Supreme Court Settles The Debate On Who Deals With Unidentified Driver Cases

In Cameron v Liverpool Victoria Insurance Co Ltd [2019] UKSC 6 the claimant's vehicle was in collision with a "hit and run" vehicle. The vehicle registration was noted at the scene and the claimant originally sued the registered keeper of the vehicle. However, it became clear that neither the registered keeper of the vehicle or the policyholder - who was believed to be a fictitious person - was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. All the enquires pointed to the same conclusion: the driver of the vehicle could only properly be regarded as Unidentified.

The claimant tried to amend their case against the registered keeper of the vehicle and brought a claim against "The person unknown driving vehicle registration number Y598 SPS who collided with vehicle registration number KG03 ZIZ on 26th May 2013".

The District Judge refused the claimant's application and granted summary judgment for the insurer of the vehicle, the decision being upheld on appeal by the High Court. The Court of Appeal, by a majority decision, allowed the appeal holding that a judgment for damages could be obtained against an unnamed driver of the vehicle.

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Court of Appeal holding that an unidentified driver cannot be sued, irrespective of whether a policy of insurance exists in relation to the vehicle being driven. The proper recourse was to bring a claim against the Motor...

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