What happens in the event of an accident involving an uninsured vehicle in Bahrain?
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Reported by Zahra Ayaz
A 35-year-old expat in Bahrain is facing a predicament after an uninsured school van collided with his vehicle and refused to pay for damages. The incident, which occurred on October 9, has raised concerns about the safety and accountability of vehicles that use the roads without proper insurance coverage.
The victim, who wished to remain anonymous shared his ordeal with The Daily Tribune. He stated, “On the 9th of October 2023, at 6:20 am, I was exiting my apartment’s parking lot when I saw a school van passing by. After making sure no oncoming vehicles were to my left, I was about to merge onto the road.
At that moment, the same school van unexpectedly reversed at high speed. I immediately honked in an attempt to alert the driver, but within a split second, the van collided with my car, causing damage and pushing it to the left.”
The van driver evaded the accident scene, claiming the victim didn't notice him approaching. The victim considered contacting authorities but was hesitant due to the driver's urgency to drop off children at school.
Compounding the victim’s difficulties, his insurance company informed him that his third-party insurance coverage did not extend to damages caused by other vehicles. Only with a full insurance policy would the repairs be covered.
The victim obtained repair quotations from local garages, opting for duplicate or second-hand parts, which amounted to approximately BD670. However, due to the vehicle’s age, only 50 percent of the repair cost at an authorised agency would be covered under the Consumer Protection Board’s rules.
In an effort to seek guidance and support, the victim shared his story online as an anonymous user, where other users offered suggestions and empathy.
One user advised the victim to file a police report against the offending driver, highlighting the possibility of the driver facing jail time if he fails to pay for the damages. Another user expressed concern over the school van’s lack of insurance, emphasising the risk involved in transporting children without proper coverage.
Furthermore, a user suggested the victim include the school’s name in the complaint, as schools can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.
The victim expressed the difficulties faced by him and his family without a car, saying, “We are struggling a lot. We have to ask for lifts from friends and rely on taxis. Our whole life is a mess now. No weekend outings, just trying to figure out what to do.” The victim has also consulted several law firms to explore legal options.
While one firm requested an upfront payment of BD100 and a power of attorney, with further costs to be determined later, another firm advised the victim that legal fees, court fees, and expert fees could surpass the cost of repairing the car.
Consequently, they recommended filing a police complaint and attempting to negotiate with the van owner once again. Meanwhile, this situation serves as a stark reminder of the importance of insurance coverage and the potential consequences of accidents involving uninsured vehicles.