On average, nearly 52,000 hit and run incidents are experienced in BC each year resulting in 2,100 injured victims and 7 deaths. Victims who are injured have the right to file an injury claim with ICBC and access funds intended to assist hit and run victims in their recoveries. To make a hit and run claim in BC the accident must meet three conditions:
- It must have occurred on a BC roadway that is publicly accessible;
- The accident must have arisen out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle; and
- The owner and driver must not have been identifiable.
It is important to note that in order to make a claim for a hit and run accident, you do not have to be insured with ICBC. Further, if you have ICBC insurance, you have additional coverage that extends to hit and run accidents throughout Canada and the US.
The first two conditions are not as restrictive as they may appear. Under the first condition, any space intended for the passage of vehicles and under some circumstances even private property (ie. private parking lots) are included. Accidents off roadways may also be eligible for coverage if it was the result of something that occurred to a vehicle while on the roadway to cause an accident (ie. the vehicle swerved to miss debris on the roadway and hits a pedestrian on the sidewalk). The second condition, similarly, covers a broad range of accidents.
The third condition is perhaps the most difficult one to satisfy as the victim is responsible for taking all reasonable steps to identify the driver or the vehicle. Steps must be taken, typically within days or a few weeks of the accident to attempt to identify the owner and driver involved in the accident. These include:
- Attempting to get identification from the other driver if they stop
- Attempting to record the plate number of the vehicle.
- Getting contact information of any witnesses.
- Calling the police immediately.
- Reporting the accident to ICBC as soon as possible.
- Posting signs, asking nearby residents or businesses if the saw the accident and placing ads in the newspaper or online to gather information about the accident.
Critically, a hit and run victim must file a hit and run report with ICBC no later than 6 months after the accident.
If you, or someone you know was involved in a hit and run accident, waiting too long to speak to a lawyer may mean losing out on the protections of the hit and run fund. The lawyers at League and Williams provide free consultations to victims of hit and runs and have the knowledge and experience in hit and run injury law to ensure victims are able to access the compensation they’re entitled to. Our lawyers may be reached at 250-888-0002 or via email.