The High Court in Howe v Motor Insurers’ Bureau [2016] EWHC 884 (QB) found that the Motor Insurers' Bureau was not liable to compensate the Claimant, a driver who had been injured in a road traffic accident in France by an unidentified driver.

Of more interest was the issue of whether the Claimant was entitled to the protection of Qualified One-way Costs Shifting (QOCS).

This regime was introduced on 1 April 2013, and results in defendants generally being ordered to pay the costs of winning claimants but, subject to certain exceptions, they will not recover their own costs if they successfully defend the claim.

CPR r44.13 states that QOCS applies "to proceedings which include a claim for damages…for personal injuries". The Court was required to decide whether the claim here fell within that definition.

The Court found that the Claimant did not have the benefit of QOCS, as the claim was not one for damages for personal injury. The MIB had not injured anyone; the claim was for an indemnity for the third party who had caused the injuries.