09/11/2017 0 Comments
Hit and Run Accident – What Are My Options?
People often assume that since the at-fault motorist is nowhere to be found, a victim of a hit and run accident is out of luck when it comes to compensation for personal injury. Road accident lawyers know that in fact, a victim of a hit and run accident in British Columbia may be able to claim against ICBC for personal injury compensation. The potential for a claim for damages following a hit and run accident is set out in section 24 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. The hit and run accident protection in section 24 is available to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists who are injured by an unidentified motorist, but only if proper steps are taken.
Compensation for Personal Injury Caused by Hit and Run Accident
Section 24 sets out very specific criteria that must be met before ICBC will consider the hit and run victim to be eligible for compensation. As experienced road accident lawyers, we deal with ICBC on a regular basis, so we know how absolutely crucial these steps are protecting a hit and run claim. Here are some of the key things you need to know about hit and run accident claims:
1. To succeed in a hit and run claim, you must show that the identity of the driver and the vehicle involved in the accident were not ascertainable. That means you must take all reasonable steps to identify the at-fault vehicle and its driver, such as:
- Attempting to record the plate number and any other details about the at-fault vehicle;
- Attempting to get identification from the other driver if he or she stopped at the scene;
- Getting contact information of any witnesses and asking nearby residents or businesses if they saw the accident; and
- Posting signs in the area where the accident occurred or putting an ad in the newspaper asking witnesses to come forward.
2. ICBC requires a police report where injuries result from the hit and run accident. It is important to notify the police as soon as possible. Ideally, you should call the police from the scene of the accident; if that is not possible, make the police report within 24 hours in the jurisdiction where the accident occurred (unless your injuries prevent you from doing so).
3. ICBC has strict reporting requirements. You must give written notice of a hit and run claim to ICBC “as soon as reasonably practicable” and in any event within six months after the accident that caused the bodily injury, death, or property damage. If you don’t, ICBC could deny your claim for compensation.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Hit and Run Accident
The team of road accident lawyers at Bronson Jones & Company LLP have represented many victims of hit and run car accidents in their claims against ICBC for compensation for personal injury. Lawyers on our team know that your claim will have a greater chance of success if you know what to do at the scene of a hit and run accident. Here are some tips:
- Make note of the at-fault vehicle’s make, model, and colour. It is also extremely helpful if you can remember some or all of the digits on the licence plate or any other unique details of the at-fault vehicle such as bumper stickers or body work.
- If you saw or spoke to the driver of the at-fault vehicle, note his or her description and any distinguishing features of that person.
- Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
- Call the police and file a police report.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible to document all injuries resulting from the hit and run accident.
- Take photographs of any bodily injury and vehicle damage – these can help support your claim for compensation.
Talk to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible
If you have been injured in a hit and run car accident, our team of road accident lawyers can guide you through the steps that you must to take to protect your claim for compensation. For a free initial consultation, contact the Bronson Jones & Company LLP accident lawyers in Vancouver or at any of our 13 offices throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.