Woman dies in a bus accident. Could her family make a claim?

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Bristol bus passenger, Mrs. Barbara McCracken (88) was killed as a result of breaking her neck when the driver of the bus in which she was travelling had to perform an emergency stop, highlighting the risk of serious injuries when anyone is involved in a road traffic accident.  However, in this incident, there wasn’t an actual collision between two vehicles and a recent inquest heard that the driver of the bus was not at fault as he was simply performing an emergency stop due to the negligent actions of a car driver who failed to stop and fled the scene.

The near collision happened on Southmead Road in Filton as the single-decker – travelling at around 25mph – passed through green traffic lights.

Brake or crash

In a statement read out at the recent inquest hearing in to the death of Mrs. McCracken, the driver of the bus (Raymond Payne) stated “I suddenly noticed a car coming across my path from the right side, I realised I had to brake as otherwise there would be a collision. We looked at each other and I saw the shocked expression and said ‘what are you doing?'”

This is a very sad story, leading to the death of an elderly lady.  In usual circumstances, if there had been a crash between the two vehicles, or if the 3rd party responsible for causing the driver of the bus to have no choice other than to perform an emergency stop had themselves stopped at the scene and exchanged details, the family of the late Mrs. McCracken would be able to pursue a claim for compensation for their late relative through the insurers of the liable party – the untraced gold coloured car.  However, with no traceable 3rd party ever found, the family of the late Mrs. McCracken may well be wondering how to go about making a claim for personal injury compensation on behalf of a deceased relative, such as with the family of the unfortunate gentleman recently killed when a shop sign fell on him in London.

Thankfully, we can confirm that despite there being an untraced vehicle involved in this incident and even taking in to account that the bus driver is completely free of blame in this matter, the family of the deceased lady do still have potential routes to making a claim for personal injury compensation on behalf of her estate or next of kin.

Motor Insurers Bureau

In usual circumstances involving bus accidents, there is a 3rd party insurer in place that can consider claims made against their insured (if they are liable for the incident) for personal injury compensation.  However, when there is either an uninsured vehicle or an untraced (hit and run) vehicle involved, many people do not know that they can still make a claim.

Fortunately, the UK is lucky enough to have a system to cover such eventualities – the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB).  Of course, those of us that do pay for our insurance every year end up covering the cost of the MIB through our premiums.  However, it is worth that small cost on each premium to give the rest of us peace of mind.  The MIB work in a similar fashion to that of an insurer and have two schemes in place – the uninsured driver scheme and the untraced driver scheme.  In this case, the family of the deceased lady would, if they chose to pursue a claim, be making one on the MIB untraced driver scheme.

The MIB handle claims in a professional, speedy and thorough manner and have been known to pay substantial compensation settlements in cases involving serious injuries or death, such as with the school pupil who found that their education was ruined after being hit by an uninsured driver.

When the dust settles

Clearly, the family of the lady killed in the bus accident mentioned in this post will have had many things to deal with before they could even consider compensation or making a personal injury claim.  However, when the dust settles, they may be pleased to know that they could seek some form of justice by way of making a claim, albeit scant consolation for losing a cherished loved one.

At Direct 2 Compensation, we’ve got our own dedicated MIB claims handler who you can instruct to run a claim for compensation if you have been the victim of an uninsured or untraced driver.  We offer a genuine No Win No Fee solution to these claims and can help you maximise any claim that you may make.

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