By statute, if the negligent actions of an unidentifiable motorist caused a claim, ICBC is responsible for its payment.
The hit and run “fund” has a number of statutory protections. Foremost the victim has to give a written notice to ICBC “as soon as reasonably practicable and in any event within 6 months after the accident that caused the bodily injury, death or property damage”. ICBC has a special form for this purpose, called a “CL45”. Failure to give written notice within six months will usually be a complete bar of the claim. This rule does not work a hardship on most people, unless they are in a long-term coma, or are under some other kind of significant disability.
Process of making a claim
Also, there is a requirement that a vehicle owner who makes a claim has to report to the police the circumstances in which the damage occurred. The claimant has 48 hours after the discovery of the damage.
Additionally, the claimant must be able to show that “all reasonable efforts have been made to ascertain the identity of the unknown owner and driver or unknown driver”. What does this mean, exactly? Well, it is pretty subjective. Certainly it must be shown that the claimant was not neglectful in making an effort to get a plate number. If witnesses are available at the accident scene, their contact information should be recorded.
No evidence of Hit and Run
Often there are bits of the fleeing vehicle at the scene. This “debris” should be carefully preserved. On more than a few occasions, a license plate is knocked off the escaping vehicle. Sometimes some of the plate numbers are “embossed” into the paint of the victim’s vehicle. Regrettably, though, on many occasions, the hit and run driver makes good his escape without leaving any evidence.
If the police have conducted an investigation, the claimant may be able to rely on the fact that the matter has been professionally investigated.
The requirement for reasonable efforts to ascertain the identity of the unknown driver does provide ICBC. And, also, the courts with a way of denying a suspicious claim. Without coming right out and calling the claimant a liar, all that needs to be said is that for specified reasons the claimant was not sufficiently industrious in trying to solve the mystery.
Financial Matter in Hit and Run
If the victim can make a claim, it will be subject to a $750 deductible. It will be capped off at $200,000, regardless of the severity of the injuries and loss.
There are a lot of people on the road who will try to escape when involved in a crash. Drivers of stolen vehicles or uninsured vehicles, unlicensed drivers, drunk drivers, escaped criminals and all kinds of people who for their own reasons do not want to be there when the police arrive. Watch out, and please, drive carefully.
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