There are times when people are injured in a car accident, through no fault of their own, only to discover the driver responsible for the accident was/is not covered by a valid insurance policy. In certain cases, injured persons would be able to make a claim through Section D of their own insurance policy for damages sustained through the actions of an unidentified or uninsured driver, provided certain criteria are satisfied. However, what happens when someone without access to their own insurance coverage is injured by an uninsured/unknown negligent driver?
Many people think that they’re essentially out of luck in this situation. There is however another option in these unfortunate situations. Uninsured persons who are injured through the negligence of an uninsured or unknown driver can make a claim against the Facility Association of Nova Scotia. The Facility Association is required under the provincial Insurance Act to provide insurance to those who have difficulty getting an insurance policy, but more importantly as it relates to making an injury claim, to administer what’s known as the Uninsured Automobile Funds in Nova Scotia.
Persons who may claim from the Fund include persons who are not able to obtain satisfaction for damages under a contract of automobile insurance; those who do not have other insurance; and those who do have other insurance, but it is inadequate.
In such situations, the Facility Association basically “steps into the shoes” of the would be negligent third party (the uninsured driver) and injured persons are able to bring a claim in the ordinary fashion, with a few distinct procedural differences (such as certain court filing requirements). Otherwise, the claim process is basically the same as it would be as against a regularly insured third party driver, which would include settlement negotiations, and if necessary, discovery examinations or ultimately a trial.
If you sustain injuries in a car accident as a result of an uninsured or unidentified driver and do not have access to your own insurance policy, it is very important to report the incident to police as soon as possible. If you believe you may be eligible to make a claim of this kind, you should also speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to make the proper arrangements to notify and/or make a claim through the Facility Association. These claims can be complex and it is advisable to consult with an injury lawyer right away after the accident.