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How to Make a Hit and Run Personal Injury Claim with ICBC


The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia controls a fund for personal injury victims injured by at fault hit and run drivers. Without this unique coverage, a person injured by an unknown driver would have no way of getting compensation for the losses due to the negligence of the other driver.
There are strict reporting requirements under the law for a hit and run car accidents and claimants should notify ICBC in writing right away and in any event within 6 months after the accident that caused the bodily injury, death or property damage.  Check out my short Making a Hit and Run Claim with ICBC video. The Insurance Vehicle Act in BC establishes the legal basis for a hit and run claim as follows:

24  (1) If bodily injury to or the death of a person or damage to property arises out of the use or operation of a vehicle on a highway in British Columbia and

(a) the names of both the owner and the driver of the vehicle are not ascertainable, or

(b) the name of the driver is not ascertainable and the owner is not liable to an action for damages for the injury, death or property damage,

any person who has a cause of action

(c) as mentioned in paragraph (a), against the owner or the driver, or

(d) as mentioned in paragraph (b), against the driver,

in respect of the bodily injury, death or property damage may bring an action against the corporation as nominal defendant, either alone or as a defendant with others alleged to be responsible for the injury, death or property damage, but in an action in which the names of both the owner and the driver of the vehicle are not known or ascertainable, recovery for property damage is limited to the amount by which the damages exceed the prescribed amount.

(2) Proceedings must not be brought against the corporation as nominal defendant under this section unless the person bringing them gives written notice to the corporation as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event within 6 months after the accident that caused the bodily injury, death or property damage.

(3) If, after an action referred to in subsection (1) has been commenced, it is alleged that the injury, death or property damage was caused or contributed to by another vehicle, but

(a) the names of both the owner and the driver of the vehicle are not ascertainable, or

(b) the name of the driver is not ascertainable and the owner is not liable to an action for damages for the injury, death or property damage,

the corporation may be added as a nominal defendant on the application of any party and must be added as a nominal defendant on its own application.

(4) In an action against the corporation as nominal defendant, the corporation may deny generally the allegations in respect of the unidentified vehicle and its owner and driver, and need not set out the facts on which it relies.

(5) In an action against the corporation as nominal defendant, a judgment against the corporation must not be given unless the court is satisfied that

(a) all reasonable efforts have been made by the parties to ascertain the identity of the unknown owner and driver or unknown driver, as the case may be, and

(b) the identity of those persons or that person, as the case may be, is not ascertainable.

(6) If the identity of the unknown owner or driver is ascertained before judgment is granted in an action against the insurer as nominal defendant, then, despite the limitation period in the Motor Vehicle Act, that owner or driver must be added as a defendant in the action in substitution for the corporation, subject to the conditions the court may specify.

(7) The corporation may, at any stage, compromise and settle the claim of a person entitled to commence an action under this section.

(8) On judgment against the corporation as nominal defendant under this section and expiration of the time limited for appeal, or on the compromise and settlement of a claim under this section, the corporation must pay toward satisfaction of the judgment or claim an amount that the corporation is authorized to pay under this Act and the terms, conditions and limits of the plan.

(9) If, under this section, a judgment has been obtained against the corporation as nominal defendant or the corporation has settled a claim, the corporation may apply

(a) to the court where the judgment has been obtained, or

(b) if a claim has been settled, to the court that would have had jurisdiction to entertain an action for the recovery of damages to the amount of the settlement

for an order certifying that a person was, at the time of the accident, the owner or driver of the vehicle that caused the bodily injury, death or property damage in respect of which the judgment was obtained or settlement made.

(10) If the court hearing an application under subsection (9) is satisfied on the evidence that the person named in the application was at the time of the accident the owner, driver or both of the vehicle involved in that accident, it may make the order applied for, unless it is satisfied that the person would not have been liable for damages if he or she had appeared and defended the action or, in the case of a claim settled before action, in an action that might have been brought to enforce the claim, or it may direct the trial of an issue.

(11) On the making of an order under subsection (10) or on judgment of the trial of an issue directed under that subsection, the person certified, whether or not the driver of the vehicle is named in an unexpired driver’s certificate and whether or not the vehicle is specified in an unexpired owner’s certificate, is liable to pay the corporation as a debt due and owing all amounts paid by it pursuant to any judgment or settlement under this section, and section 20 (12), (13) and (15) applies.

(12) The amount paid by the corporation to a claimant who ordinarily resides outside British Columbia is limited to the lesser of

(a) the amount limited by this Act, and

(b) the amount that a resident of British Columbia could recover under the same circumstances from a similar fund in the jurisdiction in which the claimant ordinarily resides.

(13) In this section, “owner”, in relation to a motor vehicle, includes a lessee.

Always talk to a lawyer for a hit and run claim in BC. Most injury lawyers agree to do a free legal consultation. Posted by personal injury lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness

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One responseHow to Make a Hit and Run Personal Injury Claim with ICBC

  • ICBC Not Required to Help Injury Claimant make a Proper Hit and Run Claim « Holness Law Group Blog

    August 15, 2012 10:04am

    [...] In British Columbia people that are injured in hit and run car accidents can claim against the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, ICBC, for their losses. There are however many limitations and exceptions as this money is coming from an uninsured recovery fund and not from an existing insurance policy. I have written several articles on hit and run so take a moment to review the basics of a hit and run injury claim in BC. [...]

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