New Brunswick Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- New Brunswick Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Is leaving the scene of an accident a crime in New Brunswick?
- New Brunswick hit-and-run laws explained: what happens if you leave the scene of an accident?
- Can you sue for a hit and run/accident in New Brunswick?
- Is leaving the scene of an accident in New Brunswick an indictable or summary offense?
- What to do if you hit an unattended vehicle/property in New Brunswick
- How long do you have to report an accident in New Brunswick?
- Does New Brunswick have a no-Fault insurance system?
- What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in New Brunswick?
- How is fault determined in New Brunswick?
- New Brunswick hit and run laws: Defenses
Is leaving the scene of an accident a crime in New Brunswick?
Yes. Under New Brunswick Motor Vehicle Act and the Canadian criminal code, leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling statutory obligations is a summary offense if the collision involves property damage, and an indictable offense if anyone dies or suffers serious injuries.
Quick take: what happens if you leave the scene of an accident in New Brunswick
- Victims of hit and run accidents may file a claim with the province’s public insurer.
- Driving without insurance is a punishable offense in New Brunswick.
- You have a legal obligation to render reasonable assistance at the scene of an accident.
- Never admit fault after an accident.
- If DCPD (Direct Compensation- Property Damage) does not apply, you may sue a hit and run driver from another province.
- If you complete your sentence, you may apply for criminal record expungement.
New Brunswick hit-and-run laws explained: what happens if you leave the scene of an accident?
Under New Brunswick Traffic Act section 125 “Duty to Remain at Scene” through to section 129 “Damage to Property,” you have a legal obligation to immediately stop your vehicle and do the following whenever you are involved in a traffic collision in the state.
Duties of a driver at the scene of an accident in New Brunswick
- Stop your vehicle at the scene or close to the scene.
- Give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the struck person, property owner, or peace officer present at the scene.
- Upon request and if available, exhibit your driver’s license to the struck person, passenger or driver in the struck vehicle, property owner, or peace officer.
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone who may need it. That includes transporting the injured person/s to a physician or care facility.
Note that if the victim requests it or it is apparent that immediate medical care is necessary, you may transport the individual to a hospital.
Can you sue for a hit and run/accident in New Brunswick?
If someone hits you or your vehicle through no fault of your own and DCPD does not apply, you have the right to take civil action. However, the parties may agree to settle to avoid going to court.
The victim may sue for damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, income loss, future care, etc.
Consequently, if you are a driver in the province, legal experts recommend that you do the following immediately after an accident:
- Stop your vehicle and remain at the scene. Leaving the scene without fulfilling the requirements above turns an accident into a criminal offense,
- Do not admit fault at the scene.
- Do not engage in road rage, harm, or threaten the other driver. Fear for one’s safety is a defense for leaving the scene of an accident, and road rage may lead to additional charges, including assault.
- Call a lawyer if the accident results in death, serious injuries, or expensive property damage.
- Investigate the scene and gather evidence, including dashcam footage, witness testimonies, pictures, and other items that may aid your defense.
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone who may need it.
Is leaving the scene of an accident in New Brunswick an indictable or summary offense?
Under the Canadian Criminal Code, leaving the scene of an accident is a hybrid offense. Consequently, the charges depend on the damage done and your actions before and after the accident.
You must remember that leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury is an indictable offense.
What to do if you hit an unattended vehicle/property in New Brunswick
Section 128. “Collision with Unattended Vehicle,” and section 129. “Damage to Property” says that if you hit an unattended vehicle, you must immediately stop and make a reasonable effort to locate the struck property owner. If you find the owner, you must give him your name, address, and vehicle registration number.
Also, if the owner requests it and, if available, you must exhibit your driver’s license.
What if you cannot locate the owner?
You may leave a note containing the information above on a conspicuous section of the struck vehicle or property. Failure to leave a note or locate the driver constitutes a hit and run.
How long do you have to report an accident in New Brunswick?
Under provincial laws, you must report any accident that results in death, injury, or property damage above $1000 using the quickest means of communication. Additionally, you must be able to prove your financial responsibility at the time of the accident.
You do that by producing a New Brunswick Liability insurance card.
Section 130 (1) “reporting accidents,” reads in part, quote:
“The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or total property damage to an apparent extent of one thousand dollars or more shall immediately by the quickest means of communication available to the driver give notice of such accident and his name and address and the name and address of the owner of the vehicle to the local police department if such accident occurred within the limits of a municipality or region as defined in the Police Act.”
What if you do not have insurance?
In New Brunswick, the penalty for driving without insurance includes vehicle impoundment, fines, license suspension, and jail or prison time, depending on the damage.
Does New Brunswick have a no-Fault insurance system?
Yes. Under provincial laws, all drivers in the province must have public insurance. Additionally, New Brunswick uses a no-fault insurance system, meaning your coverage protects you even if you are at fault.
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in New Brunswick?
Under the Canadian criminal code, leaving the scene of an accident in New Brunswick is punishable by:
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury. Indictable offense, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
- Hit and run involving death or reckless driving, indictable offense, punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Civil and administrative penalties
As mentioned, the victim of a hit and run has the option to sue. On top of that, if the case goes to trial, the court may impose punitive damages on the accused.
If you fall victim to a hit and run, below is what you should do immediately after the accident:
- Stop your vehicle and call law enforcement immediately if the accident results in death, injury, or property damage above $1000.
- Do not admit fault.
- If capable, collect evidence, including the fleeing driver’s description, vehicle make, vehicle color, or other useful details.
- Seek medical attention and document your expenses.
- Do not engage in road rage.
- Contact New Brunswick Financial and Consumer Services Commission.
- If you have additional coverage, you may contact your private insurer.
- File a police report.
How is fault determined in New Brunswick?
Insurers, investigators, and the court -designate fault after a car accident in New Brunswick. That is why you mustn’t accept fault or use words such as “it was my fault” at the scene of an accident.
The province’s Contributory Negligence Act states that, quote:
“When by the fault of two or more persons damage or loss is caused to one or more of them, the liability to make good the damage or loss is in proportion to the degree in which each person was at fault but if having regard to all the circumstances of the case, it is not possible to establish different degrees of fault, the liability shall be apportioned equally.”
“When damage or loss has been caused by the fault of two or more persons, the court shall determine the degree in which each person was at fault.”
“When two or more persons are found at fault, they are jointly and severally liable to the person suffering the damage or loss, but as between themselves, in the absence of any contract express or implied, they are liable to make contributions to and indemnify each other in the degree in which they are respectively found to have been at fault.”
New Brunswick hit and run laws: Defenses
Common defenses include:
- You were unaware of your involvement in a traffic collision
- You reported the vehicle involved stolen within a reasonable period.
- Leaving the scene was the quickest way to get help.
The best defense is based on the facts of the case. We recommend consulting with a defense attorney immediately.
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