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Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Program: What You Need to Know

All Albertan vehicle owners are required by law to possess valid liability insurance in the event that they are involved in a collision. However, unfortunately, there are uninsured drivers operating vehicles on Alberta’s streets, and there are at-fault drivers who flee the accident scene without providing their insurance information.

The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims (MVAC) Program was established in 1947 by the Alberta government to protect victims injured by uninsured, or unknown drivers, by ensuring that victims are able to receive financial restitution. It is funded by annual contributions from all Alberta drivers as part of their vehicle registration fees.

MVAC helps victims that would not be able to claim compensation otherwise.

Who is Eligible for MVAC?

A claim can be made against MVAC if the following criteria have been met:

You have sustained bodily injuries due to a vehicular collision;

  • You are an Alberta resident (or, barring that, from a jurisdiction with a similar program that meets coverage requirements);
  • The collision occurred in Alberta; or
  • The collision is solely the fault and liability of an unknown, or uninsured driver.

It is important to note that property damage, such as the damage to your vehicle, is NOT covered by the program.

What Does MVAC Offer?

Once deemed eligible, and after navigating the required litigation steps, MVAC pays out a maximum of $200,000 to all victims of the collision. Multiple claimants will receive a proportional share of the payment, up to the $200,000 maximum.

How Can I use MVAC?

To seek any level of compensation through MVAC, you must sue all parties who are (or may be) liable for the collision that injured you. You must start your legal action within 2 years of the accident.

Navigating the legal system, especially when recovering from serious injuries caused by another, is no easy task—the team at Pipella Law is well-versed in helping victims through the court process. Even when the parties responsible for your injuries are unknown, or unable to pay, Pipella Law can, through successful MVAC litigation, ensure that your suffering will be compensated.

As tireless advocates for the disabled both in, and out of, the courtroom, Pipella Law fully supports the MVAC program. You should never have to suffer due to the careless actions of others.

If you have suffered a personal injury, contact the personal injury lawyers at Pipella Law today to learn how they can help you recover from this traumatic experience.

 

What if the MVAC coverage is not enough to compensate me for my injuries?

The at-fault driver’s insurance is typically the policy that compensates the injured party. However, when there is a shortfall of insurance, you may be able to recover some of that shortfall from your own insurance policy. In order to protect yourself and your family from the risk of financial loss at the hands of an uninsured or unidentified driver, you should ensure that you have purchased the Family Protection Endorsement (SEF 44) on your own insurance policy. The SEF 44 covers the shortfall between the maximum payable by the MVAC and the amount you, or your family would be awarded for compensation when you are hurt by an driver with no insurance, inadequate insurance, or an unidentified driver. Pipella Law recommends that you purchase a minimum of $2,000,000 of SEF 44 coverage because if you and the wrongdoer both have $1,000,000 limits, (and you are catastrophically injured), the wrongdoer is not considered underinsured and you are only able to recover $1,000.000, even if your claim is worth more. In the event that you are severely injured and the at-fault driver only has insurance of $200,000, and the value of your injury claim is determined to be $500,000, then your SEF 44 policy would pay the $300,000 shortfall.

The SEF 44 is an additional endorsement added to your automobile insurance policy that was designed to provide additional insurance protection to named insureds and their families. It is intended to provide coverage for injuries, or death arising from motor vehicle accidents, in circumstances where the wrongdoer is either not insured, or is not adequately insured.

Pipella Law can review the circumstances of your accident and your insurance policy to determine whether you are entitled to SEF 44 coverage.