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Jones V. Motor Insurers Bureau Notes

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JONES V. MOTOR INSURERS BUREAU FACTS In December 2007 the appellant, Mr Jacobs, was injured when he was struck by a car driven by a German national, Herr Bartsch, in a car park in Fuengirola, Spain. Mr Jacobs was and still is a resident of the United Kingdom. At the time of the accident Herr Bartsch lived in an EEA State, possibly Spain or Germany; the car itself was ordinarily based in Spain. The dispute in this case has arisen out of the fact that it has not been possible to identify any insurance undertaking which insured Mr Bartsch or anyone else to drive the vehicle. It is common ground that in those circumstances Mr Jacobs is entitled to recover compensation for his injuries from the respondent, the Motor Insurers' Bureau ("the bureau"), but there is a dispute about whether the amount of that compensation is to be determined by reference to the law of England (where Mr Jacobs lives) or the law of Spain (where the accident occurred). On 16 December 2008 Mr Jacobs started proceedings against the bureau to recover compensation under the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) (Information Centre and Compensation Body) Regulations 2003. QUESTION Whether the bureau is obliged to pay compensation to the claimant assessed in accordance with the law of England or the law of Spain. HOLDING First EU Directive: 1. Each member state shall, subject to article 4, take all appropriate measures to ensure that civil liability in respect of the use of vehicles normally based in its territory is covered by insurance. Each member state shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that the contract of insurance also covers:---
according to the law in force in other member states, any loss or injury which is caused in the territory of those states. Second EU Directive: Each member state shall set up or authorise a body with the task of providing compensation, at least up to the limits of the insurance obligation for damage to property or personal injuries caused by an unidentified vehicle or a vehicle for which the insurance obligation provided for in paragraph 1 has not been satisfied. Each member state shall apply its laws, regulations and administrative provisions to the payment of compensation by the body, without prejudice to any other practice which is more favourable to the victim.

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