A landmark European case (Vnuk -v-Triglav) has radically changed the law relating to Road Traffic Insurance.
The European Court of Justice was asked by the Slovenian Courts to review its Article 3 Directive which governs the the duties of member states to make sure that all motorists insure against injury to third parties.
The aims of the EU Directives are to liberalise the movement of people and vehicles within the EU, and also to protect accident victims.
European Law (to David Cameron’s chagrin) must be used to interpret our own U.K legislation. The effect of the ruling in Vnuk is to invalidate huge swathes of the UK Road Traffic Act.
Sadly, there are many people who do not insure their vehicles. However the Government is obliged to act as the safety net and pay compensation to victims. The Government does this by compelling the insurance industry to group together to compensate people injured by uninsured or untraced drivers. This organisation is called the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB).
Following the decision in Vnuk, the MIB will now have to pay claims where innocent people have been injured through no fault of their own, by uninsured or untraced drivers on all manner of vehicles, in all manner of geographical locations. Until now, this was not always the case.
In the past the MIB has avoided many claims by using various loopholes within the Road Traffic Act. If the vehicle did not cause injury on a public road, their attitude has been, ‘Ahhh but the car was on your driveway when it ran you over – that is private land and we don’t pay claims for injury except on public roads!”
No longer will they be able to do this. Vnuk also brings a great number of motorised vehicles under the Act, meaning that the MIB must cover injuries caused by all sorts of things such as Go Karts, Mini-bikes, Forklift trucks, ride-on lawnmowers and privately owned tanks (who hasn’t got one of those), provided the person driving that vehicle is uninsured or untraced.
This is absolutely a GOOD THING. No longer will the Motor Insurance industry (which, lets face it operates in a false market because everyone HAS to have insurance) be able to avoid legitimate claims. This will help the state and taxpayers as they won’t need to support people who did not get insurance pay-outs and who can no longer work and support their families.
So, one way or another, if you, your family or friends have been injured, through no fault of your own, by a motor vehicle, then you will receive compensation.
Provided Nigel Farage doesn’t get his way that is….!
Call our Personal Injury team for advice on any type of accident claim (involving vehicles or otherwise) on 0114 218 4000