Hit & Run Accidents and Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In Ontario, basic automobile insurance policies are required to include coverage for damages resulting from incidents with uninsured drivers or hit-and-run situations, thereby offering financial protection and compensation to those affected. This coverage applies in situations where your vehicle suffers damage from an unidentified at-fault driver, irrespective of whether the vehicle was stationary or if the at-fault driver fled the scene post-accident.

Immediate Steps Following a Hit-and-Run

Within 24 hours of the incident, it’s crucial to report to the police to facilitate the apprehension and legal action against the escaping driver, since fleeing an accident scene is a grave violation that may lead to legal prosecution and imprisonment. Promptly reporting the incident also aids in the processing of your insurance claim.

It’s important to seek medical care immediately following the accident, no matter the initial assessment of your injuries, as some injuries may deteriorate over time. Document any information about the hit-and-run vehicle and photograph the damage. Collecting statements from witnesses and reviewing surveillance footage can additionally bolster your claim.

Within 7 days of the accident, inform your insurance provider about the incident and your intention to file a claim, submitting a comprehensive written account and supporting evidence within 30 days.

Coverage for Uninsured Automobiles

Pursuing legal action against your insurer for a hit-and-run could qualify you for up to $200,000 in compensation for personal injuries with basic uninsured automobile coverage. This coverage serves as a stand-in for what would typically be sought from an identifiable at-fault driver. Note that if multiple victims are involved, the $200,000 limit is shared among them, and may be reduced by $25,000 in the presence of property damage claims.

If you lack collision coverage, your policy does not cover damage to your own vehicle in such circumstances. However, your insurance premiums should not be affected following an accident with an unidentified driver, though you will be responsible for the deductible.

Pedestrians or cyclists without any form of vehicle insurance can seek compensation through the Ontario Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF), which provides up to $200,000 in accident benefits.

By adding the OPCF-44R endorsement to your vehicle insurance, you and your dependents can access increased liability coverage up to $2 million for incidents involving hit-and-run drivers.

To successfully file a claim, you must demonstrate to your insurance that an unidentified vehicle was responsible. The difficulty in proving hit-and-run incidents may complicate claims, potentially leading to a denial in the absence of adequate evidence. Nevertheless, promptly documenting the incident and collecting evidence can enhance your claim’s validity.

Uninsured automobile coverage is specifically designed to cover financial losses from injuries caused by uninsured, unidentified, or underinsured drivers, ensuring compensation for substantial expenses like rehabilitation and lost wages resulting from the accident.

Statutory Accident Benefits

Those injured in a vehicular accident, including pedestrians, cyclists, or motorists, are entitled to claim statutory accident benefits (SABs) from their own insurance provider. This coverage also extends to uninsured passengers injured in a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run, allowing them to claim benefits through the driver’s insurance. Furthermore, children involved in hit-and-run incidents while on a bike or on foot may access benefits through their parent’s car insurance policy.

 



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