What happens if I am hit by an uninsured or untraceable driver?
When you are involved in a road traffic accident you would hope that the responsible party would stop at the scene and you would exchange contact and valid insurance details. However, this is not always the case and if you have been involved in an accident resulting in material damage or personal injuries by a driver that is either uninsured or untraceable you may be unsure of how to proceed.
The Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) was established by the government in 1955 and is currently regulated by the 2009 Agreement. Their main objective is to compensate victims of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured and unidentified vehicles.
What MIBI can help with
In respect of uninsured drivers, the MIBI Agreement provides for the following;
- Payment of compensation for personal injury claims in respect of road traffic accidents caused by uninsured vehicles.
- Payment of compensation of vehicle/property claims where the alleged offending vehicle can be identified by means of a valid registration plate.
- Where the vehicle cannot be identified, the MIBI has no liability to pay compensation for vehicle/property damage except in circumstances where there are significant personal injuries arising from the same accident.
In respect of unidentified drivers, the MIBI Agreement provides for the following;
- Payment of compensation for personal injury claims in respect of road traffic accidents caused by unidentified vehicles.
- Agreement does not extend to vehicle or property damage caused by unidentified vehicles unless very serious injuries have also been sustained in the same accident.
What you should do
If you have been involved in a road traffic accident caused by an uninsured or unidentified driver it is important to get as many details as you can from the scene and contact a Solicitor as soon as possible. The Solicitor will be able to advise the appropriate course of action which may include making a claim to the MIBI.
The Parental (Amendment) Act 2019
Parental leave is entirely separate to maternity benefit and entitles both parents to take unpaid leave from work to spend time looking after their children. Eligible parents may avail of unpaid Parental Leave additional to their paid Maternity Leave and paid statutory Annual Leave in order to assist them in raising their young families while maintaining their employment.
Parental leave can be used in a variety of ways; a continuous period of leave, two separate blocks (must be a minimum of 6 weeks each) or if your employer consents, it may be split into working days and/or hours.
Your employer cannot refuse parental leave to an eligible parent. While you are not entitled to be paid during this leave, you are still employed and all other employment rights will stand.
The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2019 introduces several changes to parental entitlements in this area. Prior to this amendment, eligible parents were entitled to 18 weeks of unpaid leave per eligible child and the leave had to be taken prior to the childs eighth birthday.
The main changes introduced by the 2019 act which came into effect from the 1st of September 2019 are as follows;
- Parents can now avail of 22 weeks of unpaid Parental Leave per eligible child (increased from 18 weeks).
- The age of eligible children is increased from 8 years to 12 years, meaning the leave must can now be taken up to the date of the childs 12th
From September 2020 the act will allow for 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave per eligible child. The increase is being introduced on a phased basis in order to allow employers to adapt to the change.
Ireland currently offers one of the lowest levels of Parental Leave in the E.U and these amendments aim to bring Ireland further in line with EU standards.
Accidents in the Workplace
Under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005, your employer has a duty of care to ensure your safety during working hours. When you have an accident at work that results in injury, it is likely that this accident will be covered by your Employers Liability Insurance. This means that in the vast majority of cases, your employer won’t be personally liable for any compensation awarded for your injury should you choose to pursue a case for personal injury.
Often when people suffer injuries at work they are understandably reluctant to take legal action against their employer for fear of negative personal consequences or even that it may put their employment at risk. It is important for potential claimants to be aware that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of pending litigation and any such behaviour could be sufficient grounds for a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission.
If you have suffered serious personal injuries as a result of an accident in your workplace it is advisable that you speak to a Solicitor as soon as possible. The Solicitor will be able to review the facts, consider any potential negligence and advise on the appropriate course of action in the circumstances. We advice to seek initial information within one month of the accident, as there is law which requires a letter to be send within 30 days form accident date advising of your intention to claim compensation.