Being injured in a motor vehicle is incredibly stressful. It only gets worse when an ICBC adjuster tells you that they can’t find the motorist and you do not have a valid claim. If this happens, you should seek legal advise because you have certain obligations that may allow you to make an injury claim. Under section 24 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act, ICBC is required to compensate you for death, injury, or for damage to a vehicle even if the at-fault motorist is unknown (a hit and run). In terms of vehicle damage, it is a matter of reporting the claim to ICBC and bringing your vehicle in for an inspection. ICBC usually has specific claim centres that inspect vehicles involved in hit-and-run accidents.
It is important to be honest about your reporting and identifying the actual damage caused by the Hit and Run motorist. ICBC is getting more and more sophisticated with their computing technology and they may be able to find the motorist by using the Tip Hotline and paint samples. Don’t try to “pull one over” on ICBC as you may be charged with fraud criminally. It also impacts your credibility and honesty with ICBC, which can go a long way with presenting your injury claim.
As to a bodily injury or death claim, although ICBC has to cover these losses, the current law requires that you take all reasonable steps to identify the at-fault vehicle and its driver. Section 24 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Act provides the clear reporting requirements:
First: One reporting requirement is that you give written notice to ICBC of the accident as reasonably practicable as possible, but no later than six months after the accident. The courts have interpreted this provision as requiring a motorist to give ICBC notice within days of the accident unless for some reason your injuries preclude you from doing so…
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Partner – Personal Injury and ICBC Car Accident Litigation
Lindsay Kenney LLP – Langley Office