After a hit and run accident you are left with the stress of dealing with your injuries in addition to not knowing who hit you and what your duties and rights are.
In British Columbia, if you are hit by a driver who leaves the scene of the accident, you can still make a claim for your injuries even though the at-fault motorist is unknown. In place of the driver of the unknown vehicle, you have a claim against ICBC.
Hit & run cases are unique as there are strict time limitations and you must make an effort to identify the unknown driver.
In order to make a successful claim against ICBC, certain steps must be taken as soon as possible:
- You should notify ICBC. as soon as possible. There are some time limitations for accidents benefits claims
- In certain cases, it is advisable to notify the police
- You must take all reasonable steps to try to identify the driver and owner of the vehicle that is at fault
- Many people who have injury claims from hit & run accidents have lost their right to claim compensation if reasonable steps were not taken
This can include:
- If possible make a note of the license plate of the vehicle before it flees the scene
- Get a description of the vehicle and the driver
- Get the names of witnesses while at the scene of the accident
- If no witnesses come forward, placing signs at the scene of the accident, looking for witnesses
- Notifying the police immediately
- Placing an advertisement in local newspapers looking for witnesses and the other driver
- Knocking on doors nearby the scene of the accident looking for any witnesses.
- Making efforts to identify the car and the driver while still at the scene
What is reasonable to do in each circumstance depends on the facts. The sooner the steps are taken after the accident, the better.
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, an experienced lawyer at Collins & Cullen can help you through the claims process so you can focus on your recovery.