Can I claim for being knocked down by a drunk driver who left the scene of the accident and cannot be traced?
Even though the driver who caused the accident fled the scene and cannot be located, it is still possible to claim for being knocked down by a drunk driver. Under more regular circumstances, a claim for road accident injury compensation would be made against the negligent driver’s car insurance policy, with compensation being paid by the insurance company. However, in this scenario, you would have to make your claim against the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI).
The MIBI was established especially to compensate road accident victims for their injuries where drivers cannot be located or are uninsured. It is funded by insurance companies operating in Ireland as a condition of their licence to trade in the Republic.
Claiming compensation for the injury you sustained when you were struck by a drunk driver with the MIBI is comparatively similar to claiming against any other driver. In a general situation, the insurance company representing the named driver with insurance will defend the claim on his or her behalf; a claim involving the MIBI will be referred to one of the MIBI’s member insurance companies who will defend the claim in the same way as they would any other.
In order to file a claim for being knocked down by drunk driver, you should complete an application on the MIBI website or by filling out a downloadable version which can be completed on hard copy and sent in the post. Once your application has been received, the MIBI will investigate your claim and make an offer of compensation based on the information they receive; which is your application form and a copy of your medical report detailing the injuries you received when you were knocked down by a driver who was intoxicated. It should be made known, however, that there is no space on the MIBI application form to relay your loss of amenity or to communicate any out of pocket financial expenses.
For this reason, it is recommended that you also submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland where it is possible to mention how the injury has affected your quality of life and your financial means. However, you would be well advised in engaging a solicitor to assist in completing the Application Form A as any omissions or errors run the risk of a reduction in the value of your compensation for being struck by a drunk driver.
There is no legal tenet that requires you to engage a solicitor to assist in claiming compensation through the Injuries Board or the MIBI but it would be in your best interests to do so. At a time when you may be recuperating from the injuries you suffered from a driver who was intoxicated, the assistance of an expert solicitor who has experience of making such claims could make all the difference. Your solicitor would be able to recommend what is a fair and accurate compensation settlement for your claim for being knocked down by a drunk driver and can prepare a thorough case file which returns the maximum award you are eligible for in the quickest time possible.