Who Pays When You’re Not the Driver?

A man, left with serious brain injury after he allowed an uninsured driver to get behind the wheel of his car has won a landmark decision in a fight for compensation. The man was severely injured after his friend lost control of the car and was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle. His friend was later convicted of dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and driving without man has been left with severe brain injury and will need care for the rest of his life.
The insurance company who covered the man’s insurance and had him as a ‘named driver’ on the policy accepted liability. However, they then stated that they would recover any compensation paid to the man, saying that he was at fault for letting his friend drive.
The complexity of this case was a legal nightmare for the specialists representing the man, who challenged the decision by the insurers to recover the compensation money which, had the challenge succeeded would have meant that the man would not have received any compensation for his injuries at all. However, when the case went to London’s High Court, Mr Justice Blair ruled against the insurers, saying that he considered ‘the insurer’s contention [to] result in the claimant victim being entirely uncompensated for his injuries, which is not a permissible outcome under the directives’.
It could be years before the man sees any of the compensation, though, as the insurance company has been granted leave to appeal Car Accident Defense Attorney Los Angeles the ruling. The judge also decided that the case brought up important issues that needed to be looked at in more detail.
So who is liable if you allow an uninsured driver to get behind the wheel of your car and you are subsequently involved in an accident? The fundamental point is whether the man knowingly allowed an uninsured driver to commit a criminal offence by driving whilst uninsured (as well as being intoxicated) and whether responsibility ultimately lies with the driver or with the passenger under whose name the vehicle is insured.
In this case, the courts found in the claimant’s favour, although this is now being vigorously contested by the insurers. Although the man has suffered life-changing injuries, he may lose some sympathy amongst those who view this case if it is found that he knowingly allowed a drunk, uninsured driver to climb behind the wheel of his car and drive on the public highways. But if he is to be treated in the same way as any other accident victim, isn’t he entitled to claim for compensation that may help him to cope with his long-term injuries?
This case has brought up a legal and moral dilemma for claims experts and all parties are watching the potential outcome of this decision very closely. If the Lawyer For Minor Car Accident Court of Appeal upholds his case, it could mean a radical overhaul of the claims industry and the allocation of ‘blame’ in cases involving uninsured drivers.
If the decision goes in favour of the insurers, it will mean that insurance companies have the right to recover compensation awarded to claimants and could leave a lot of accident victims feeling very vulnerable. This particular situation is not a common occurrence, but with the number of uninsured drivers on the road in the UK now over two million, there may be more cases like this waiting in the wings.

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