A hit and run is defined by Barrie criminal law as a driver striking another vehicle or pedestrian and subsequently fleeing the scene of the accident. Under the criminal code and Highway Traffic Act, it is a crime for an at-fault driver to leave the scene of an accident which can lead to liability otherwise.
Barrie hit and run accidents can involve bikes, e-bikes, pedestrians, and other cars. These kinds of auto collisions also commonly involve people who have been drinking, using drugs, or texting while driving.
Automobile insurance can be so expensive in the province of Ontario that some people believe that they cannot afford it. If they are involved in an accident and panic, they may flee the scene. Many people who are involved in hit and runs often lack proper insurance on their vehicle or are not licensed to drive, in which case they may try to avoid the accident by running.
Many people believe that if someone without insurance is involved in an accident, they may face serious financial consequences. However, almost everyone in Ontario has a rider on their insurance policy stating that if they are in a car accident and the person that hits them is either underinsured or uninsured, they can look to their own policy to make a claim.
This rider can be very technical, but most people have it in their policy and pay only a couple of dollars per month toward it. If you hire a good lawyer, they can pursue an uninsured or underinsured claim. Even if the driver is never located or does not have insurance, you can still make a claim and advance your case.
Pedestrians involved in these accidents might have a reverse owner’s provision, presuming that the driver who hit them was negligent. Even if it does not result in criminal charges, the other driver may be presumed negligent for hitting a pedestrian. Similarly, if criminal charges or highway traffic charges are issued and there is a conviction under either of those statutes, the driver will be presumed to be negligent.
In Canada car crash cases, injured individuals are entitled to SABS (Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule) as well as income replacement benefits – also known as not-earned benefits – if they do not work. They may also be entitled to medical rehabilitation with intended care benefits, as well as general damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life from the at-fault driver. Injured individuals are entitled to a portion of their economic losses and medical damages that are not covered by their SABS.
Punitive damages can also be awarded in Barrie hit and run collision cases; however, the laws in Canada surrounding such damages are relatively complex and may require an analysis by a seasoned legal professional. The courts are reluctant to punish someone twice; if a driver is punished in the criminal justice system, it may be more difficult to obtain punitive damages in a civil setting.
After someone has been in any accident, they should contact a lawyer immediately, because they will likely need help obtaining SABs, assembling a care team, and preserving evidence – all of which should be handled promptly.
A lawyer can help with hit and run accident claims in Barrie by assisting injured parties with the liability investigation to find the at-fault driver. Those seeking a lawyer should do their research and verify that the lawyer they are hiring is a certified specialist ranked on Lexpert, has the right kind of credentials, and has some ties to their community. Law enforcement might bring in a private investigator, but our skilled legal team can work with local police and your insurance company.
Even if the driver does not have insurance themselves, there is a motor vehicle accident claims fund in Ontario for people who do not have access to insurance otherwise. If someone is hit by an individual who does not have access to their own policies, Rastin Trial Lawyers can help them make their case. People who have been injured in hit and run accidents should reach out to a lawyer from our firm as soon as possible.