News & Events

Keoghs Insight

Author

Damian Ward

Damian Ward

Partner

T:01204 677087

Supreme Court judgment avoids creation of a “fraudsters charter”

News And Events20/02/2019

Judgment emphasises that current framework for untraced drivers is fit for purpose

The Supreme Court has today passed a unanimous judgment in the case of Cameron v Hussain & LV=. The judgment emphatically underlines that the current framework for compensating the victims of untraced drivers is indeed fit for purpose and compliant with European Law.

The case centred around a driver of a vehicle involved in a road traffic accident, who was never identified after immediately fleeing the scene. The vehicle showed on the Motor Insurers Database as insured by LV= and the claimant sought damages from the registered keeper of the vehicle and LV= on that basis.

Keoghs, the UK's leading defendant insurance law firm, represented LV= in this case and fought the case through district and circuit judges before going onto the Court of Appeal and ultimately the Supreme Court in order to defend the established position on untraced drivers and thereby protect the interests of insurers and their customers.

Martin Milliner, LV= GI Claims Director, said:

“We’re extremely pleased that common sense has prevailed today and the Supreme Court has allowed our appeal. Although the case in question was a low value motor claim, the claimant’s arguments sought to drive a coach and horses through UK law.  If this blatant attack on the MIB Untraced Drivers Agreement had been successful then it would have created a “fraudsters charter” that could have been abused by criminals for a safe passage through the judicial system."

“Even at this stage it’s unclear why this case got so far, when the claimant could have utilised the mechanisms already in place to recoup losses after a unknown driver incident. We can only speculate as to why."

“The concept that insurers could have been liable to satisfy judgments against unidentified defendants, without an opportunity to investigate the claim, could have had grave consequences for the industry and its customers.”

Damian Ward, Keoghs Partner and Director of Counter Fraud, said:

"It is long-established that the victim of an untraced driver in the UK has protection in the various forms of the Untraced Drivers Agreement.  This novel but ultimately unsuccessful attack on this well-established and well-functioning position was dismissed not only twice prior to the split decision of the Court of Appeal but then unanimously by the Supreme Court. 

“I am enormously pleased that LV= took the decision to challenge the Court of Appeal’s decision and that what would have presented as an open goal to fraudsters has been instead determined as a rejection of the challenge to the existing compensation framework for victims of untraced drivers in RTA cases, and of the UK’s failure to lawfully implement the Sixth EC Motor Insurance Directive."