It’s unfortunate, but hit-and-run accidents happen every day to undeserving people.
Dealing with such incidents can be complex due to the criminal nature of leaving the scene of an accident. Penalties can range from hefty fines to jail time. Moreover, the challenges increase when the culprit is not identified, and you have incurred personal injuries or damage to your vehicle. What are your options if the guilty party is an uninsured or underinsured motorist? Here’s what you need to know.
Under the auspices of the Alberta government, victims can seek redress through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC). This program offers compensation for injuries due to the negligent actions of unknown or uninsured drivers. To understand the fundamentals of MVAC, read on.
Remember that this information is designed to provide a general overview, not specific legal advice. For personalized legal advice, Safi Law Group offers a FREE consultation to discuss your hit-and-run accident case.
To be entitled to compensation through MVAC, several requirements must be met, including:
Please note that a lawsuit must be initiated before any payment from MVAC is provided.
The MVAC program is primarily for personal injuries and does not cover damage to vehicles. For such cases, alternative methods may be explored. MVAC’s total payout limit is $200,000 for all claims resulting from a single accident, which may pose difficulties in the event of severe or long-term injuries. Additional compensation may be available if you have a SEF 44 endorsement on your insurance policy.
In a hit-and-run situation, gathering as much information about the culprit as possible is crucial. License plate numbers, vehicle make, model, and colour should be noted and reported to the Edmonton police and your insurance company as soon as possible.
With MVAC, certain steps are required when the driver or owner can’t be identified. You must make reasonable efforts to identify them and provide MVAC with a notice of your claim within 90 days. If no identification is possible, a lawsuit against MVAC must be initiated (unless your claim is minor and can be settled within two years). Compliance with MVAC regulations is crucial; hence, seeking legal guidance from Safi Law Group at the earliest opportunity after a hit-and-run is strongly advised.
When faced with an uninsured motorist, still gather their registration and license information and notify the Edmonton police and your insurance company promptly. According to MVAC, you must file a lawsuit against all possible liable parties in an Alberta Court. Failing to include all parties could result in a denied claim by MVAC.
MVAC acts as the last resort, so exploring all legal avenues is crucial before claiming from MVAC. If any option is overlooked, MVAC might reject your claim. Therefore, getting in touch with a car accident lawyer like Safi Law Group as soon as possible after such an incident is highly recommended.
If your car insurance policy includes collision coverage, you can get your vehicle repaired or replaced through your insurance company. However, if you lack coverage, MVAC does not cover vehicle damage.
You can potentially sue uninsured motorists for the damage, but MVAC won’t cover the property damage part of your claim. Enforcing this claim can be quite challenging.
In hit-and-run accident cases in Alberta, time is crucial.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run or an incident involving an uninsured motorist, Safi Law Group is here to help you with your MVAC claim.
Contact us for a FREE consultation through our Contact Us page or by calling (780) 760-7234. We are ready to address all your queries and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.