My basic thesis is that our national provision for protecting the compensatory rights of motor vehicle victims is in a shambles. Even the Court of Appeal has failed to adopt a consistent approach to interpreting the relevant provisions.
The defects in our statutory provision expose innocent victims, adjudged entitled to compensation, to the risk of being left empty handed. This can happen even where the responsible party has third party motor insurance in place. This is because in a number of instances a motor insurer can either exploit loopholes in the statutory provision or rely on its own contractual restrictions to avoid any duty to indemnify the defendant / policyholder. Additional exclusions of liability, unjust procedural conditions precedent to liability are included in the Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999 and the Untraced Drivers Agreement 2003. These agreements also empower the MIB, who administer these schemes, to make certain deductions from a victim's compensatory entitlement.
As a result of these failings our current national law provision in this area, far from guaranteeing a victims' compensatory entitlement, has in fact reduced it to something of a lottery. Fortunately, most victims are protected and those that are not can successfully challenge these injustices, if properly advised, by relying on the superior provision to be found within the Sixth Motor Insurance Directive. Even so, our national law provision in this area is unsatisfactory and in need of urgent revision.
The Department for Transport's consultation paper, which followed within a matter of days of my final article being published, has set a deadline of 26 April 2013 for your responses. The proposed reforms do not go nearly far enough. See my earlier post for details.
I plan to post more materials shortly to help those interested in submitting a response.
Links to full copies of my New Law Journal articles in February 2013
You can access my 'On the Right Road?' series of articles by clicking on the following links and this will also allow you to take a peak at the smart new format of the UK's leading weekly law journal:
They cover the following areas of law:
- Part VI Road Traffic Act 1988
- The EC (Rights Against Insurers) Regulations 2002
- The MIB Uninsured Drivers Agreement 1999
- The MIB Untraced Drivers Agreement 2003 (but only briefly)
- The relevant case law, including the Court of Appeal ruling in EUI v Bristol Alliance Partnerhip  Civ 1166, that I consider to be per incuriam.(I explain why in the next issue of the Journal of Personal Injury Law)