Was your car recently damaged by a hit-and-run driver? Were you cycling or crossing the street and hit by a vehicle that drove off? To help you get through this stressful situation, here are a few tips for dealing with a hit-and-run claim.
What’s a hit-and-run accident?
A hit-and-run happens when a driver is involved in a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian and doesn’t remain at the scene of the accident. According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, failing to stop after a traffic accident is considered a criminal offence. Drivers who flee the scene of an accident can face many repercussions, including a fine of up to $2,000, licence suspension and imprisonment.
Steps to follow
If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run, whether as a motorist or pedestrian, follow these steps to ensure you get the justice you deserve:
Seek medical care: If you were injured in the accident, seek immediate medical attention. Your health is what is most important. Keep records of any treatment you received; this information can be used as evidence to secure fair compensation for your damages.
Gather information: Jot down as much information about the incident as possible, like the date, time and location. If you caught a glimpse of the fleeing vehicle, write down the colour, make, model and licence plate number. If there were any other people around, ask them to be eyewitnesses and take down their names and phone numbers. If the accident occurred in a location with security cameras, try to find out if the offender was caught on tape.
Report the incident to the police: In Ontario, you must immediately notify the police if you were injured in the accident or if the damage to your vehicle is more than $2,000. Otherwise, you have 24 hours to report the hit and run to a Collision Reporting Centre. If you don’t take this step, your insurance company could consider the accident your fault.
Alert your insurance company: Next, call your insurance company. To qualify for accident benefits, you must report the accident to your insurance company within seven days. Keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay the collision deductible on your insurance plan if the hit-and-run driver can’t be identified.
Reach out to a personal injury lawyer: Applying for accident benefits following a hit-and-run accident can be extremely difficult to navigate alone. A personal injury lawyer can review the facts of your case, help you determine the options available to you and deal with insurance companies. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the faster they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact a car accident lawyer in Oshawa and Lindsay
If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a car accident, the personal injury lawyers at Kelly Greenway Bruce can assist you with filing a timely claim to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today at our Oshawa or Lindsay location.