What happens if I am injured in a car accident and the other driver doesn’t have insurance or fled the scene?
Thankfully it doesn’t happen that often in Ontario. That being said, it still happens more often than it should. If you are injured in a car accident and the other driver does not have insurance or flees the scene there is a hierarchy of what will happen. All is not lost.
In Ontario, when you are injured in a car accident you can claim accident benefits through your own car insurance and you may be able to sue the at-fault driver for their negligence.
If you are injured in a car accident you would apply to your own insurer for accident benefits for lost income and rehabilitation expenses amongst other things. If you do not have your own car insurance you need to assess if there are any policies that will cover you.
Here are the questions to ask:
- Have I leased or rented a vehicle for more than 30 days?
- Do I have regular access to a company vehicle?
If the answer to these questions is no then you move on:
- Am I a listed driver on someone else’s insurance policy?
If no, then:
- Were you the occupant in someone else’s vehicle? 5. Were you a pedestrian or a bicyclist that was struck by a vehicle? 6. If you were an occupant in a vehicle that does not have insurance, were there any
additional vehicles involved in the collision?
If the answer to all these questions are no, then you would apply to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund, for your accident benefits claim.
It only happens in rare circumstances that there will be no insurance policy to respond to your claim. However, it does happen, and when it does it can complicate the claims process.
In reviewing the above questions, if you are an occupant of someone else’s vehicle then you would apply to their insurer. But if that vehicle was uninsured then you would look to see if there were any other vehicles involved in the collision, and if so you would apply to their insurance. If you were a pedestrian or cyclist and you did not have your own insurance you would apply to the insurance company of the driver that hit you.
It is only if there is no possible insurer to respond to your claim that one would apply to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund.
Lawsuit Against an Uninsured or Unidentified Driver
In Ontario, you may have the right to sue the driver and/or owner who caused the collision. In the normal course it would be their insurance that would respond to your claim. In the event that the at fault parties are uninsured, underinsured, or unidentified, your own insurance policy would cover the claim up to your own policy limits.
If however, you do not have a policy of insurance and the vehicle/driver in question does not have insurance or cannot be identified, then Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund would cover the claim up to the limit of $200,000.00
For more information feel free to contact Catherine Shearer (@guelph_injury_lawyer) at McKenzie Lake Law Firm LLP, operating in Guelph, Ontario.