Categories
Litigation Negligence Personal Injury Claims

MIBI-the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland and Car Accident Claims

Motor insurance in Ireland is compulsory under the Road Traffic Acts, 1933 and section 56 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. Every motorist must be insured without limit against personal injury caused by the negligent use of a motor vehicle.

The obligation to insure was extended since July, 2008 to provide cover against property damage of up to €1,000,000 due to the negligent use of a motor vehicle.

However, what happens you if you are the victim of an uninsured driver? Or a driver who cannot be found or traced?

MIBI-The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland

MIBI was set up in 1955 and its purpose is to compensate victims of uninsured motorists. It is funded by the insurance companies in Ireland.

The operation of this scheme of compensation is set out in the MIBI agreements of 1998 and 2004 between the MIBI and the government of Ireland.

While the two agreements are broadly similar, there are significant differences. These differences relate to the notification process and the information which must be provided to MIBI when making a claim.

There are some exclusions in the MIBI agreement as to who may claim for a car accident involving an uninsured or untraced driver but generally an action for compensation for personal injury, material damage, or wrongful death due to the negligent use by an uninsured person can be brought against MIBI by any person.

A mechanically propelled vehicle under the Road traffic Acts can include an electric bicycle/tricycle or a trailer or semi-trailer when used in a public place.

However certain persons are excluded from being able to claim under the 2004 MIBI agreement, chapter 5.

These exclusions include

  • Persons who were a driver or passenger who had stolen the vehicle  in question or obtained it by violence or threats
  • a driver or passenger who had colluded in the theft of the vehicle
  • a driver or passenger who knew that the vehicle has been stolen or hijacked or taken without the owner’s consent
  • a person who knew or ought to have known that there was no approved policy of insurance in force for the use of the vehicle in which they were injured or suffered damage to property.
  • the uninsured user of a vehicle who is in an accident with another uninsured user of a vehicle (passengers in such vehicles can bring a claim provided they are not excluded by virtue of the exclusions above)

The MIBI agreement of 2004 also limits the material damage for which it is liable and will not cover damage caused by an unidentified vehicle.

These exclusions were amended by the 2009 agreement. Now the exclusions are

  1. where a person enters a vehicle knowing it was stolen or taken by violence and the MIBI can prove the person who enters the vehicle knew;
  2. where a person enters a vehicle knowing there is no insurance in place for the use of that vehicle and the MIBI can prove the person knew.

Conditions

Certain conditions must be complied with in order for MIBI to assume liability under the 2004 agreement.

These include:

1      a notice of claim must be sent to MIBI indicating that there is an intention to seek compensation from MIBI

2      any accident giving rise to a claim against MIBI must be reported to the Gardai within 2 days of the accident or as soon as possible

3      notice of any legal proceedings must be notified to MIBI before commencement of proceedings

4      the claimant must give the MIBI all material information on demand in connection with the claim

5      the claimant must attempt to discover whether any insurance policy was in place on the vehicle involved in the accident

6      the claimant may be required by MIBI to attend for interview with its authorised agents

The MIBI can require the claimant to take all reasonable steps to obtain compensation from anyone against whom they may have a remedy.

When reaching a settlement with MIBI the claimant must assign all their rights of action against the wrongdoer to MIBI. This allows MIBI to pursue the uninsured driver for sums paid out.

Negligence

To succeed in a claim against MIBI the claimant must be able to prove that the uninsured or uninsured driver was liable in negligence for the injury suffered by the claimant.

The Supreme Court case of Campbell v O’Donnell and MIBI [2008] makes it clear that before bringing a claim against MIBI for personal injuries must first be processed through the Injuries Board procedure.

Where the owner/user of the uninsured vehicle is known he/she should be sued with the MIBI named as a co-defendant.

Only where the driver/owner is untraced or unknown should MIBI be sued as sole defendant.

MIBI Agreement 2009

MIBI Agreement 2009 supersedes the 2004 agreement and is the agreement in force in 2019.

Here is the MIBI claim form.

Categories
Personal Injury Claims

Road Traffic Accidents-Car Accident Claims and What to Do After a Road Traffic Accident

car-accident-claims

You’re understandably stressed.

Some fool has just driven into the back of you.

And you are not sure what to do.

Let’s have a look so that if the worst happens, you won’t compound your own misfortune.

The most common type of personal injuries claim in Ireland is the road traffic accident according to the Injuries Board annual report for 2012. 75% of personal injuries claims arose from road traffic accidents, 17% arose from public places accidents (slips, trips, and falls), and 8% arose from workplace accidents. (Source: Injuries Board)

When thinking about car accidents, most people automatically think of two vehicles inflicting damage on each other.

However road traffic accident claims can also arise from

  • Poor state of the road in which case the local authority may be liable
  • Passenger injuries
  • Cyclist injury compensation claims
  • Pedestrian personal injuries
  • Animals/livestock on the road
  • Debris falling off other vehicles/trucks.

The most common types of injury arising from road traffic accidents are

  • whiplash,
  • back injuries,
  • neck injuries,
  • spinal injuries,
  • soft tissue injuries,
  • And broken limbs.

Regrettably, this list is not exhaustive.

What to Do After a Road Traffic Accident

Firstly, you need to report the accident to the Gardai and obtain medical help from your local hospital or make an immediate appointment with your medical practitioner/doctor. Even if you feel that you have not been injured and don’t need to see a doctor you would be well advised to make that appointment anyway.

Many people, in the immediate aftermath of a road traffic accident, are in shock and simply do not notice that they may have suffered an injury which will only become a problem in the days and weeks ahead.

If you do subsequently make a personal injuries claim your case will be significantly strengthened by your attendance at a medical practitioner or hospital as this will be recorded in your medical records and will support your claim for compensation.

If there are no injuries arising from the accident, the Gardaí may well not attend the scene and let the parties resolve the matter themselves by exchanging details such as insurance companies, names, addresses, etc.

However, even if the Gardai do not attend, you are still strongly advised to visit the local Garda station and report the matter yourself. The Gardai maintain a road traffic report book in which you should have recorded details of the accident such as

  • Names of both parties
  • Addresses
  • Date
  • Time of accident
  • Location.

If there are any witnesses it is very helpful later on if you can obtain their names, contact details, and phone number.

It is critically important that you make a note of the motor vehicle registration number of the other vehicle. This may be crucial later on if there is any problem with the insurance details provided to you by the other driver.

Never leave the scene of a road traffic accident without exchanging details with the other party.

Don’t forget to check the insurance disc of the other driver’s vehicle; many people are understandably, in shock following an accident and it is important to verify insurance details of the other driver who may also be in shock and give you incorrect insurance details.

You should also take photos of the scene with your mobile phone together with images of the damage done to both vehicles and the registration number of the other vehicle. You should also, at the earliest opportunity, make a drawing/sketch of the accident, the position of the vehicles, note the speed limit zone and any other relevant details when they are fresh in your mind.

Hit and Run Road Traffic Accidents

If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident or the other driver was uninsured you can still pursue a claim for compensation through the MIBI (the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland). The MIBI is a body funded by contributions from the insurance companies to cover situations of uninsured or untraced drivers and ‘stands in the shoes’ of the uninsured or untraced driver.

Liability

Do not, under any circumstances, admit liability at the scene of a road traffic accident. It may, in fact, invalidate your insurance policy to do so.

This may actually be in the best interests of the other driver because if you are in the wrong and your insurance is invalidated by the admission of liability the other driver will be in difficulty claiming off your insurance policy. This can be explained if (s)he becomes angry/irate at what they see as a clear case of the accident being your fault.

If the other driver admits liability try to get him/her to do so in writing as once (s)he speaks to a solicitor (s)he may change his/her mind about liability.

There is no difficulty in explaining to the Gardai what has occurred. However attribution of liability should be left to a later date and you should be advised on this by a solicitor.

You should also contact a solicitor.

Personal Injury Solicitors

Personal injury solicitors are solicitors who are expert at dealing with personal injury claims on behalf of clients.

Whilst on the surface it appears that making a personal injuries claim to the Injuries Board is a relatively straightforward matter the reality is that there are many potential hazards and mistakes that can be made.

Even if you have successfully made a claim and have received an assessment of the Injuries Board which should reflect your pain and suffering and the value of your claim, the difficulty is in deciding whether the amount offered to you is ‘fair’.

This is where the training and professionalism of a personal injures solicitor arises.

Your solicitor will

  • Advise on whether you are being offered enough taking into account your various losses such as past loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, hospital and medical expenses, etc.
  • Negotiate/deal with the respondent and/or insurance company,
  • Insist on up to date medical reports, actuarial reports where appropriate,
  • Seek an order from Court to preserve evidence where necessary and appropriate
  • Bring a personal injuries action in Court where necessary
  • Attend mediation conferences and pre-trial hearings
  • Set the case down for trial
  • Engage in the discovery process
  • Prepare and conduct the trial
  • Etc.

Conclusion

There are a number of key things you should be aware of if you have been unfortunate enough to be in a road traffic accident:

  1. Your medical health is clearly vital and should not be overlooked, even if in the immediate aftermath you feel fine. In addition, any medical report made immediately after the accident will be of great assistance in pursuing a personal injuries claim
  2. Be polite but firm in dealing with the matter no matter what the other party says to you
  3. Obtain the name, address, insurance details, and most critically the registration number of the other vehicle
  4. Report the accident to the Gardai. In a similar fashion to the medical report, what is recorded in the Gardai’s record of the accident can prove critical to the success of your subsequent claim, where appropriate
  5. Contact a solicitor. The costs arising from a road traffic accident can be significant including material damage, personal injuries which may come against you in later years, medical bills, loss of earning, physiotherapy, replacement vehicle, tow truck, etc.