Hit and Run Accidents
Unfortunately, vehicles sometimes flee the scene after hitting a pedestrian or cyclist or colliding with a car. Fortunately, s.24(1) of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act allows the victims of hit and run accidents to collect damages from ICBC in cases where they cannot find the at-fault driver’s name or vehicle after reasonable effort. The current coverage is up to $200,000 for damages and injuries. As an exception, hit-and-run claims are not available for collisions on private driveways and private underground parking lots. As one of the largest firms of hit and run lawyers in Vancouver, we are able to advise you about your unique circumstances.
As a victim, you must take crucial steps to receive the benefit of this protection. The following are the steps we recommend you take at minimum:
Obtain medical attention immediately (call an ambulance if necessary) to document your injuries officially and thoroughly;
Report the accident to police if they did not attend the scene as soon as possible and within 48 hours;
Inform ICBC immediately in writing within 6 months of the accident;
Obtain the licence plate number of the vehicle that hit you from witnesses if possible;
Record (and tell the police) what you can remember, including a description of the driver;
Record (and tell the police) what you can remember, including the vehicle’s make, model, colour and any distinguishing features such as dents, specialty wheels, roof racks, running boards or decals; and
Locate any witnesses to the hit and run, including post-accident witnesses who could have seen the vehicle before or after the vehicle hit you (record each witness’ phone numbers, email and mailing address, and ask each witness to write down what he or she observed);
If you are unable to collect witness information, place an ad in the local newspaper and post signs in the area in which the accident occurred asking for any witnesses to the accident to contact you (take photos to document your posters).
Ask local residents and business owners in the area of the accident if they saw or heard anything even if they weren’t out on the street.
ICBC requires that you demonstrate “reasonable efforts” to find the at-fault driver. “Reasonable efforts” will be in accordance with your circumstances and injuries.
Contact Us for Legal Advice
It is imperative that you get legal advice as quickly as possible after the accident because of the strict requirements you need to meet to access benefits and pursue a claim for personal injury damages. At Bronson Jones & Company LLP, we are one of the largest personal injury law firms in Vancouver with two offices in the city and an additional 11 offices throughout British Columbia. We are available to help you obtain the compensation that you or your loved one is entitled to from being injured in a hit and run accident.