According to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), around 12% of road traffic accidents (RTAs) reported to the police in the UK involve a hit-and-run driver. This translates to roughly 17,000 hit-and-run incidents per year.

The feeling of impotence, insecurity, and injustice can be overwhelming for those involved in these accidents. After all, the least decency expected in these cases is that all drivers at fault assist the victims. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. But it does not mean that justice will not be served or that you will have to face the consequences of the accident alone. Read this guide to compensation and recovery to know more.

When Might a Hit-and-Run Claim Be Possible?

Hit-and-run refers to traffic accidents with victims in which one of the drivers involved in the collision leaves the crash scene without assisting the victims or waiting for the arrival of police authorities or paramedics.

Assisting traffic victims is more than an ethical obligation. It is, above all, a legal requirement. The laws governing “hit and run” incidents in the UK are encapsulated under Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This legislation mandates that if a driver has caused injury to a person or damage to property, they must stop and provide their details, including name, address, and vehicle registration, to others involved. If for any reason this is not possible, the incident must be reported to the police as soon as practicable, or in any case within 24 hours.

The act specifies two main offences: “failing to stop after an accident” and “failing to report an accident.” Penalties for these offences can include fines, penalty points on the driver’s licence, and, in more severe cases, imprisonment. Therefore, if you were a victim of a traffic accident and the involved driver did not stop to help you or exchange contact information, you are entitled to hit-and-run compensation.

How Much Compensation Is Available?

There is no predetermined amount for compensation. The amount will depend on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of the victim’s injuries and suffering.

In some cases, the compensation also covers indirect losses, such as loss of income if the victim cannot work as a consequence of the accident, expenses with rehabilitation and therapy, costs involved in adapting the victim’s home if their mobility is reduced, and even expenses with therapists and psychologists to treat post-traumatic stress or psychological distress resulting from the accident.

For instance, very serious leg injuries might attract compensation in the range of £54,830 to £87,890, indicating long-term or permanent mobility issues, serious deformity, and extensive treatment. Severe back injuries could range from £38,780 to £69,730, depending on the level of ongoing pain, disability, or impairment.

The Sentencing Council in the UK uses three categories to classify the severity of offences for prosecution purposes.

  • Category 1: Offences that result in more significant harm and involve higher culpability. It represents the most severe level of offence within this framework.
  • Category 2: Includes cases of lower culpability coupled with greater harm, or higher culpability with lesser harm. It covers a middle ground between the most and least severe offences.
  • Category 3: Offences that result in lesser harm and involve lower culpability, representing the least severe offence level within this framework.

The Sentencing Council may classify an individual within the Category 1 tier for several reasons, including failing to stop when it is probable that a test for substances (such as alcohol or drugs) would have been required, attempting to evade arrest for an additional offence, departing from the scene after inflicting personal injury, or providing inaccurate details.

What Evidence Can Support a Claim?

Record anything that proves or indicates fault in the accident. Use photos and videos to show the extent of the damage and the position of the vehicles and victims, and request contact information from witnesses. Also, remember to document the accident’s impact on your life through medical and police reports.

Is There a Time Limit?

The legislation stipulates that hit-and-run compensation claims must be lodged within three years following the incident. Therefore, it is crucial to promptly consult with a specialist solicitor to mitigate the risk of forfeiting your claim by surpassing the deadline. Remember that your lawyers will need time to gather all the necessary evidence before filing the legal process.

If the driver who caused the accident can be identified and found, your solicitors will submit a claim against them. The driver’s insurer will make the compensation payment.

What if the Driver Isn’t Found?

When the driver at fault remains unidentified or lacks insurance, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) steps in to offer compensation for injuries and financial losses. You’re eligible to claim if you can prove that another road user breached their duty of care, leading to your injury or damage to your property.

Make a Hit-and-Run Claim With Hutcheon Law

We know how stressful and challenging it is to be a victim of a hit-and-run. But know that you are not alone. Hutcheon Law specialises in managing these complex claims with sympathy and professionalism. Entrust your case to us, and let our expertise guide you to the rightful compensation you deserve. Start your journey towards justice today by reaching out to Hutcheon Law.

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