What to Do If You Have Been A Victim of a Hit and Run Accident in Edmonton?
Contact Safi Law Group in Edmonton if you are a victim of a Hit and Run in Edmonton, seek the help of an experienced Motor Vehicle Accident lawyer by calling Sangin (Sam) Safi today.
Failure to remain at the scene of an accident is a criminal offence and can result in significant jail time as punishment. In addition, the offender may also receive a ticket under the Traffic Safety Act. However, what do you do if the offender is never found and you have suffered injuries or vehicle damage in a hit and run accident? Or, what about if you get into a vehicle collision with an individual who was driving without insurance or expired insurance? What recourse do you have in that situation?
The Alberta government’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (“MVAC”) provides recourse to individuals who have suffered personal injuries due to negligence of unidentified or uninsured motorists. Continue reading to learn more about the basics of MVAC.
Please note that this blog entry is only for informational purposes and is not meant to be legal advice for your specific case.
If you require legal advice, please contact our office, and book a FREE consultation to discuss your car accident case.
Key Points About the MVAC Program
In order to qualify for compensation through the MVAC program, you must meet several requirements. The following are only some of the basic prerequisites, however, depending on your situation, there may be other requirements you may have to meet before you qualify:
- The accident must have occurred in Alberta;
- The accident must have been the fault of another person;
- You must have been an Alberta resident at the time of the accident (or be from a jurisdiction that has a program similar to MVAC).
It is important to note that a lawsuit must be commenced before MVAC will make a payment.
Further, it is important to note that MVAC only covers personal injuries. If you have sustained vehicle damage, there is no recourse through MVAC. However, you may have other options (more on that below). In any event, all claims must be reviewed and approved by MVAC.
It is also important to note that the monetary limit for MVAC is $200,000 for all claims arising out of any one accident. This can be problematic if someone has sustained catastrophic or long term injuries in an accident involving several injured parties. However, there may be additional compensation if the victim has a SEF 44 endorsement through their own insurance company.
Things to Remember When Dealing with an Unknown Motorist (aka “Hit and Run” Accident)
When involved in a hit and run accident, you should try to get as much information about the at-fault driver as possible. Try to get their license plate number. Also, try to note the colour, make and model of the vehicle that hit you.
You should also report the accident to the Edmonton police and your insurer at your earliest opportunity. In addition, there are a few points to consider, as far as MVAC is concerned:
- If the identities of the owner and/or driver are not known and cannot be determined, you must make reasonable efforts to try to identify them and provide a notice of your claim to MVAC within 90 days of the accident;
- If the identities of the owner and/or driver are not known and cannot be determined, a lawsuit must be commenced against the MVAC program (unless your claim is small and can be settled within 2 years of the accident).
It is very important to meet the requirements laid out by the MVAC program (particularly as it relates to your attempts to locate the at-fault party), otherwise, your claim may be denied. As a result, it is very important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity after a hit and run accident.
Things to Remember When Dealing with an Uninsured Motorist
When dealing with an uninsured motorist, you should still obtain their insurance, registration, and license information. In addition, you should report the accident to the Edmonton police and your insurer at your earliest opportunity.
The following is an important point to consider, as far as MVAC is concerned:
- In cases involving uninsured at-fault vehicles, you must commence a lawsuit in an Alberta Court against all persons and corporations that could be liable for the accident (if you fail to name someone in the lawsuit, your MVAC claim could be denied).
It is important to note that the first principle governing the MVAC program is that they are the payer of last resort. As a result, it is very important to exhaust all possible legal options before MVAC will make a payment. If an option is not considered, MVAC could deny your claim.
This is why it is very important to contact a motor vehicle accident lawyer for legal advice at the earliest opportunity after getting involved in a car accident with an uninsured motorist.
What About My Damaged Car?
If you have collision coverage on your vehicle through your car insurance company, you may be able to get the damage fixed or replaced through them. The process is usually straightforward, and your insurance company’s adjuster will assist in this process. On the other hand, if you do not have coverage through your insurance company, you may be out of luck as MVAC provides no coverage for vehicle damage.
If you are dealing with an uninsured motorist, you could certainly sue them for the vehicle damage, however, MVAC will not pay for the property damage part of your claim. You will need to enforce that part of your claim against the uninsured motorist, which could be a challenging exercise.
Get Help with Your MVAC Car Accident Claim
Time is absolutely of the essence when it comes to hit and run car accident cases in Alberta.
If you have been injured in a hit and run car accident or a case involving an uninsured motorist, our law office would be happy to assist you with your MVAC claim.
Reach out to us for a FREE consultation using our Contact Us page or by calling (780) 760-7234. We are waiting to answer all of your questions and get you the compensation you deserve.