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Hit and Run Accidents: Legal Recourse for Victims in Canada

Getting hurt in a car accident is a traumatic experience. The situation is even more upsetting when the driver who caused the accident fails to stop or flees the scene without identifying themselves.  

People hurt in hit and run accidents may think they are out of luck when it comes to financial compensation for their injuries. The truth is that there are legal options available to people injured in hit and run accidents, even when the at-fault party is unknown.  

In today’s post, we’ll discuss the motor vehicle claims you can bring to get compensation for injuries after a hit and run accident.  

Legal recourse for victims of hit and run accidents 

Statutory Accident Benefits  

hit and run accident

Statutory Accident Benefits (“SABs”) are available to anyone insured under an Ontario automobile insurance policy. These benefits include coverage for lost income and treatment, medication, and rehabilitation expenses, and more. You apply to your own insurer to access SABs benefits, so the types of benefits and level of coverage available to you will depend on the severity of your injuries and the automobile insurance policy you purchased.  

SABs are also called “no-fault” benefits because they are available to an injured person regardless of who caused the accident. A statutory accident benefits claim can be brought after a hit and run accident, whether you were a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian.  

If you’re hurt in a hit and run accident and don’t have your own auto insurance policy, you may be eligible for coverage under someone else’s policy. For example, a passenger can apply for SABs under the policy of the vehicle in which they were riding, or a child hurt in a hit and run accident can claim statutory accident benefits under their parent’s auto insurance policy. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer at our law firm for advice if you are unsure of coverage available to you or want to know how to make a successful SABs claim.  

Uninsured Automobile Coverage  

All Ontario auto insurance policies are required by law to provide coverage for bodily injury or death caused by an unidentified automobile. Uninsured Automobile Coverage (“UAC”) is intended to replace the compensation that victims of hit and run accidents would have otherwise claimed from the at-fault driver if that person was known. It covers damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, past and future wage loss, and treatment/rehabilitation expenses not covered by statutory accident benefits.  

An uninsured motorist claim is made against your own automobile insurance policy. In Ontario, all auto insurance policies must have a minimum of $200,000 UAC, but optional additional coverage is available over and above the basic level. The level of coverage available to you if you’re hurt by an unidentified motorist depends on what you purchased. Our motor vehicle claims lawyers recommend that Ontarians purchase as much third-party liability coverage as they can afford. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“OPCF-44R”) can be added to increase available policy limits to $1 million or $2 million. 

It’s important to note that there are strict deadlines and notice requirements to bring these types of motor vehicle claims. Contact us as soon as possible after the accident for guidance on the steps that must be taken to make a successful UAC claim.  

Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund 

Ontario’s Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (“MVACF”) is there as a last resort for accident victims to get personal injury compensation. It’s only available in limited circumstances, including car accidents in Ontario where no one had auto insurance to respond to the claim.  

There are several requirements that must be met to proceed with a claim against the Fund. For example, the accident victim must be able to show that they made all reasonable efforts to attempt to identify the at-fault driver. If the claim is accepted, the Fund includes coverage for accident benefits and personal injury compensation up to the minimum liability limits of $200,000.  

It is highly recommended that you reach out to a personal injury lawyer at our law firm for help fulfilling the comprehensive criteria required to make a claim against the Fund.  

Littlejohn Barristers Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve 

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a hit and run accident, contact our Barrie personal injury lawyers immediately to ensure your rights are protected and learn more about the available options for compensation. At Littlejohn Barristers, we are personal injury lawyers that have experience successfully negotiating many motor vehicle claims but also have experience fighting out claims in court when necessary. We work hard to differentiate ourselves.  

Contact us today at 705-725-7355 to arrange for your free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer in Barrie. Our motor vehicle claims lawyers are proud to serve Barrie, Midland, Collingwood, Orillia and surrounding Ontario areas. 


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