Hit and Run…..where do I stand?

Being involved in an accident is never a welcome experience. Such an experience is even more stressful when the person responsible for your injury or damage to your property leaves the scene without knowing the extent of the injury/damage they have caused and without leaving their contact details.
Leaving the scene?
Although it is difficult to contemplate, there are many reasons why a person would not remain at the scene of an accident such as:

  • The person may not have a valid policy of insurance to cover their driving
  • They may have consumed alcohol prior to driving
  • They will be aware that, as the injured person, you will call the Gardaí and they will be trying to avoid “getting caught” by the Gardaí
  • In some instances a person may simply be in such a shock that the initial reaction is to keep driving.

The Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) is a body which compensates victims who have been involved in a road traffic accident caused by uninsured or untraced vehicles. When we pay our motor insurance premiums, it includes a payment which contributes towards the MIBI’s claim fund. There are certain time limits and procedures for making claims to the MIBI but, in general, the MIBI compensation scheme covers personal injury claims irrespective of whether the offending vehicle is unidentified or uninsured.
The MIBI will only deal with vehicle/property claims if the offending vehicle is identified by means of a valid registration number. Even in these circumstances an excess may apply to such a claim e.g. an excess of €220 applies to vehicle claims, where the offending vehicle was stolen at the time the incident occurred.
If you did not get a chance to see/write down the registration number of the other vehicle then the MIBI has no liability to pay compensation for your vehicle/property damage.
Does the other person get away?
It is illegal to leave the scene of a road traffic accident without giving the other driver involved your contact details and insurance information. If you do so, then, you are leaving yourself open to criminal proceedings.
These offences carry serious penalties to include fines, prison and/ or a disqualification from driving. Report a hit-and-run to the Gardaí immediately so they can begin their investigations and identify the person/persons at fault.

Think twice before driving off!