A hit-and-run auto accident is typically defined as a traffic collision with a person, object, or vehicle caused by a driver that knowingly leaves the scene without providing contact information. Few things may be more aggravating than another driver hitting your car and fleeing the scene without taking responsibility for the accident. The good news is, accident victims have an option to cover most losses.  

In Nova Scotia, every auto insurance policy includes coverage for damages caused by an uninsured or unidentified driver. This part of the policy is referred to as Section D. If you pay car insurance premiums, you have Section D protection. This means that if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, you are covered by insurance.  

What Happens if the Person Who Hit Me Leaves the Scene of the Accident and I’m unable to Identify Them?

When a driver is responsible for causing a collision, they have a legal obligation to remain at the accident scene. According to Nova Scotia’s Motor Vehicle Act, if a driver leaves the accident scene and is caught after the fact, they will receive six demerit points on their driving record. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the failure to stop at the scene of an accident can result in the driver losing their license and the privilege of getting a license in the future. If convicted of a hit-and-run, the driver can face up to five years in prison. Suppose the crash caused bodily harm or death, and the prosecution can prove that the accused was aware of the bodily harm or death. In that case, the negligent driver faces maximum penalties of up to 10 years in prison or life imprisonment. 

What to do after a hit-and-run accident 

If you are involved in a collision, and the other driver leaves the scene of the accident without providing contact information, there are specific actions you need to take. As with any type of car accident, the first step is to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. The next step is to call 911 to file a police report and receive medical attention. While you wait, start recording details of the accident that you can remember, such as the other vehicle’s colour, make, model, and license plate number. Take photos and videos of the scene, damages to your vehicle, and your injuries. If anyone witnessed the accident, get their contact details and ask if they are willing to give a police statement. 

Filing a hit-and-run accident claim 

It is important to know that Section D of every auto insurance policy has timeline requirements for filing a claim. Anyone injured in a car accident involving an unidentified driver must file a police report within 24 hours after the accident. A hit-and-run accident claim must be filed with your insurance provider within 30 days of the accident. There are instances when a car crash will cause injuries that prevent someone from meeting Section D timelines. If this happens, the insurance provider will most likely try to deny your claim. However, Nova Scotia’s Insurance Act will not allow an insurance company to dismiss a claim solely based on timelines alone. Under the Insurance Act, a judge has the right to use their discretion to relieve the injured victim from the consequences of not meeting the strict timelines. 

Who is Covered Under Section D?

To claim benefits under Section D, you must be named in the insurance policy. If you are not named in the insurance policy, in order to qualify for Section D coverage, you must be living with the insured named in the policy and be a spouse, common-law partner, or a dependent relative. The same rule applies if the policyholder is a corporation, unincorporated association, or partnership, extending coverage to any director, officer, employee, or partner of the insured named in the policy.  

Coverage applies to any person insured under the policy that is driving, being carried in or upon or entering or getting on to or alighting (descending) from the insured automobile. Access to Section D benefits can also come from various sources, including:  

  • Your insurance 
  • Your spouse’s insurance 
  • Your parents’ insurance 
  • Your employer’s insurance 
  • Your spouse’s employer’s insurance 
  • The at-fault driver’s insurance 

If you are injured by an uninsured or unidentified vehicle and are not at fault, the accident should not increase your insurance premiums. However, there is a chance your insurance company may consider you liable for the accident and increase your premiums as a result. You are entitled to ask the insurance company to reconsider their decision. Section D claims can be rather complicated, so it is recommended that you speak with a car accident lawyer before accepting liability or any form of compensation. 

How Much Can I Receive Under Section D After a Hit-and-Run?

Section D of your car insurance policy steps in to act as the at-fault driver who is uninsured or unidentified. Your insurance provider is required to pay all sums of compensation for an injury resulting from a car accident involving an uninsured or unidentified vehicle that you would otherwise be able to recover from the at-fault driver. The minimum Section D coverage limit for Nova Scotia policyholders is $500,000.  

Coverage Limits 

If you are a Nova Scotia resident and the car accident took place outside of the province, your insurance provider is only required to provide the minimum coverage amount legislated under Section D in the province where the accident occurred. For example, if you were involved in a hit-and-run accident in New Brunswick, you will most likely only be eligible to recover the minimum coverage limit of $200,000 legally required by the province. 

Some insured drivers are entitled to claim Section D benefits under more than one policy. Nova Scotia’s Insurance Action states that policyholders may not recover an amount exceeding the amount the insured would be entitled to receive under only one of the policies. In other words, you will only receive the amount of compensation awarded from one policy even if you process a claim through multiple insurance policies.  

What is the Difference Between Section A and Section D Coverage?

The main differences between Section A and Section D coverage are policy limits and if the at-fault driver is identified and insured. Section A is typically called a third-party liability claim. Section A provides coverage up to $1,000,000 (compared to $500,000 under Section D) for any damages or losses resulting from a car accident caused by another driver. The other driver must be identified and insured to file a third-party liability claim. Section A also covers the policyholder if they are found liable for a car accident causing injury or property damage. 

Our Experienced Lawyers at Valent Legal Can Help

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by an unidentified or uninsured driver, you do not have to deal with the aftermath on your own. An experienced car accident lawyer at Valent Legal can review your case and advise you on your legal rights and options to pursue financial compensation. If there are grounds for a lawsuit, our team is ready to fight on your behalf to recover the benefits you are entitled to.  

Tell Us What Happened.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no fees until you get a settlement or you win a judgment in court. Visit how we work or contact us to learn more.
Call or Text for a FREE CASE REVIEW
+1 902 443 4488 +1 902 200 4001
Have questions?
Get the answers you need. It's FREE.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.