Protecting Your Interest After a Hit & Run
In response to hearing the siren of an approaching fire engine, Cindy Li slowed in preparation to yield to it. While her vehicle was still moving, it was struck from behind by another car. She stopped, exited her car, walked back to the other car and spoke to the young male driver, requesting that he pull over to exchange information. As she returned to her car, the male drove around her and disappeared from sight.
Ms. Li went to the fire hall and spoke with a captain there. The captain told her that one of the firemen on the truck witnessed the collision. She obtained the captain's name and telephone number and reported the collision to ICBC. The collision was not reported to the police nor was there any information obtained from other motorists present at the collision.
After participating in the claims process ICBC told Ms. Li that she had not fulfilled her obligations to identify the offending driver and denied the claim as a hit and run. Li would have to proceed as a normal collision claim and as she did not have collision coverage, would have to pay for the damages herself. She sued ICBC in B.C. Supreme Court saying that she did what she could and ICBC should have advised her that she needed to do more. The court did not agree and dismissed the suit.
The Insurance (Vehicle) Act requires that the victim of a hit and run must make all reasonable efforts to discover who the driver and owner of the suspect vehicle is and satisfy the court that the identity of those persons cannot be found. If you were unable to find information at the scene initially, you might consider canvassing nearby homes or businesses, placing an ad in the newspaper or posting a sign requesting help. It is also wise to report the incident to police and ICBC immediately.
- Li v ICBC - Reasons for Judgment
- Remedy for Damage in a Hit and Run Accident - Section 24 Insurance (Vehicle) Act
- Hit and Run Claims - ICBC (pdf)