Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyers Assisting Clients with Underinsured, Uninsured and Unidentified Claims
All vehicle owners in Alberta are required to have liability insurance. You cannot register a vehicle without providing proof of insurance. However, this does not guarantee that all drivers on the road are complying with the law. There are many circumstances in which drivers allow their insurance to lapse, go for periods without insurance coverage, or simply drive with no insurance at all. This can be a serious problem if these drivers injure someone in a motor vehicle accident and the injured person wants to claim damages. Similar legal issues arise if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident and the other driver flees the scene.
If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, or cannot identify the other driver because they left the scene of the accident, you should consult with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Obtaining timely legal advice can help you take all necessary steps to ensure your rights are protected, even in these difficult situations.
At Cuming & Gillespie in Calgary, our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers have many years of experience assisting clients who have been involved in accidents with complicating factors such as uninsured drivers, or a hit and run. We can help you take legal action against a driver who fled the scene or a driver without insurance and ensure you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our team has a deep interest in your recovery: we want you to be able to move forward after your accident and get the assistance you need to make this happen. We take a collaborative approach to ensure your claim is handled with the utmost care. We regularly work with medical and other professionals to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks and all aspects of your claim are taken care of.
What is the Recourse if the At-Fault Driver Does Not Have Insurance?
In order to protect those who have been injured by drivers who either do not have insurance, or are underinsured, the Government of Alberta introduced the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims program (MVAC). This allows for injured parties to make a claim for damages if the driver is uninsured, underinsured, or unidentified. To be eligible for a claim through MVAC, you must:
- Have suffered bodily injury due to 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.
Potential Difficulties with MVAC & Why Hiring Knowledgeable Lawyers is Imperative
While MVAC is a great option for those who have no other recourse, there are some important things to keep in mind:
- You must notify MVAC within 90 days of the accident (in the case of a hit & run). For other accidents, notice must be given as soon as possible. If you fail to provide notice, MVAC may deny your claim solely on that ground.
- Typically, you must also provide notice to an insurance company. Legally speaking, you have 2 years from the date of the accident to bring a claim.
- For MVAC to become involved, a Statement of Claim (i.e. the beginning of a civil claim in court) must be filed at the courthouse and served to all the named Defendants.
- Once MVAC is involved, the claim proceeds as it normally would.
- There is a $200,000 cap on damages per accident. If there are multiple victims from the same accident, the $200,000 will be split between the victims based on the value of the claims.
Prior to involving MVAC in your claim, you must ensure that there is no potential insurance coverage available to you.
Obtaining legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer is critical following an accident. They can help you understand your options, ensure your rights are protected, and ensure that you are best positioned to recover maximum damages for your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can also help if you have missed the deadline for notifying MVAC, or if there is another technical issue with your claim.
Experienced Calgary Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers Assisting Clients with Hit and Run Claims
If you have been in a car accident, motorcycle accident, accident involving a truck, and the driver either cannot be identified or is not insured, contact Cuming & Gillespie. Our personal injury lawyers know how best to handle your claim to obtain maximum financial recovery for your injuries. We can answer any questions you may have about MVAC and how to proceed with a claim. Call us at 403-571-0555 or contact us online to book an appointment today for a free consultation.