Customer Story: Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) Untraced Agreement

rapid car in tunnel

In May 2014, Michael Lewin Solicitors were approached by Mrs C Hobbs of Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire to pursue a personal injury claim following a Road Traffic Accident she had been involved in with an unidentified motorist.

On 29 April 2014, Mrs Hobbs had been travelling home following a visit to her elderly mother who resided in Knaresborough. Mrs Hobbs was driving her Honda Jazz motor vehicle. The time was approximately 8.45 pm and she was proceeding northerly on the A6055. Mrs Hobbs slowed down on approach to a Roundabout in order to give way to traffic that was already on the island.

As she did this, she was overtaken at speed by a silver Ford Focus. The Focus passed Mrs Hobbs and entered the roundabout. This caused a car on the roundabout to slow down but there was no collision.

Before Mrs Hobbs had even had a chance to gather her bearings following her involvement in this first foolhardy manoeuvre, her vehicle was hit on the offside with some force by a second vehicle. This was a blue Seat Leon. The Seat Leon scraped down her vehicle, veered off into the opposite lane before correcting its path and continuing to speed over the island.

Unfortunately, Mrs Hobbs was unable to obtain the third party vehicle registration. By the time she had composed herself enough to focus clearly, the other vehicle had all but disappeared.

Mrs Hobbs was unsurprisingly in a great deal of shock following this collision, but was able to move her vehicle to the side of the road.

Mrs Hobbs’ first instinct was to contact the police. They came to the scene of the accident and arranged for someone to tow her vehicle was it was not driveable. Mrs Hobbs explained the circumstances surrounding the accident to the police. Unfortunately, they said that it sounded like the two vehicles had been racing each other and they would make some enquiries. They provided her with a reference number.

Mrs Hobbs was then taken home.

The following morning, Mrs Hobbs awoke with a terrible pain in her neck and right shoulder.

Mrs Hobbs made an appointment with her General Practitioner. The appointment was scheduled for a few days later.

In the meantime, she had contacted her motor insurers to notify them of the accident, and they agreed to deal with the claim for her car damage as a result of Mrs Hobbs having fully comprehensive car insurance.

The symptoms Mrs Hobbs was experiencing were becoming more painful as the days went on. When Mrs Hobbs attended her GP for some advice and help, she was informed that it was likely she had sustained a whiplash injury to her spine. She was advised to take over the counter medication and that it would resolve over a period of time. She was also told that the injuries would likely get worse before they improved.

As the responsible driver was unidentified, Michael Lewin Solicitors submitted a claim to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau under their Untraced Drivers Agreement. They duly replied to say that they would investigate the matter.

In the meantime, the police had written to Mrs Hobbs to advise that they had been unable to trace the responsible party and as such, there was nothing else that they could do. Mrs Hobbs had also had her vehicle returned to her fully repaired via her insurers.

Three months after submission, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau confirmed that they were satisfied that Mrs Hobbs was not responsible for the accident and that they would look to obtain evidence on the level of injuries sustained by the client. This involved obtaining a medical report.

Shortly afterwards, Mrs Hobbs attended a medical appointment with an independent doctor. The doctor provided a report which stated that Mrs Hobbs had indeed sustained a whiplash injury and that she had been to her GP. It was estimated that Mrs Hobbs would fully recover from her injuries within seven months from the date of the accident.

Mrs Hobbs was happy with the content of the report and agreed with the prognosis that had been given for the injuries as by that point, she felt as though she was only experiencing residual pain in her neck.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau made an initial offer of £2200.00 to Mrs Hobbs. With our recommendation, Mrs Hobbs was happy for us to return to them to negotiate an increase on the offer.

Having returned to them, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau agreed to increase their offer to £2400.00. Again, we recommended that this offer to be rejected as we did not believe that is was a fair reflection of the injuries that Mrs Hobbs had experienced.

We returned to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau on one final occasion. We had extensive conversations with their claims handler and discussed our intentions to make a formal Appeal should they not be willing to make an additional increase to their offer.

We were able to obtain an increase to £2475.00. We, therefore, took instructions from Mrs Hobbs and she was delighted to take their final offer. The compensation payment was released and sent to Mrs Hobbs within eight months of her instigating the claim.

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