I was injured by a driver who fled the accident scene – can I still claim compensation for being knocked down by a drunk driver?
You should be able to claim compensation for being knocked down by drunk driver, despite the fact that the negligent driver fled the accident scene. However, the claims process differs slightly in cases such as yours than under “regular” circumstances where the driver remains at the scene. Generally, the compensation claim would be made against the negligent party’s motor insurance policy, and the insurers would subsequently pay out the compensation award.
Claims for drunk driver accidents where the negligent party cannot be identified or traced – or is uninsured – will be handled by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau Ireland (MIBI). You can fill out the claim form online at www.mibi.ie or a paper copy can be downloaded and sent by post. Copies of your medical and Garda reports should be attached to the claim in order for it to be fully assessed. However, it should be noted that no sections exist to communicate any financial losses or loss of amenity.
For this reason, you would be recommended to also submit an application for assessment to the Injuries Board Ireland, where sections for these important elements are present on the form. MIBI should be named as the respondent and the MIBI claims reference that you should receive as confirmation once your claim for drunk driving injury compensation has been submitted to MIBI.
Two benefits can arise from completing this procedure. For one, MIBI is funded by insurance companies – as part of their condition of carriage for operating in Ireland – who are likely to wish to settle claims for drunk driver accidents for the minimum amount possible. When you submit an application to the Injuries Board you are guaranteed an independent and fair assessment when attempting to claim compensation for being knocked down by a drunk driver.
Additionally, if MIBI’s offer of drunk driving injury compensation is found to be an insufficient settlement, the Injuries Board Ireland will issue you with an “Authorisation” to pursue your claim through court action – with an independent evaluation of your claim already prepared from a credible source and liability for the injuries you sustained in the drunk driving accident effectively admitted.
Because of the potential difficulties that could arise with a case such as this, and due to its complex nature, you would be well advised to engage the services of an experienced solicitor who can offer a more comprehensive explanation, and who can put the realities of your particular case into better perspective. When attempting to claim compensation for being knocked down by a drunk driver, it is important that your case is thoroughly investigated and professionally prepared in order to maximise the probability of success and of being recompensed for your injury in the quickest possible time.