Insurance Company Not Liable for Untraced Driver

This week, five Supreme Court justices ruled in favour of a motor insurer in a case over when/if it is permissible to sue an unknown defendant. The case was the result of a 2013 road traffic accident, caused by a Nissan Micra.  The Micra fled the scene and, although the car could be identified, the driver at the time of the accident remained anonymous.  The car was insured under a policy provided by Liverpool Victoria (LV), against which the innocent party brought her claim.

LV were backed by a District Judge before the decision was appealed.  On appeal, two out of three Court of Appeal judges found that the court had a discretion to permit an unknown person to be sued whenever justice required it. The Supreme Court, however, held in favour of the insurer. Lord Sumption found that “a person, such as the driver of the Micra in the present case, who is not just anonymous but cannot be identified with any particular person, cannot be sued under a pseudonym or description.”

Although this decision is good news for insurance companies in their defence of claims against untraced drivers, it also reinforces the importance of the Motor Insurance Bureau (“MIB”) who compensate victims of uninsured and untraced drivers.

At MTB, we specialise in these types of cases and deal with claims against the MIB on a regular basis.  If you have fallen victim of an untraced, or uninsured, driver, call us on 02890329801 for a free initial consultation.