While all vehicle owners in Alberta are required to have liability insurance, there are circumstances where individuals are involved in a motor vehicle collision that occurs as a result of the negligence of an uninsured driver. If you are injured in a collision with an uninsured vehicle/driver, or are the victim of a hit and run where neither the driver nor vehicle is identified, you may wonder who a claim can be commenced against. In order to protect victims in such circumstances, the Government of Alberta introduced the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims program (MVAC), through which a claim can be made and compensation can be sought. In order to be eligible to claim through MVAC, you must:
- Have suffered bodily injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident (note: property damage is not covered by the program);
- Be a resident of Alberta or a resident of a jurisdiction with a similar program in place that covers Albertans out-of-province; and
- Have been involved in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Alberta, the liability for which rests with the uninsured or unknown driver.
Notice on MVAC must be made as soon as possible and in the case of a hit and run, within 90 days of the accident. Failure to provide proper notice can be grounds for denial of your claim. For MVAC to be involved, a Statement of Claim must be filed and served on all named Defendants, and in the case of an uninsured Defendant driver, that individual must be noted in default (i.e. must not have filed any document in response to the Claim). Once MVAC is involved, you are able to proceed with your claim in the usual manner. There is a maximum to the compensation available through MVAC of $200,000 per accident. Therefore if there is more than one victim of the same accident, the $200,000 would be split proportionally by the value of the claims.