Vancouver Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
Hit and run accidents occur when a driver in a car accident leaves the scene without offering identification. According to the ICBC, in 2012 there were an alarming 48,000 hit and run accidents in British Columbia, 2,000 of which resulted in injury and and four where the victim was killed. Hit and run accidents are an unfortunate occurrence in Vancouver, and if the driver remains unidentified, a complicated claims process with the ICBC will ensue.
How Do I File a Hit and Run Claim with ICBC?
Section 24 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act offers coverage if there is bodily injury, property damage or death caused by an unidentified motorist on a highway in British Columbia. This applies if your car, motorcycle or bicycle was hit, or if you were struck as a pedestrian. Under this act, there are very strict requirements that must be followed in order to file a hit and run claim with ICBC.
The Insurance (Vehicle) Act requires that you inform ICBC in writing that there was a hit and run as soon as possible, but no later than six months after your accident. ICBC requires notification so that they can try and identify who was responsible for the accident as quickly as possible since valuable evidence may fade over time. You should also report the hit and run accident to the police as soon as possible. The Regulations to the Act also require that the accident be reported to the Police within 48 hours and a case file number obtained and provided to ICBC if requested.
It is important that you report to ICBC as much information as you can regarding the hit and run accident, including:
- The location of the accident
- A description of the other vehicle and its driver, if you saw them
- The driver’s license plate number, even if you are only able to get part of the number
- Any other information that may help the authorities attempt to locate the other driver.
If you were able to obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident, it would be very beneficial to your claim. If there were no witnesses and the other driver cannot be identified, a lawsuit can still be brought against the unidentified driver through ICBC.
In order to protect your right to make a claim against the unidentified motorist, you must be able to show that you made reasonable efforts to try to identify the hit and run driver. These efforts can include:
- Posting notices or posters asking for witnesses to the accident to come forward.
- Posting a classified ad in a newspaper that circulates in the area where the accident occurred asking for witnesses to contact you.
- Place an ad online.
- Speaking with people who live or work around the scene of the accident to see if they witnessed anything or have information.
- Taking pictures and collecting evidence at the scene of the accident
It is important to keep records of your efforts to try and identify the hit and run driver.
In unidentified motorist actions, there are limits to how much compensation you can receive. If your injuries and property losses exceed that amount, there is a provision to make a claim under your own insurance as part of your underinsured motorist protection.
What Damages Can I Recover from ICBC in my Hit and Run Claim?
Hit and run claims in Vancouver are complicated. In order to maximize your compensation, you should discuss the specific circumstance of your accident with an experienced car accident lawyer. The types of damages you may be able to receive from ICBC include:
- Medical expenses, both current and future
- Lost wages, including future potential wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Out-of-pocket expenses relating to your accident
- Compensation for family members who provided assistance to you due to your injuries
British Columbia Hit and Run Accident Law Firm
Hit and run accidents can result in a lengthy claims process with ICBC. You don’t have to file your claim alone. Bruce Lemer is a trial lawyer with experience dealing with ICBC. You have enough to worry about after a hit and run; let a hit and run accident lawyer help you gather evidence, post notices and find witnesses. Lemer & Company will work to ensure you have everything you need in order to file your hit and run claim with ICBC.