What is Hit and Run Accident?

Glossary - Letter - H

A Hit and Run Accident is an accident where one of the involved sides fails to stop, or leaves the scene of an accident without identifying themselves. It is considered a felony crime and can result in up to 5 years of imprisonment (longer is there is a death) if charged under the Criminal Code of Canada (s. below). Lighter cases can be charged under provincial laws, e.g.  the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario (s. below)

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, make sure that you stay at the scene of the accident and provide all necessary assistance and data (e.g. your address, insurance company etc.) to the authorities. If you saw somebody committing a hit-and-run, try to capture as much information about the vehicle as possible (e.g. colour, make, license plate etc.), look for other witnesses, and call the police. If your car has been damaged while parked and you saw the damages upon return, try to find some witnesses, ask around, report the incident to the police and inform your insurance company.

From the insurance side it will likely treated as a not-at-fault case but you still might have to pay your deductible.

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Extract from the Criminal Code of Canada (Section 252).

Failure to stop at scene of accident

252. (1) Every person commits an offence who has the care, charge or control of a vehicle, vessel or aircraft that is involved in an accident with

(a) another person,
(b) a vehicle, vessel or aircraft, or
(c) in the case of a vehicle, cattle in the charge of another person,
and with intent to escape civil or criminal liability fails to stop the vehicle, vessel or, if possible, the aircraft, give his or her name and address and, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.

Punishment

(1.1) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) in a case not referred to in subsection (1.2) or (1.3) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Offence involving bodily harm

(1.2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) knowing that bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

Offence involving bodily harm or death

(1.3) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life if
(a) the person knows that another person involved in the accident is dead; or
(b) the person knows that bodily harm has been caused to another person involved in the accident and is reckless as to whether the death of the other person results from that bodily harm, and the death of that other person so results.

 

Extract from the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario (Section 200):

Duty of person in charge of vehicle in case of accident

200. (1) Where an accident occurs on a highway, every person in charge of a vehicle or street car that is directly or indirectly involved in the accident shall,

(a) remain at or immediately return to the scene of the accident;
(b) render all possible assistance; and
(c) upon request, give in writing to anyone sustaining loss or injury or to any police officer or to any witness his or her name, address, driver’s licence number and jurisdiction of issuance, motor vehicle liability insurance policy insurer and policy number, name and address of the registered owner of the vehicle and the vehicle permit number. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 200 (1); 1997, c. 12, s. 16.

Penalty

(2) Every person who contravenes this section is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $400 and not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition the person’s licence or permit may be suspended for a period of not more than two years. 2009, c. 5, s. 54.

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