Manitoba Hit and Run Laws

Manitoba Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?

Under Manitoba Highway Traffic Act and Canada’s Criminal Code, leaving the scene of an accident is a hybrid offense. Consequently, depending on the damage and your actions before and after the accident. A hit and run driver may face indictable or summary offense charges.

Quick take: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Manitoba?

  • A hit and run involving death or serious injury is an indictable offense in Manitoba.
  • You have between two to fifteen years to take civil action.
  • The court, Manitoba Public Insurer, and investigators designate fault after an accident in Manitoba.
  • A hit and run driver may face charges under Canadian Criminal Code or Manitoba Traffic Act.
  • All residents of Manitoba must have Manitoba Public Insurance coverage (MPI).
  • Private insurers provide additional coverage.
  • A hit and run victim in Manitoba may file a claim with MPI.


Manitoba hit and run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident?

According to Manitoba Highway act section 155(2). “Accident reports by drivers” through to section 155(3) “information to be given,” if you are involved in an accident in Manitoba, you have a legal obligation to immediately stop your vehicle and do the following.

Duties of a driver at the scene of an accident in Manitoba:

  • Give your name, driver’s license, and address to the struck person or property owner.
  • If you are not the owner of the vehicle, you must give the name and address of the vehicle owner.
  • Exchange insurance information, including the number of your vehicle’s liability insurance policy and the name of your insurer.
  • You may give the information above to a peace officer.
  • You must file a police report within seven days if anyone dies or suffers serious injuries.

What if you are unable to make a report within seven days?

Section 155(9) reads, quote:

“If because of injury or illness the driver is unable to make the police report within the time required by subsection (8), the driver must make the report as soon as the driver’s health permits.”

Also, it is worth noting that section 155(16) states that, quote:

“A prosecution for a contravention of a provision of this section may not be commenced later than two years after the day the alleged offense was committed.”

What to do after an accident in Manitoba

An accident in Manitoba becomes a crime if you leave the scene without exchanging information. Because of that, legal experts from the province recommend that you do the following to avoid criminal charges.

  • Stop your vehicle and remain at the scene until peace officers arrive.
  • Render reasonable assistance to anyone who may need it, including transporting the victim to a physician or care facility.
  • Collect evidence or information that may be useful to your defense, including dashcam footage, pictures of the scene, witness testimonies, and so on.
  • Contact MPI (Manitoba Public Insurer).
  • Immediately contact an attorney if the accident results in death, injury, or expensive property damage.
  • Do not admit fault at the scene.
  • If the police arrest you, do not say more than you need to. Instead, let your attorney speak for you.
  • If the other driver is unlicensed or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you must report the incident within seven days.

What happens if you hit an unattended vehicle or domestic animal in Manitoba?

Section 155 (1) “action when domestic animal injured or killed,” says that you or a passenger in your vehicle must remove the struck animal from the road. You must also report the collision without delay to the owner or the clerk of the municipality where the collision occurs.

If you cannot remove the animal, then you must call law enforcement.

If the traffic collision involves an unattended vehicle, you must make a reasonable effort to locate the owner. If you cannot find the owner, you may leave a note containing your name, address, and contact information on a conspicuous section of the struck vehicle. Failure to leave a note or locate the property owner constitutes a hit and run.

What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Manitoba?

As mentioned, a hit and run in Manitoba is a hybrid offense. Prosecutors in the province, depending on the facts presented, may choose to pursue charges under Manitoba’s Highway Act or the Canadian Criminal Code.

If convicted under the criminal code, you will have a criminal record.

Under section 252 of Canada’s criminal code, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident is:

  • Hit and run involving bodily harm. Indictable offense, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving death/reckless driving. Indictable offense, punishable by a maximum sentence of life behind bars.

Note that section 252 (2) states that, quote:

“Evidence that an accused failed to stop his vehicle, vessel or, where possible, his aircraft, as the case may be, offer assistance, where any person has been injured or appears to require assistance and give his name and address, is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of an intent to escape civil or criminal liability.”

How long do you have to report a car accident in Manitoba?

Under provincial and national laws, you should report any accident that results in death, injury, or property damage above $1000 using the quickest means of communication. If a peace officer is not present at the scene or you are incapable of filing a report, you have seven days to report the collision to Manitoba Public Insurance.

Failure to report may cost you compensation.

Manitoba Public Insurance: hit and run claims

According to Manitoba insurance laws. If you are involved in a hit and run, you must report the incident to local police and Manitoba Public Insurance.

Manitoba Public Insurance recommends that you should report an accident only if:

  • You failed to get the other driver’s information.
  • Suspected that the other driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • The other driver was unlicensed or the vehicle unregistered.
  • If anyone suffers death or serious injury.

Can you sue for a car accident in Manitoba?

Yes. Under provincial laws, the victim of an accident or both parties involved may take civil action. Because of that, if you are a hit and run victim, you should do the following immediately after an accident.

  • Stop your vehicle and call the police.
  • Seek medical attention if necessary, and do not comment about your health at the scene.
  • If capable, gather evidence, including dashcam footage, and witness testimonies.
  • If the other driver flees, write down useful details, including driver description, license plates, vehicle color, vehicle make, and anything else that may be useful to investigators.
  • Do not threaten or harm the other party. Fear for one’s safety is a defense for leaving the scene of an accident.
  • Contact your insurer.
  • File a police report within seven days.
  • Document all expenses related to the accident.
  • Do not admit fault at the scene.

How is fault determined after an accident in Manitoba?

In Manitoba, investigators, the courts, and Manitoba Public Insurance designate fault after an accident based on the actions of parties involved, traffic violations, recklessness, negligence, and other factors. That is why you mustn’t accept responsibility at the scene of an accident or use words such as “I did not see the other driver.” Or “sorry, it was entirely my fault.”

Manitoba’s contributory negligence laws state that, quote:

“ Judgment recovered against any tortfeasor liable in respect of that damage is not a bar to an action against any other person who would, if sued, have been liable as a joint tortfeasor, in respect of the same damage;

(b) if more than one action is brought in respect of that damage by or on behalf of the person by whom it was suffered, or for the benefit of the estate, or of the spouse, parent, or child, of that person, against tortfeasors liable in respect of the damage (whether as joint tortfeasors or otherwise), the sums recoverable under the judgments given in those actions by way of damages shall not in the aggregate exceed the amount of the damages awarded by the judgment first given; and in any of those actions, other than that in which judgment is first given, the plaintiff is not entitled to costs unless the court is of opinion that there was reasonable ground for bringing the action;

(c) any tortfeasor liable in respect of that damage may recover contribution from any other tortfeasor who is, or would if sued have been, liable in respect of the same damage, whether as a joint tortfeasor or otherwise, so, however, that no person is entitled to recover contribution from any person entitled to be indemnified by him in respect of the liability in respect of which the contribution is sought.”

“The amount of the contribution recoverable from any person is such as may be found by the court to be just and equitable having regard to the extent of that person’s responsibility for the damage, and the court may exempt any person from liability to contribute, or direct that the contribution to be recovered from any person amounts to a complete indemnity.”


“Contributory negligence by a plaintiff is not a bar to the recovery of damages by him and in any action for damages that is founded upon the negligence of the defendant, if negligence is found on the part of the plaintiff which contributed to the damages, the court shall apportion the damages in proportion to the degree of negligence found against the plaintiff and defendant respectively.”

What to remember:

  • If the court finds both parties negligent, it will apportion damages against both parties.
  • You will not recover damages if you are 50% responsible for the accident.
  • The jury decides your percentage of responsibility if the issue goes to court.

What is the limitations period for accidents in Manitoba?

We recommend consulting with an attorney immediately.

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