The High Court has decided that a man injured by an uninsured motor vehicle being driven on private land is to receive substantial compensation from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau for his injuries.

Mr Lewis was walking through a field which was private land. Mr Tindale drove his uninsured 4×4 motor vehicle over the land and into collision with Mr Lewis, causing Mr Lewis serious injuries. As the vehicle was uninsured at the time of the accident, responsibility for the claim fell to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau. They argued that because the accident did not take place on a road or public place there was no requirement for them to pay compensation. The High Court disagreed and ruled that the Motor Insurers’ Bureau was obliged to pay compensation to Mr Lewis on behalf of Mr Tindale.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is a government run organisation. Its role is to provide compensation to victims of road traffic accidents where the driver of the vehicle causing injury is uninsured or where the driver of that vehicle cannot be traced. It is funded by the motor insurance industry, with a proportion of each person’s motor vehicle insurance being used to fund the organisation.

As Mr Tindale’s vehicle was uninsured at the time of the accident, Mr Lewis’ claim for compensation against Mr Tindale was directed to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau in the absence of any other insurer being available. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau admitted that Mr Tindale was responsible for the accident.

The Road Traffic Act 1988 requires all cars to be insured against claims for the “death or bodily injury…arising out of the use of the vehicle on a road or other public place.” Where there is no insurance, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau takes responsibility for defending or fulfilling any claims. The Motor Insurers’ Bureau argued that because the accident happened on private land, and therefore not on a road or in a public place, it was not required to pay compensation.

In making its decision, the Court decided that due to the function the Motor Insurers’ Bureau provides within the insurance sector as a government organisation, its responsibilities extend further than other insurers. It decided that the responsibilities of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau extended to a wider range of motor accident victims, including those whose injuries occur on private land. The decision means that, due to the severity of Mr Lewis’ injuries, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau will be required to pay substantial compensation which is expected to be in excess of £1 million.


At Jordans Solicitors we welcome this decision. We believe it is important that innocent victims of injury receive the compensation they deserve following an accident. We understand that, as a victim of an accident, you need help and support to make a full recovery as soon as possible. We have a dedicated team of lawyers able to assist you in pursuing a claim for compensation with offices across Yorkshire in Dewsbury, Horsforth, Selby and Wakefield.

If you have suffered an accident and would like advice about whether you can claim compensation please contact our personal injury team on 01924 457 171 or request a callback

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