Getting involved in a hit-and-run accident in Canada is not something you would like to experience. However, some incidents are unavoidable while you sit at the steering.
In this article, we are going to talk about the charge for a hit-and-run car accident in Canada.
Before we delve deeper into the topic, here’s something interesting for you. In case you sustain injuries after being hit by another car or your vehicle gets damaged by a fleeing vehicle, you can still get compensation for the losses through your car insurance policy.
Leading car insurance brokerages like Surex can help you compare insurance quotes in Alberta to help you find optimal coverage for these incidents.
What Is A Hit-And-Run Car Accident?
An accident comes under the category of hit and runs when a driver leaves the accident site after a collision. Accidents are unintentional and can arise from different situations. Maybe you were trying to park your car and bumped into the adjacent vehicle. Again, you might hit a pedestrian on a congested road and flee from the site in panic.
Therefore, when you do not stop after hitting any pedestrian, cyclist, or object on the road, it is considered a hit-and-run car accident.
Canadian laws require the drivers involved in the accident to remain at the spot until the police arrive at the scene. In case the damage arising from the accident exceeds $1,000, you need to report the incident to the police.
In case you flee from the accident site, you would be breaking the law, thereby attracting a penalty. When the victim sustains serious injuries or the consequences are severe, fleeing the accident site can invite harsh penalties and even imprisonment.
What Is The Charge For Hit-And-Run Car Accidents?
The Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code of Canada largely govern the penalty for hit-and-run car accidents in the country. However, there are certain variations of this law in different provinces.
In case of a hit-and-run car accident in Ontario, the driver would face a criminal offense if the charge comes through the Criminal Code. It happens when you fail to remain at the scene of the accident. The Criminal Code applies when you hit a cyclist or a pedestrian. Besides, the victim might suffer serious injuries, paralysis, broken bones, or even death.
However, if the charge comes under the Highway Traffic Act, the police would process a traffic ticket. This is primarily the penalty for hit-and-run parked cars in Canada.
Comparing the consequences, you would face more severe punishment under the Criminal Code. In case the driver fails to stop and the victim does not suffer any injury, the penalty can land the accused in jail for five years. In case the victim suffers serious injuries, you can face up to 10 years in jail. Furthermore, it can lead to a charge of criminal negligence.
The norms are a bit different in Alberta. The fines here range between $400 and $750. Besides, the driver gets three demerits. As a result, you would end up incurring more expenses on your insurance premium for the next three years.
Hit-And-Run Accidents And Your Automobile Insurance
The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule in Ontario outlines the benefits of hit-and-run cases to the victims.
If you sustain injuries, you can claim the recovery benefits through your car insurance policy as per the no-fault auto insurance laws in Ontario. Therefore, you can get adequate compensation for the damages to your car and personal injuries. Some of these benefits include:
- Medical costs
- Replacement of wages or income due to the loss of working ability
- Attendance care
- Costs of rehabilitation
Unless your automobile insurance policy covers all these privileges, you wouldn’t be able to claim the benefits. This explains why car owners need to work closely with insurance experts while choosing the right insurance policy.
Reporting Hit-And-Run Cases To Your Insurance Company
In case you are involved in a hit-and-run car accident, try to collect maximum evidence from the site of the accident. These proofs would justify your statements before the police as well as the insurance company.
If you are not at fault, report the incident to the law enforcement authorities within 24 hours. Otherwise, you would be considered to be at fault. If you delay further, your insurance company might not be ready to compensate you.
If the insurer considers you at fault, you would also not get any claim benefit. You would also have to shell out higher premiums from the subsequent year. Thus it’s imperative to obtain the ‘not at fault tag by reporting the incident to the police within 24 hours.
Also, make sure to inform your insurance company about the accident at the earliest.
How Do Hit-And-Run Settlements Work?
In case of a car accident, the law requires both drivers to remain at the accident site. When you try to flee, it implies that you lack sympathy for the other driver. In case you are not at fault, you have the liberty to sue the other driver.
Based on the charges, they would face a penalty. Try to collect as much information as possible about the other driver. You can claim the compensation through a court procedure. If you are the victim and sustain injuries, you can settle the case in a civil court.
What Is The Penalty For Hit-And-Run For Parked Cars In Canada? — Endnote
Although no driver wants to land up in an accident, these incidents are unwelcome guests. The best way to remain financially secure against such incidents is to purchase the right car insurance policy.
We have already talked about the charge for a hit-and-run car accident in Canada. So, try not to flee the accident site if you are at fault.
Also, don’t forget to consult the insurance experts at Surex. The professionals will guide you on purchasing an all-encompassing policy to secure your interests.