No one wants to be involved in a car accident; much less one where the driver at fault flees the scene. In a hit and run scenario where someone’s vehicle collides with yours or with you as a pedestrian, you may want to file a legal claim for compensation.
If you are not able to find the driver, it is possible for the ICBC to claim that you fabricated the accident. For this reason, you must do everything in your power to ascertain the driver’s identity.
To avoid having your case dismissed, here are some steps to take after a hit and run:
Take note of the fleeing driver’s vehicle
After a car accident, you are likely to be in shock, which can quickly turn into anger when you realize the driver has fled the scene. However, despite what you are feeling, you must remain calm and focussed. It is important that you take note of things such as the licence plate number, the vehicle make and model, colour, and any damages.
You should then take steps to ensure your own safety and that of other road users. If possible, move your vehicle out of the way of oncoming vehicles, switch the engine off and turn on hazard lights. Check for injuries and call an ambulance if there is cause for concern.
Inform the police
Never try to follow the fleeing driver, instead remain at the scene and call the police to make a report. A police report can play an instrumental role in establishing what took place and can significantly aid your claim processing. Provide the police with the information you have and let them focus on finding the responsible party.
Gather all relevant information
The police may not be available immediately to process the scene. In such a situation, you must collect as much information as you can. Try to get written statements from witnesses and include their names, addresses and contact information. Take photos of the scene and the damage to your vehicle, and include a written account of the events.
Call the ICBC
You should notify the ICBC immediately after a hit and run. You can make a report right there at the scene and update your claim later as more information becomes available.
Speak to a lawyer
Because the offending driver has fled the scene, hit and run cases are more complex than other car accident claims. In addition to taking the steps above, it may be in your best interest to speak with a hit and run lawyer about your case. A lawyer will walk you through the claim process and where necessary, can help you take additional steps such as placing signage at the scene of the accident or advertising it to ask additional eyewitnesses to come forth.
If you were the victim of a hit and run car accident and you are in the Greater Vancouver area or Surrey, Nirwan Law Corporation can help. So, call us today or come in for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Are you injured? No problem, we’ll come to you.