I was recently injured in a car crash for which my friend was responsible, suffering injuries to my head. However my friend was uninsured. Are head injury claims still possible in this scenario?
As the passenger of a negligent driver, you should be entitled to make head injury claims to compensate for your accident and injuries. However as you were the passenger of an uninsured driver the process of making a claim will be slightly different, and the compensation to which you may be entitled may be affected.
Passengers in head injury claims are often entitled to more compensation than the driver. This is due to the fact that passengers often do not have the same split second in order to brace themselves for the impact of an accident as drivers do, who are busy focussing on the road and may notice an accident approaching. And as passengers are frequently women and children, their generally weaker neck muscles may sustain more damage, making them further entitled to compensation.
However if the driver was uninsured, as in your situation, this may affect the process and outcome of head injury claims. As there is no insurance policy against which you can make a claim, you will have to make your claim against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which was set up in order to provide compensation to the victims of negligent drivers. When dealing with the MIB, it should be remembered that as they are funded by insurance companies they may not be willing to simply hand out compensation, and could challenge your claim.
It must also be noted that the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled can be reduced, depending on your knowledge of whether your friend was uninsured. If you did not know, you may be entitled to full compensation. However if you were fully aware of this fact, your compensation can be reduced as you knowingly took a risk in entering the car.
For this reason you are advised to consult a personal injury* solicitor at the earliest opportunity if you were injured as the passenger of an uninsured driver. Your solicitor can advise on whether your compensation can be affected in any way, determine the strength of your claim and assist when making a claim against the MIB. Such a case may be complex and can take some time to prepare. As per the Statute of Limitations, there is a time limit of three years in which to make a claim for compensation. For this reason, you are advised to consult a personal injury* solicitor at the earliest opportunity if you believe you have valid head injury claims.