Can I Make an ICBC Claim If I Was in a Hit and Run Accident?
The injuries that can follow a hit and run accident can be devastating. When the driver responsible for an accident flees the scene, it can complicate your ability to recover compensation for these injuries. Thankfully, ICBC benefits could be available in a hit and run accident if you take care when filing your claim.
Ensuring your ICBC claim is filed properly can be stressful under the best scenario. In a hit and run accident, that stress is often magnified. Should ICBC deny your claim, you could be on the hook for your accident-related losses. Thankfully, an ICBC lawyer could help you appeal your denial.
Identifying the responsible driver
When the ICBC pays out benefits to you in a hit and run accident, they are keen to identify the party responsible for the crash. If they do so, they can seek to recoup those payments from that party. It is for that reason why you are required to make “all reasonable efforts” to identify the other driver. If ICBC can show you failed to make these efforts, they could deny your claim. Some steps you can take to make a reasonable effort could include:
- Contacting police as soon as possible
- Investigating the scene of the accident and take photos
- Call ICBC Dial-a-Claim and notify them of the hit and run
- Canvas the area and speak with potential witnesses
- Place ads in the local newspaper seeking assistance with identifying the driver
- Place posters at the scene of the accident seeking additional information
- Follow up with law enforcement to ensure they have all pertinent information
- Place online ads asking for witnesses to come forward
- Take thorough notes to ensure you record every effort you make
Despite making your best effort to identify the other driver, the ICBC will, at times, reject a claim for the lack of making an effort to identify them. An ICBC law firm could help you demonstrate that you made every effort to find the responsible party.
Benefits available in a hit and run claim
If you are successful in your claim, the potential benefits are significant. According to the law, an ICBC hit and run injury claim could cover up to $200,000 in bodily injury compensation. These benefits are available even if you are not the driver or the insured party. If you have uninsured motorist benefits, you will only need to use those if you have additional damages after maxing the $200,000 from your hit and run claim.
There is one more important factor to consider, as these hit and run benefits are only available for accidents that occur on a “highway.” While this might sound limiting, the good news is that the Transportation Act defines the term broadly. According to the law, a highway could include:
- Any public road, street, trail, bridge, lane, tunnel, trestle, landing, or approach, as well as any other type of public way
- Any street, lane, or right of way intended for the vehicle passage open to the public
- Any private area or thoroughfare publicized as open to the public for parking or servicing, outside of industrial roadways
Working closely with Preszler Injury Lawyers
These requirements can be complex for most motorists to navigate. Making a small mistake during the claims process could even result in the denial of an otherwise-viable claim for injuries. Suffering injuries at the hands of a hit and run driver is bad enough; being victimized again by ICBC is inherently unfair.
The good news is a car accident lawyer from Preszler Injury Lawyers might be able to help. We have experienced handling ICBC claims and can guide you through the process of trying to identify the at-fault driver. Contact Preszler Injury Lawyers right away to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.