Those hit by uninsured driver given same protection as those claiming against insured and known drivers.
This relates to the protection offered against being liable for the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) costs.
The decision comes following Howe v Motor Insurers’ Bureau  EWCA obligation 932.
Brief summary of case
On 30 March 2007, Mr Howe was involved in a Road Traffic Accident. He was hit by an uninsured driver. The driver was an untraced (also known as “hit and run”) driver in France.
As a result of this accident, Mr Howe was left paraplegic.
Mr Howe submitted a claim to the French Guarantee Fund (FGF) (the French equivalent of Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)).
The FGF instructed the MIB to act on their behalf in this matter.
The FGF argued that Mr Howe’s claim was out of time.
In March 2016, the Court decides in favour of the FGF, and therefore, dismisses Mr Howe’s claim. The Court ordered him to cover 85% of MIB’s costs.
The Court thought that as the personal injury claim was not against the MIB itself for damages, CPR Part 44.13 did not apply to this matter as opposed to claims against insured and “known” drivers. This part relates to Qualified One-Way Costs Shifting (QOCS) regime applies “to proceedings which include a claim for damages…for personal injuries”.
Mr Howe appealed the Courts decision to dismiss his claim.
The appeal fails. However, the Court hearing regarding recovery of MIB’s legal costs went ahead.
Mr Howe’s legal representatives argue that his claim was protected by QOCS regime as it was a claim for damages in personal injury. Therefore Mr Howe should not be asked to cover MIB’s legal costs.
The Court of Appeal overrules the initial Court’s decision.
The victim in these types of cases will now have the same protection against the MIB as those who claim against insured and known drivers.
It is because the victims in these type of cases should not be stopped from pursuing a valid claim for damages. Otherwise, the risk of having to cover the Defendants legal representatives’ costs may be unviable. These costs are likely to be considerable.
If the Court of Appeal would have decided against Mr Howe in this matter, it would mean that people pursuing a claim against uninsured and untraceable drivers would be at risk of finding themselves in considerable debt. Unless they could find insurers who would be willing to cover the Defendant’s legal costs.
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