Who Will Pay If You Are Injured in a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?

In Ontario, if you are injured in a car accident, you have the right to commence a court action (lawsuit) against the person responsible for the accident.  In this court action, you can receive compensation for your pain, your suffering, your expenses, your loss of income, the costs of future treatments and your inability to do your housework. 

What happens when you do not know who caused the accident?  In most hit-a-run accidents, the person responsible for the accident cannot be identified.  This can also happen when the driver who caused the accident does not remain at the scene of the accident or leaves before being identified.

What if you have car insurance?

If you have automobile insurance or are covered under an automobile insurance policy in Ontario, you have access to insurance coverage even if the at-fault driver was not identified.  Your own automobile insurance company (or the auto insurance providing coverage) will pay.  This is part of the Ontario Automobile Policy.

Your automobile insurer will pay the amount that you would have had the right to receive from the unidentified driver.  Even if it’s your automobile insurance company that is paying, you must prove that you have suffered injuries and losses because of the accident.   

You must report the accident to the police in the 24 hours following the accident or as soon as possible. You must also give a written statement to your auto insurance company within 30 days of the accident. You may also have to make the car that was involved in the accident available for inspection of any damages.

If you do not report the accident to the police, you may still be entitled to some compensation but you could be responsible for limiting the ability of your insurance company to investigate the accident.

What if you are not insured?

If there is no automobile insurance to respond to your claim, you can obtain compensation from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund will act on behalf of the unidentified driver. The Ministry of Finance of Ontario is responsible for the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.

The maximum amount that you can get from the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund is $200,000. The Fund can also pay an amount for your legal costs.

What about Accident Benefits?

In addition to commencing a court action for your losses and injuries, don’t forget that you may be entitled to accident benefits to pay for your treatments and part of your income loss.

Accident benefits are typically paid by your automobile insurance company but can also be paid by the other car’s insurance company or even the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Funds if you were not insured at the time of the accident.

Want more information?

If you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, consult a lawyer as soon as possible to know your rights.  You can contact one of our lawyers at Burn Tucker Lachaîne for a free consultation.

By Eliane Lachaîne of Burn Tucker Lachaîne LLP Personal Injury Lawyers on February 09, 2016
Tags: Accident Benefits, Car Accidents, Free Consultation, Hit and Run