Beware if you’ve been injured in a “hit & run” or any accident where the at-fault vehicle or driver’s identity is unknown. It’s important, of course, that you report the incident immediately to the police and ICBC. Although you have a right to pursue a claim for your injuries and any other damages, a word of warning: Do NOT rely on ICBC’s adjusters to advise you of the proper steps to protect your legal rights.
Who do you claim against? Well, the Insurance (vehicle) Act provides a remedy for “hit & run” claims. You claim against ICBC as the “nominal defendant” in place of the unknown driver. But here’s the trap to the uninformed claimant:
The Act requires the injured victim to provide written notice to ICBC of the accident details within 6 months of the incident, as well as make all reasonable effort to establish the unknown driver’s identity. You can’t merely rely on reporting it to ICBC nor the police, NOR can you rely on ICBC to advise you of these critical steps. Indeed, in a 2015 Supreme Court decision, the Court ruled that despite the unfairness of ICBC’s conduct, there is no “obligation to inform victims of hit & run accidents that there is a requirement to take steps that are beyond simply reporting their claim to ICBC…”. Sadly, in case after case, ICBC has refused to honour claims solely because the injured victim was not made aware of the simple steps necessary to attempt to identify the driver or the vehicle.
Does it sound like your insurer (ICBC) and your adjuster are really there for you?
To determine what reasonable steps should be taken in situations of hit and run claims, consult a lawyer knowledgeable in personal injury matters.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, contact us at Einfeld Law for a free consultation and free parking. Our experienced lawyers can assure you of your rights. Why settle for less?
Call (250) 712-0001 or visit us at www.einfeldlaw.com.
D. Glenn Einfeld is a highly knowledgeable and experienced BC personal injury lawyer and BC motorcycle accident lawyer who has successfully litigated many ICBC claims and other insurance claims, including out of province claims, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury, whiplash, soft tissue injury, and all other serious injury claims.