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'Crime & Motoring Offences' Category Archives

October 9th, 2019

What to do when you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver

Injured in car accident by uninsured driver

Many of those who have been in an accident follow a straightforward procedure of swapping license plate numbers and leaving the rest to the insurance company.

However, there are times when it isn’t that simple. The person may have been severely injured, and when it comes to dealing with it, they find out the bad news – they don’t have insurance.

While it may seem like a dead-end, there are things you can do at this point. In this article, the professional motoring offences team at Foys Solicitors help you to get to grips with seeking compensation after being hit by an uninsured driver.

Take note at the scene

Ideally, it would be good if you or your passenger could note down the involved vehicles make, model and registration number, as well as any witness statements and contact details. Any evidence you can use, to prove that the accident was not your fault is preferable; this can also be in photo form. Take note of the damage inflicted to your vehicle, as you can claim repairs from your own insurer.

If the person driving the other vehicle refuses to give you the details of their insurance, you may make a formal complaint to the police.

Check your contract

Before you begin any kind of process against an uninsured driver, you should always check your contract. Depending on your insurer, you may have one of a few types of protection:

  • Protected no claims bonus – when hit by an uninsured driver, you are often forced to claim on your own insurance, which instantly ruins your no claims benefits. Some companies will preserve your bonus if the other driver is uninsured, though they may still raise your premium when the time comes to renew it.
  • Waived excess – if you have comprehensive insurance, you will have to claim on your own policy, which is understandably frustrating. Many insurers recognise this and will waive your claim excess, so it doesn’t cost you money to make a claim. This often comes from companies that have an uninsured driver promise.

Bear in mind that even with these types of protection, the companies will still deduct the no claims bonus and ask you to pay the excess while the claim is being decided, returning both if it is ruled in your favour. It may also increase the premium you pay when it comes time to renew your insurance.

Not all companies offer this protection, and many offer variations or combinations of them, so it’s always worth checking beforehand to make sure you take advantage of any protection you may already have.

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau

The Motor Insurer’s Bureau (MIB) is an independent organisation set up by insurance companies. Their purpose is to compensate people who have been hit by uninsured or untraceable drivers, entering into agreements with the UK government to do so.

They can help in the UK and in Europe, but the conditions under which they can help vary between countries. A full list can be found on their official website. In addition, these claims can take anywhere from 3 months to a year to be completed, depending on the complexity of the case.

The MIB carry out their own investigations into the case, obtaining independent reports from motor engineers or witnesses, collecting police reports and contacting the DVLA and your insurer. If you are claiming for personal injury you may need to provide your medical records.

There are a few instances where the MIB will be unable to help you, including if you were a passenger in a vehicle driven by a drunk driver, if the accident didn’t take place in a public area or if you were in a vehicle which you should have known wasn’t insured.

Get help from Foys – personal injury and motoring offence solicitors

At Foys Solicitors, our personal law team has expertise in many fields of law, from motoring accidents to personal injury, and we can help you pursue potential options if you’ve been hit by an uninsured driver.

We will support you through the process, so the stress of the accident doesn’t follow you into your future.

To find out more, get in touch using our Online Form – or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

Before you go, take a look at some of our other articles:

This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

January 9th, 2019

Drug-driving laws

On 2 March 2015, a new drug driving law came into force in England and Wales, making it illegal to drive when over a particular limit for controlled drugs, illegal drugs or even on certain medications.

To enact this legislation, police officers can perform tests at the roadside to determine if any drugs are present in a person’s system, and may follow this up by performing a forensic analysis of blood samples (taken at a police station) to establish the exact drug, and its quantity, in the bloodstream.

Offenders under this law will face a minimum 12-month driving ban, an unlimited fine, up to six months’ imprisonment and have a criminal record. If you have been charged with drug driving offences under Section 4 and Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, contact one of our motoring offence solicitors on our 24-hour helpline 07980 288 920 immediately to ensure you get the appropriate legal advice and representation.

Affected drugs and their limits

A total of eight generally prescribed and eight illegal drugs were listed with the introduction of regulations on 2 March 2015, with regulations on amphetamine arriving on 14 April 2015. Each drug has a specified limit. If a driver is found to be driving while over the specified limit for one of the listed drugs, then they face being arrested and charged under Section 4 and Section 5A of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The eight illegal drugs where there is a ‘zero tolerance approach’ with limits in microgrammes per litre of blood (µg/L) are:

  • Benzoylecgonine: 50µg/L
  • Cannabis (or Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol): 2µg/L
  • Cocaine: 10µg/L
  • Heroin (or 6-monoacetylmorphine): 5µg/L
  • Ketamine (known as ‘K’ or ‘Special K’): 20µg/L
  • LSD (or Lysergic acid diethylamide): 1µg/L
  • MDMA (or Methylenedioxymethamphetamine): 10µg/L
  • Methylamphetamine (known as ‘Crystal Meth’ or ‘Ice’): 10µg/L

The eight medicinal drugs where there is a ‘risk-based approach’, with limits in microgrammes per litre of blood (µg/L), include:

  • Clonazepam: 50µg/L
  • Diazepam: 550µg/L
  • Flunitrazepam: 300µg/L
  • Lorazepam: 100µg/L
  • Methadone: 500µg/L
  • Morphine: 80µg/L
  • Oxazepam: 300µg/L
  • Temazepam: 1,000µg/L

There is a separate approach to amphetamine, due to it being found in a number of medicines, and the limit in microgrammes per litre of blood is 250µg/L.

Driving under the influence of drugs can be dangerous as they can affect your mind and body in many ways for hours or even days after taking them. A drug-driving offender may hallucinate, seem confused, become aggressive, and exhibit other symptoms that affect their driving ability. With the introduction of the drug driving law, police in England and Wales now use ‘drugalysers’ to check for cannabis and cocaine by using a simple mouth swab.

Defending drug driving charges

There is a defence for someone over the legal limit but who has been taking drugs in accordance with a medical or dental direction and whose driving has not been impaired as a result. The key is to talk to our motoring offence solicitors and get the appropriate legal advice as soon as it happens.

Drug driving and your career

A conviction on drug driving normally leads to a driving ban, a fine, up to six months’ imprisonment and a criminal record. As a result, you are likely to see an increase in your insurance costs and possibly a termination from your employer if driving is part of your job or if you need to drive to work.

However, if driving isn’t part of your job and your company doesn’t have a policy relating to drug driving, then your employer is not likely to let you go.

Get drug driving advice from Foys

Our motoring offence solicitors are specialists in drug driving. To find out how we can help you, fill out our Online Form – or call your local Foys Solicitors office:

  • Doncaster – 01302 327 136
  • Retford – 01777 703 100
  • Worksop – 01909 500 511
  • Clowne – 01246 810 050
  • Rotherham – 01709 375 561
  • Sheffield (Waterthorpe) – 0114 251 1702
  • Sheffield (Chapeltown) – 0114 246 7609

This article was first published on 01/04/2015 and updated on 09/01/2019.

This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.