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Who is responsible for unidentified motorist coverage?

In the case of Rooplal v Fordor, the plaintiff was a passenger on a TTC vehicle in 2012 . She was injured when the bus forcefully applied its brakes after an unidentified motorist attempted to change lanes and moved unexpectedly in front of the bus. As a result, the plaintiff struck her face on an interior bar of the bus causing injury.

On March 26, 2014, the plaintiff issued a claim against the TTC, the bus driver and her insurance company, Norvex Insurance Company. All parties defended the claim however on March 21, 2017, Norvex amended its defence and denied that it was the plaintiff’s insurer for the purposes of unidentified motorists and claimed that the TTC vehicle insurer (TTCICL) was the plaintiff’s first loss insurer for that purpose. As a result, the plaintiff brought a notice of motion on May 3, 2017 (5 years after to accident) to amend her claim and add TTCICL as a party defendant.

The TTCICL argued the plaintiff’s claim was statute barred by the Limitations Act which states “a proceeding shall not be commenced in respect of a claim after the second anniversary day on which the claim was discovered.”  The court found that the claim against TTCICL was a claim in contract, not tort and as such, contractual provisions of the unidentified regime differ from those of the loss transfer regime including how a party may initiate proceedings. The court determined that the cause of action did not arise until the plaintiff made a claim for indemnification and the TTCICL breached the contract by refusing to pay. Therefore, the court allowed the plaintiff to amend her claim and add the TTCICL to the claim five-year post-accident.

If you have been injured as a result of an unidentified motorist, contact us online for a free legal consultation or by phone at 1-800-563-6348 to speak directly with one of our lawyers.

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