What happens if you’re injured by a hit and run driver? Are you on your own, with little or no hope of compensation?
Fortunately, there are provincial programs to help victims of hit and run drivers. In Alberta it’s called the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVAC). This program also ensures that victims of uninsured drivers receive compensation for their injuries. It’s important to note that MVAC does not compensate you for property damage, but strictly for personal injuries.
MVAC sets a combined limit of $200,000 for the victims of a particular accident. This means that multiple claimants must share a proportion of the $200,000 maximum if the total value of their claims exceeds this limit.
For example, suppose that your personal claim is for $100,000 and there are two other claimants with claims for $100,000 each. Since your claim is one-third of the $300,000 total, you would be entitled to $66,667, which is one-third of the $200,000 limit.
It’s important to note that MVAC does not guarantee compensation. It simply means there is a process enabling you to sue for compensation in the absence of a known driver/defendant. It means you’re suing the Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act as the nominal defendant. Just as with a known driver/defendant, you still must prove the extent of your injuries and that they were caused by the accident in question.
To be eligible to make a claim against the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC), the following criteria must be met, as explained in the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act, RSA 2000, C. M-22.:
- You must have suffered bodily injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident — property damage is not covered by the program.
- You must be a resident of Alberta or of a jurisdiction that has a similar program that offers coverage
- The motor vehicle accident must have occurred within Alberta.
- The accident must be solely the fault of an uninsured or unknown driver, and no one else.
Furthermore, the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act also sets out other conditions that may prevent you from obtaining the compensation you deserve, including the failure to serve the Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act with notice, the failure to obtain the consent of the Administrator, and the failure to bring the lawsuit against all those who could be considered as having a claim.
In short, if you have been injured in a car accident that resulted from the negligence of an uninsured or unknown driver, you are entitled to compensation and will have access to compensation through the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program. However, the process can be complicated and not without its share of confusion and stress. When you’re injured, the additional stress and confusion of this process is not something most want to deal with.
A personal injury lawyer can help take care of this complicated process and ensure you receive all of the compensation you’re entitled. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Learn more about the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program in this video.