While we would all hope that everyone would take accountability for their actions, we also know that many people do not. Hit and runs are a common type of accident in which a pedestrian, or a driver of a motor vehicle, are hit by another motor vehicle who fails to stop and take accountability, and instead flees the scene.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a hit and run, here are some important tips to remember to protect your rights and your ability to get justice:
- Licence Plate Number
While it is easier said than done, especially in more serious collisions which can render someone unconscious or unable to move, trying to identify the licence plate number is your best bet at identifying the driver of the motor vehicle that hit you.
Even if it does not reveal the driver, it can reveal who the owner of the motor vehicle is, and the owner can be held responsible for the accident.
- Vehicle Description
In more serious cases, police may get involved. If you were unable to get the licence plate number, your next best option at identifying the driver or owner of the motor vehicle that hit you is gathering a description of the vehicle. While getting the make and model of a motor vehicle would be a great step in identifying the driver or owner, not everyone is a motor vehicle enthusiast who is able to tell what type of motor vehicle it is that hit them. Still, getting these other details can also be of assistance:
- Color of the motor vehicle;
- Type of motor vehicle (e.g. truck, pickup truck, sedan, SUV, etc.); and
- Any other unique features of the car (e.g. maybe you noticed it had a spoiler, a broken headlight, or antenna decoration, etc.).
- Report to Police ASAP
It is vital that you contact the police as soon as possible and let them know of the accident and as many details as you can gather, including the vehicle information described above, as well as the time and location of the accident. The police or your lawyers may be able to get footage from security cameras in the area to help identify the motor vehicle.
In any case the police will make an incident report which is proof that the accident actually occurred. This will be of the utmost importance if you decide to pursue a case for your injuries as a result of the hit and run.
- Your Car Insurance Company
Your own car insurance policy has a clause which covers you for injuries caused as a result of an unidentified vehicle. You would need to litigate against your own insurance company.
If do not have a car insurance policy but you are a dependent on someone who has a car insurance policy, you can litigate against that insurance company.
- Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF)
Where all other avenues were tried and there has been no luck in identifying the motor vehicle, you can still get compensation for your injuries.
To be eligible, you have to reside in Ontario and have been involved in a hit and run in Ontario which caused you injury. The MVACF also applies if you know the driver/owner but it turns out that they are not insured or do not have enough insurance.
The MVACF is a publicly funded store of money for eligible individuals to receive compensation. For more information on the MVACF, see this link and contact a member of our team today.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a hit and run accident, you may be able entitled to financial compensation. Please contact our team at JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP for a free initial consultation.