If you are insured with ICBC and involved in a car accident with another driver who does not have insurance or is underinsured, you can make a claim for compensation. Even in hit-and-run accidents, you can still seek compensation from ICBC. The compensation you receive in these types of accidents depends on which driver is at fault for the accident, and certain steps must be taken to ensure that your claim is not barred.
ICBC’s Basic Autoplan is the mandatory insurance coverage required for drivers in British Columbia. With ICBC’s Basic Autoplan insurance, you are entitled to “No-Fault Benefits” provided under Part VII of the Regulations to the Insurance (Vehicle) Act. You are entitled to No-Fault Benefits even if the car accident is your fault and regardless of whether the other driver is uninsured, underinsured, or unidentified. Consulting with a lawyer can help ensure that you comply with notice and reporting requirements to secure your entitlement to these benefits.
Basic Autoplan insurance provides a minimum of $200,000 for liability coverage in car accidents where a driver is uninsured or underinsured. Section 20 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act sets out how claims should proceed against uninsured or underinsured drivers when those drivers are at fault for an accident.
If you know the identity driver who caused your accident, then written notice should be provided to ICBC as soon as possible. In these types of claims, ICBC may negotiate with you to settle the claim or proceed to trial in lieu of the uninsured or underinsured driver. Compensation may include pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, wage loss, and reduction in future earning capacity.
Claiming for an amount in excess of $200,000 is complicated and will require an injured party to show that he or she has made efforts to collect compensation from the at-fault motorist. If you can show that the at-fault driver cannot pay the amount even after the matter has gone to trial, then you can proceed against ICBC for payment under underinsured motorist protection (often called “UMP”) through an arbitration process. UMP claims are complicated and should likely be handled by a lawyer.
In hit-and-run car accidents, you must take certain steps under the Insurance (Vehicle) Act to prove that the accident occurred and that you have made all reasonable efforts to identify the hit-and-run driver. You must provide written notice to ICBC about the accident as soon as possible and at least within 6 months of the accident date. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, taking steps such as posting an advertisement in the newspaper, signs at the accident site asking for witnesses, canvassing potential witnesses near the accident site, and reporting the accident to the police immediately and following up on their investigation, may be considered reasonable steps to learn the identity of the driver.
Hit-and-run claims are complicated and if you do not take action fast you risk being barred from receiving compensation. The lawyers at Preszler Law routinely handle hit-and-run accidents and can be retained to ensure that the proper steps are taken to preserve your claim and secure fair compensation.