Hit By An Uninsured Driver

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Navigating the Aftermath: What to Do When Hit by an Uninsured Driver in Alberta

In Alberta, all vehicles on the roads must have automobile insurance. Sometimes, due to oversight or life stresses, people forget to renew or drive uninsured. Various situations may lead to driving without insurance. As such, the need for coverage to handle unforeseen events and compensate others in case of accidents is essential.

In a non-fault car accident, the other driver’s insurance covers your vehicle damage and injuries. However, if the at-fault driver lacks insurance, questions arise. Notably, property damage and injury claims are treated separately.

What Does The Law Say?

On January 1, 2022, through legislative changes, the Direct Compensation for Property Damage (“DCPD”) came into effect. The purpose of the DCPD is to create consistency for property damage claims.

This is done by having each person’s insurance company repair the insured’s vehicle or compensate them for their vehicle. This is done regardless of who is at fault depending on the coverage under the policy. If a person is at fault for an accident and they have collision and comprehensive, then their insurance company will cover them for any property damage. Further, the insurance will cover any injury claim that may be made by the passengers of any other vehicles involved in the accident. However, if a person does not have collision and comprehensive, and they are at fault, their insurance company may not provide coverage for any property damage claims. They will only provide coverage for the personal injury claims that arise.

Although the insurance company compensates a not-at-fault driver, they might file a subrogated claim against the other party to recover costs. If both parties have valid insurance, they often resolve property damage claims independently.

What If I Am The Uninsured Driver?

An uninsured driver is likely to get a ticket and may be sued by the opposing insurance company for property damage and injury compensation.

What If I Am Hit By The Uninsured Driver?

In the case of a not-at-fault driver’s injury, they need to sue the at-fault driver. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC), established in 1947, ensures compensation for victims. Often the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (“MVAC”) will be named as a party (defendant) to a claim. MVAC to ensures there is compensation available for victims who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident through no fault of their own.

THE MVAC Process

Once a claim is filed, it will have to be served directly on the at-fault driver. This is typically done using a process server, as personal service is required for commencement documents such as a Civil Claim or a Statement of Claim. Once served, the at-fault driver will provide the Claim to their insurance company. However, if the at-fault driver does not have insurance, then they may want to contact MVAC. Should the at-fault driver be served with a claim, but they cannot afford a lawyer or do not want to defend the action, they can inform MVAC, the plaintiff or their counsel that they will not be defending the action and allow themselves to be Noted in Default.

Should the at-fault driver be Noted in Default then MVAC will step in and defend the claim on their behalf. MVAC will only deal with injury claims and does not compensate anyone for property damage claims. However, it is important to note that if MVAC steps in and takes over the defense of a claim, then the defendant no longer has a say in how MVAC deals with the claim or the amount of the settlement. Nonetheless, should there be a settlement or judgment MVAC will pay the amount from a fund and the defendant will have to repay MVAC for any amounts paid out.

We Can Help!

We understand that navigating the legal complexities of accidents involving uninsured drivers can be overwhelming. If you find yourself in such a situation, we are here to help. We can assist you in understanding your rights, guide you through the legal process, and explore options for compensation. Your peace of mind matters, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Call us today at 403-225-8810 or email us directly here to schedule a free consultation.