What’s worse than getting into a car accident? Getting into one, and then having the other driver flee the scene. Why would the driver run? Impaired driving, uninsured vehicle, criminal record, expired driving license or just plain cowardice. Whatever the reason is, you are now put into a traumatic situation without any information of the party/individual that wronged you.
Too often victims of ‘Hit and Runs’, in the midst of shock, fail to execute the right steps and therefore fail to realize on the full value of their claim. You may be a victim of a hit and run but your do not have to be a victim of circumstances. There are ways in which you can ensure that you receive the adequate compensation you deserve and that the perpetrator received the justice they deserve.
What should I do immediately after?
Call 911 to report the accident, provide as much information as possible to the police.
Record and provide anything you can remember, such as:
- License plate
- Any details about the appearance of the driver if you can remember
- Is there any witnesses? Identify them if there are
- If the driver was swerving (could indicate they are under the influence)
- Date, location, time of day
- Appearance of the car who hit you
- Any details which you believe would help in the future
Once you have reported the crime, it is up to the police or RCMP to investigate the complaint and potentially press charges. Committing a hit and run is considered an indictable offence under sec. 252(1) of the Criminal Code. Upon investigation if the police or RCMP decide to charge the perpetrator and the court finds the individual guilty of an indictable offense, the will most likely face fines, license suspensions, criminal charges and possibly imprisonment. It is important to note that it is up to the discretion of the police or RCMP whether an investigation is made and a criminal proceeding is commenced. As a victim your legal recourse is through the civil system, this is where Higgerty Law can help. The team at Higgerty law are experienced in handling and prosecuting personal injury claims through the civil court system.
How you get help
If you have been injured in a Hit and Run, and are unaware of the perpetrator, there are still options for you. One of the ways in which victims of a hit and run in Alberta can recover is through a provincially run fund called the Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Fund (MVACF). The MVACF is designed to compensate victims of a motor vehicle accident when the other driver is either unknown or uninsured. The MVAF are just one avenue among many that can be accessed to ensure that you receive full compensation for your losses.
We understand that the process of claiming compensation due to a ‘Hit and Run’ can be tedious, complicated, and stressful to an individual. That is why Higgerty Law is here to help. The Higgerty Law team pride ourselves on having a strong dedication to client results. We care about you and getting the settlement you deserve. Contact us today for all Personal Injury matters