If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have valid insurance or flees the scene, you may not have anyone to sue for your injuries.
The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program (MVAC) provides you with a way to sue and get payment for your injuries. As a victim, you may qualify for up to $200,000 – if there’s more than one victim, the payment will be a pro-rated spilt between all of you.
Read the Alberta Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program booklet for more information.
Payments from MVAC are a last resort for victims. This means if there’s any possible payment through insurance – even a partial payment – you’re not eligible to receive a settlement through MVAC.
Claims are only eligible if:
- you suffered bodily injuries from a vehicle accident – property damage isn’t eligible
- you’re a resident of Alberta – if you live in another jurisdiction with a similar program, you may still be eligible
- the accident happened in Alberta
- the accident was the fault of an uninsured or unknown driver
- only the uninsured or unknown driver is at fault
Interim medical expenses
As an injured victim, you can get medical payments through your own insurance policy – commonly known as Section B medical benefits.If you’ve been injured by an uninsured driver and you’ve used all your Section B medical benefits, you may be eligible to apply for benefits with MVAC. For more information, contact MVAC.
There are multiple steps you must complete before you can receive a settlement. A lawyer can determine if you’re eligible for compensation and fulfill the necessary legal steps needed to receive a settlement. Visit Find legal assistance in Alberta for information about legal aid and how to find a lawyer.
Before you can file a claim, you must:
- investigate all possible insurance coverage, even partial coverage
- contact your insurance company to pay for interim medical expenses – MVAC only provides benefits for these expenses in unique cases
- file a lawsuit against the person or people liable for the accident and your injuries – you should find legal assistance to help you with this process
- serve a notice of your lawsuit on the liable person or people
If you’ve been in an accident and the driver fled the scene, you must collect contact information from witnesses and canvass for other possible witnesses.
If you don’t know who the at-fault driver is, you must file a lawsuit against “The Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Act.” You’re encouraged to contact a lawyer for help with this process.
To file a claim, you must first file a lawsuit against everyone liable. Generally, you have 2 years from the accident to file a lawsuit. It’s recommended you find legal assistance to help you file a lawsuit and begin your claim.
Hit and run accidents
For hit and run accidents, you must notify MVAC about your potential claim within 90 days of the accident. Failing to notify MVAC can result in your claim being denied.
Uninsured driver accidents
For accidents with uninsured drivers, it’s recommended you notify MVAC of your potential claim as soon as possible.
After MVAC has received all required documents, your file will be assigned to an adjuster who will:
- review your claim
- investigate your claim including liability and insurance of everyone involved
- determine your compensation, if any
Investigations and compensation negotiations can take a long time and might require you to participate in additional legal proceedings.
Once you reach a compensation agreement with MVAC and file all necessary court documents, a cheque will be sent to you or your lawyer by mail.
If you received interim medical expenses funding from MVAC, it will be deducted from your settlement payment.
Payments may be denied if:
- MVAC wasn’t notified of the claim
- you didn’t involve MVAC in discussions with the at-fault driver and you reached an agreement on your own
- you left someone out of your lawsuit
- you didn’t complete the necessary legal proceedings
- you didn’t fulfill your responsibility to get as much information as possible at the scene of the accident
- another insured party is partly liable for your injuries
The following forms should be completed by a lawyer:
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