Hit-and-run accidents are becoming too commonplace in the Greater Toronto Area.
In Ontario, owners of motor vehicles are required to have auto insurance. As such, if you are injured and the other driver who hit your vehicle cannot be identified, you might still be able to recover some of your damages.
Make sure to report the hit-and-run incident to the police. According to a regulation under Ontario’s Insurance Act and Ontario’s Automobile Policy Owner’s Policy, you have 24 hours to report the hit-and-run accident where bodily injury has occurred. It is in your best interest to make this report within that time period or as soon as possible after that if you or someone on your behalf cannot report the accident beforehand.
You will need to provide the police with as much detail as possible about the accident to allow them to investigate. This information includes the make and model, and any part of the licence plate information, of the vehicle that hit your vehicle. To the extent you were able to obtain witness statements, let the police know. Also, advise the police of any photos you were able to take of your vehicle and the scene of the accident.
These days with video surveillance and the help of media, including social media, there may be an increased chance that the driver will be identified.
Moreover, your insurance company will likely ask for a copy of the police report. It will question whether there indeed was an unidentified driver who collided with your vehicle to determine whether to pay out any amount to you.
Car Insurance Claim
Also contact the insurance company insuring your vehicle within 24 hours. The insurance representative will advise you on the information required and time limit to provide the information.
The insurance company will review the level of coverage you have. This review will include seeing whether you have purchased the optional coverage of OPCF 44R, which is known as the Family Protection Coverage. The OPCF 44R provides you with some degree of protection in cases such as a hit-and-run situation.
Claim and Lawsuit Against Identified Driver
If the driver who left the accident scene is identified, the injured party can look to the at-fault driver or owner of the vehicle to seek monetary damages. If the damages sought exceed the other driver’s coverage limit, you can make an OPCF 44R claim with your own insurance company depending on your third-party liability coverage amount. Also, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about the merits of filing a lawsuit against the other driver for any excess amounts.
For over 30 years, Douglas Strelshik has been representing injured parties in personal injury claims and vehicle owners in vehicle insurance claims. Contact Douglas at 647.348.5422 to discuss your specific case and whether the amount your insurance company is offering is reasonable.