are excluded.
The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) organisation compensate victims of uninsured and untraced drivers who flee the scene of accidents, with their funding coming from compulsory levies applied to all motor insurers.
Due to the increasing number of claims, they remain under resourced and response times can be slow, however, they will usually respond faster to solicitors who can bring proceedings in court against the MIB.
2. Report the incident to the Police
In a hit and run situation it is very important the motorcycle accident is reported to the police as soon as possible, ideally immediately after the accident, but absolutely within 14 days as 2017 legislation means the Claim may not be allowed to proceed after this point.
It is a serious criminal offence leaving the scene of an accident, so if the third party is found to have done this and is subsequently charged, this will assist your civil case.
3. Get a Medical Assessment
If the motorcycle accident has led to personal injury, which is usually the case, it is important to seek medical advice despite how insignificant you feel the injuries are.
Your GP or the A&E department will document your injuries, which is important when it comes to investigating and evidencing your injuries for a potential legal claim for compensation.
4. Contact a Hit-and-Run Motorcycle Accident Solicitor
After completing the important time-sensitive steps above, it is time to contact a Solicitor specialising in motorcycle accidents.
Although many will say they specialise in these personal injury cases, they may not necessarily have the expertise and experience required to give you the best possible result in your motorcycle accident claim.
Check the Solicitor specialises in motorcycle accident cases by researching their website, reviewing their Solicitor profile and asking direct questions related to their previous cases and outcomes, specifically cases involving a motorcycle hit and run collisions.
5. Arrange a Witness Statement
It is common for a MIB investigator to interview the Claimant, where they may look to obtain a witness statement, ascertain whether they can or can't deal with Claim and assess their prospects on liability.
It is very important that a Motorcycle Accident Solicitor is contacted to assist in these situations, and it is sometimes a good idea for them to be present during the interview as statements resulting from this interview will have a direct impact on the outcome of any resulting claim or court case.
6. Receive the MIB Claim Decision
From here, the MIB may choose to reject the claim as there are a number of grounds on which even the MIB can validly do this.
Receiving expert advice from a specialist solicitor is essential before simply accepting any MIB decision.
7. Medical Examination
At some stage, the MIB will look to instruct a medical expert and arrange a medical examination.
These medical experts will generally be more insurance-friendly rather than claimant-friendly, so it is widely recommended to gain legal advice before agreeing to any examination.
8. What Can and Can’t Be Claimed?
Finally, there are some heads of claim which the MIB may refuse to pay out for, unlike if the claim proceeded against a mainstream insurer.
Solicitor advice may well be needed again to check what can and can't be claimed in this situation.