Generally, after an Ontario car or truck accident, the drivers involved will pull their cars over to the side, get out of their vehicles and exchange insurance information. An innocent injured driver may then bring a car accident lawsuit or claim against the driver that caused the car accident to recover financial damages.
The financial compensation is recoverable from the at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage in his car insurance policy. The injured driver may receive financial compensation up to the limit purchased by the at-fault driver. If the injured driver wins his lawsuit at trial or settles the case prior to trial, the at-fault driver’s car insurance company will pay the injured driver.
What happens if the injured driver was a victim of a hit-and-run accident? The at-fault driver immediately leaves the accident scene, and the injured driver has no idea who hit him. The identity of the at-fault driver cannot be determined; therefore, there is no applicable and collectible bodily injury liability coverage that can compensate the injured driver. Does it mean the injured driver is out of luck if he has a viable car accident lawsuit because there is no one to sue? No, it does not.
All motor vehicle insurance policies in Ontario are required to provide unidentified and uninsured motorist coverage pursuant to section 265 of the Ontario Insurance Act. An unidentified automobile is defined as:
… an automobile with respect to which the identity of either the owner or driver cannot be ascertained.
An uninsured automobile is defined as:
… an automobile with respect to which neither the owner nor driver thereof has applicable and collectible bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance for its ownership, use or operation, but does not include an automobile owned by or registered in the name of the insured or his or her spouse.
Therefore, every motor vehicle insurance policy in Ontario must have coverage for injuries caused by uninsured and unidentified drivers. An injured driver would file a claim or lawsuit against his own insurance company for damages.
As mentioned above, this type of coverage typically comes into play when the insured driver is injured in a hit-and-run accident. Another situation involves at-fault drivers who do not have an auto insurance policies. Even though Ontario law requires all drivers to have car insurance policies, not all drivers comply with the law.
Click here to see part 2 of the article, which discusses who else may be covered under an uninsured or unidentified automobile insurance coverage other than the insured driver.
Help After an Ontario Hit-and-Run Accident
If you were a driver, passenger or pedestrian in a hit-and-run accident in Kingston, Ottawa or Whitby, call the lawyers at Bergeron Clifford. The experienced car accident injury lawyers at Bergeron Clifford will help you obtain the financial compensation you are entitled to. Call 1-866-384-5886 schedule a FREE consultation.