Partner Post from No Win No Fee of London: Moreno v Motor Insurers’ Bureau

This is our first ever partner post from the team at Personal Injury Solicitors London. They are the leading no win no fee solicitors in London, and offer free phone consultations to all callers who wish to discuss an accident claim with their team of experienced lawyers. Please note that the content in here does not reflect the opinions of the DHN Network. If you have a law firm who would also like to contribute then please email the editorial team.

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Previously, we have discussed motor accidents whilst on holiday, and the sad case of Vann & Others v Ocidental – Companhia De Seguros S.A., where the pedestrians that were struck by the motorist were held to have contributed to the accident by their failure to look properly before crossing the road.

This time, we look at another recent case involving another British holidaymaker and her action against the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.

Tiffany Moreno was injured after being struck by a car on the island of Zakynthos in Greece. As reported, “she was standing on the verge of a road … when a car left the road and struck her”. The driver that hit her was uninsured. Unfortunately, she had to have both her legs amputated.

The main argument of the preliminary trial put to Mr Justice Gilbart on the Queen’s Bench was whether the defender, the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (who admitted liability) was liable to Tiffany Moreno under Greek law or English law. As mentioned in paragraph 5 of the judgment, “[t]his is a case where the level of damages available to a claimant for personal injuries would be higher if assessed according to the laws applying in England and Wales than in Greece”.

The Legal Argument in Response

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau argued that since the EU regulation Rome II (which was revised by a particular EU regulation in relation to motor vehicles) came into force, the law of the country where the accident occurred should apply, rather than the law of where the claimant lives, and that previous case law, such as Bloy and Ireson v MIB and Jacobs v MIB (if Rome II had been in force at the date of the accident) had incorrectly interpreted Rome II. There were various articles within the regulations that were considered. Article 25 states:

“If it is impossible to identify the vehicle … or insurance undertaking, the injured party may apply for compensation from the compensation body in the Member State where he resides … The compensation body shall then have a claim …

  • where the insurance undertaking cannot be identified; against the guarantee fund in the Member State where the vehicle is normally based;

  • in the case of an unidentified vehicle: against the guarantee fund in the Member State in which the accident took place.”

How the Court Judged the Case

Ultimately, the court found in favour of the claimant and decided to award damages based on the law of England and Wales. As Justice Gilbart stated:

“The Recitals and the travaux préparatoires for Rome II can leave one in little doubt that the policy of Rome II was to achieve more uniformity, and to avoid the anomalies generated by the different sets of rules on choice of law, including in particular those arising in motor accident claims”

where the services of a no win no fee solicitor is needed..

This case shows the importance of choice of law both for the claimant and the defendant in a no win no fee or personal injury case. It would have perhaps been a different outcome had the driver been traceable and insured (as in the Occidental case cited above). Make sure if you have an accident abroad that you document everything that happens and instruct a no win no fee solicitor as soon as possible. They will try and get the best possible outcome for you regardless of the jurisdiction.

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The Hidden Side to the Household Cat – How Accidents and Injury Can Happen

Around 7.9 million cats are owned in the UK, and the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association estimates that 18% of British households own a cat. But unfortunately, our love of our feline friends could come at a cost that not many people are aware of.

Cats carry a parasite that we can get and may even be responsible for accidents. Humans get it by coming into contact with excrement – for example, one might pick up the parasite when doing the gardening and coming into contact with soil that has been used as a lavatory for an infected cat. The problem is that the parasite can be asymptomatic, meaning that you will not have any symptoms for months or even years.

Because of the parasite’s dormancy, arguably it could be to blame for accidents, particularly road traffic accidents, as it slows down your reaction times. Several scientific studies, including a Mexican one in 2013, showed that there may be a link between toxoplasmosis and the likelihood of having an accident. There has also been a link to toxoplasmosis causing damage or even miscarriage to the unborn children of pregnant women depending on the stage of their pregnancy.


Although cats are the only animals who spread toxoplasmosis through their excrement, the Humane Society of the United States says that “the myth about cats giving pregnant women toxoplasmosis has been causing misery for a long time”. They added that “according to the Centers [US spelling] for Disease Control and Prevention, people are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from eating raw meat or gardening”.

It’s unlikely that the cats themselves can be directly held to blame in lawsuits yet though. Although the aforementioned scientific studies did establish an association between the parasite and being at higher risk of having an accident, this is not of a sufficient level to prove this in court, which is largely due to the disease being asymptomatic.

Say, for example, you know you have a condition such as diabetes, you choose to drive and hurt someone when you collapse at the wheel. In this case, you may have the defence of automatism as you were not in control when the accident happened. However, if you were feeling unwell before you decided to get into the car, you would not have this defence as you were negligent in taking the wheel. Because Toxoplasmosis is largely asymptomatic, this raises a grey area in whether or not the Toxoplasmosis infected driver could be held to be negligent – the disease does not have obvious signs like diabetes, epilepsy or asthma.

If you do own a cat, the most important thing is to practice good hygiene with your feline friend. Wear gloves when emptying your cat’s litter box and make sure it’s changed daily. If you garden, make sure you always wear gloves, especially when handling soil. The parasite is also more common in warmer countries such as the US and Mexico.