Hit and Run Accidents - What You Need to Know
HIT AND RUN CLAIMS IN B.C. - THEY'RE A MINE FIELD !!
It felt like a bomb exploding under your feet. You were stopped at a red light and all of a sudden your car was hit from behind.
And the next thing you know you're hurtling towards your steering wheel.
It took a few seconds to figure out what had happend. But by then it was too late. The black SUV that rear-ended you had sped off.
Your head was spinning . " What should I do ?" Who should I call ?" " Did anybody see what just happened ?"
If you been injured in a hit and run accident in British Columbia, what you do immediately following your accident is crucial. Because, if you fail to take the appropriate steps you'll be unable to get compensated for your injuries.
The law in B.C. says that you must make " all reasonable efforts" to identify the driver and the vehicle that hit you. Or to put it another way, in order to be successful with a hit and run claim in B.C., you need to show that you took all reasonable steps to identify the driver and the vehicle that struck, but were unable to do so.
The bottom line here is that you need to play detective.
What does " all reasonable efforts" mean ?
The circumstances of your accident affect what's entailed in the defintion of " all reasonable efforts".
However, at a MINIMUM, you should do the following:
1. Call the police right away. And be sure to get a police file number. You'll need to provide that you actually called.
2. If there are people around, find if they saw the accident or the immediate aftermath. If so, get their name, address and telephone numbers
3. If there are business, houses or other buildings near where the accident ocurred, go bang on some doors. It's possible you may be able to drum up witnesses
4. Call ICBC right away and report your claim.
5. Post signs at the scene of the accident asking that witnesses contact you. And take pictures of the signs so can prove you actually posted them.
6. Run an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper looking for witnessees. And be sure to keep a copy of the ad. Once again, you'll need to prove you ran the ad.
There you go. Remember, if you're involved in a Hit and Run accident in B.C. you need to make sure you've followed the rules. Otherwise, you claim for compensation could be out the window.
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