Gildeas – Standing up for Scotland and Scots Law against the MIB
After a road traffic accident, our client chose Gildeas to represent her in relation to a personal injury case. She had been involved in an accident with an untraced driver. As there was no relevant insurer to meet our client’s claim, it was intimated to the Motor Insurers Bureau (who deal with claims where the responsible driver is either uninsured or untraceable).
The Bureau agreed to deal with the claim under the Untraced Motorist agreement and commenced medical investigations. The Bureau released a medical report to Gildeas together with a cheque in settlement of personal injury damages. The Bureau did not afford our client the opportunity to agree to the medical evidence or negotiate the amount on offer.
In normal circumstances we would instruct our client to proceed to litigation, however this is not possible in cases involving untraced motorists.
The claimant instructed Gildeas to return funds and commence the MIB appeal process. An independent arbitrator appointed by the MIB reached a decision which rejected the claim in its entirety. In reaching his conclusion the arbitrator relied on the English statutory provision of section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and stated that the claim must be rejected, and no award made.
The decision of the arbitrator was appealed on the basis that no such provision exists within Scots law. Our client sought to argue that the applicable jurisdiction in respect of her case was Scotland and when applying the law in Scotland, she should be entitled to damages.
As a result of a robust challenge, the case was referred to a Scottish arbitrator who overturned the decision of the English arbitrator and awarded a sum for damages which was significantly in excess of the original valuation placed on the claim by the Bureau.
In summary, it is clear that the Motor Insurers Bureau acted unreasonably in failing to allow our client the opportunity to agree to the medical evidence or negotiate an award of damages, and in instructing English counsel they also failed to identify the appropriate jurisdiction for the appeal. Our client was delighted with the outcome of Gildeas’s challenge to the appeal process and subsequent award of damages in her favour.
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