The role of the MIB and the problem with MIB claims

Some of you may have read our blog post, “What's going on at the MIB”. Those familiar with its contents will know that claims involving the Motor Insurers‘ Bureau (MIB) have in recent years been marred by a huge downturn in expediency of settlement and positive outcomes. Staffing numbers at the MIB are at an all-time low, whilst Directors’ pay continues to rise. The current generation of management at the MIB have presided over the biggest drop off in service in recent memory.

So, when David telephoned us about an accident involving an untraced driver, we expected his claim to be fraught with difficulty from the get-go. The role of the MIB is to step into the shoes of the absentee insurer and compensate victims of road traffic accidents. They do this by virtue of both an untraced and uninsured drivers’ agreement. In effect, the MIB offer a lifeline to those seeking compensation after an accident involving an untraced driver. The trade-off for this lifeline is the time taken to resolve the claim and the way in which the claim is managed is often less thorough, less detailed and it ultimately leads to a worse outcome than had an insurer been the compensator.

Changing Solicitors

Significant injuries require significant rehabilitation but its same old same old at the MIB

David’s injuries were significant. He sustained a head injury leading to concussion, a lacerated kidney, punctured lung, dislocated knee, and psychological trauma. David’s injuries required input from a Rehabilitation Case Manager. The role of a Case Manager is to make recommendations on rehabilitative measures which will help a client get back on their feet. Their role is to coordinate the rehabilitation and manage the funding of this, in collaboration with the pursuer’s solicitor and the compensator, in this case, the MIB.

We pushed hard for early intervention of a Case Manager through the instruction of an Initial Needs Assessment (INA). The INA is the starting point for any rehabilitation. It identified David’s immediate needs, highlighted his short and long-term goals and acted as a road map for his recovery.

Despite agreement being reached with the MIB about the INA recommendations in July 2021, by August still no action had been taken by the MIB to fund any of the recommendations. This situation continued into December and David’s situation became more and more dire, with no rehabilitation, no way of finding his way back to his job as an HGV driver and his future looking bleaker and bleaker. It seemed the MIB was once again letting down victims. Often in a situation like this, a pursuer’s solicitor is powerless to remedy the situation. The MIB is the only hope to secure compensation and help their client rebuild their life. Beyond raising formal complaints, solicitors are forced to act as watchdogs for their clients throughout the MIB claims process and that is exactly the situation David found himself in.

Handshake between Lawyer and client

A new approach from the MIB and settlement

However, everything changed when Helen Gannaway from the MIB took over handling of the claim. Helen worked closely with us in coordinating the case management and at last David started to make progress with his rehabilitation. David got to work and over the next few years, with help from the case manager, David was able to achieve all the rehabilitation goals set in the INA by Spring 2023. He had returned to work and regained a good level of function and mobility. He had got his life back.

Again, working closely with Helen, medical reports were ingathered from orthopaedic surgeons, a urologist and a neurologist. Any recommendations within the reports were immediately actioned by Helen for the benefit of David.

By July 2023, the MIB had ingathered everything required for the purposes of valuing David’s claim. After some negotiation, a settlement was agreed in excess of £50,000 which compensated David for everything he had been through on his long recovery journey. Aside from the compensation David received, the most important thing was he had got his life back. Through hard work on his part and a coordinated effort by the MIB, the Case Manager and Motorcycle Law Scotland, we were all able to work together to get David back the life he had lost on the day of the accident.

David’s case highlights how collaborative working can have untold benefits for victims of road traffic accidents. Often, making a claim for compensation is seen as a negative thing, people often focus only on the monetary compensation, however for people badly injured, money is worthless if your life is impacted in such a way that it’s not worth living. This is why early intervention to identify the best routes of rehabilitation are so important.

Motorcycling Injuries

Learning points

At Motorcycle Law Scotland we are one of a few Scottish firms who champion this approach in dealing with claims. We understand our duty is to put the pieces of our clients’ lives back together. Any award of compensation is always a secondary consideration to leaving a client in a much better position than when you found them. We treat clients like individuals, offering a tailor-made approach to each and every claim. Our core values as a firm; independence, integrity and compassion, reflect that approach and undoubtably, that is what made the difference for David.

Special thanks must go to Helen for her input with David’s claim. Her support was undoubtably the difference between a positive and a negative outcome and without her involvement, David may never have achieved the return to a normal life he so desperately wanted.

Our Award Winning Team

Brenda Mitchell - Senior Partner

Brenda Mitchell

Senior Partner

Brenda has been a Personal Injury Lawyer for over 35 years and for the last 20 years has specialised representing injured motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.



Jodi Gordon - Partner

Jodi Gordon

Partner

Jodi has predominantly represented cyclists involved in road traffic collisions and specialises in assisting those who have suffered very serious and complex injury.

Thomas Mitchell - Associate

Thomas Mitchell

Partner

Thomas represents clients who have been involved in road traffic incidents and he specialises in representing vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

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