Nova Scotia Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Nova Scotia Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Nova Scotia hit and run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident?
- What to do after an accident in Nova Scotia?
- How long do you have to report an accident in Nova Scotia?
- What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Nova Scotia?
- How do victims of hit and run get compensation after an accident? And is car insurance mandatory in Nova Scotia?
- How is fault determined in Nova Scotia?
Under Nova Scotia hit and run laws, leaving the scene of an accident is a class G offense. The penalty for a class G summary offense is a fine between $679 and $2422. Under federal laws, leaving the scene of an accident is a hybrid offense, meaning the facts determine if a hit and run driver is guilty of a summary offense or indictable offense.
Nova Scotia hit and run laws quick take:
- Provincial laws require all drivers in Nova Scotia to have insurance.
- If the victim suffers death, serious injury, or expensive property damage, the individual may sue the driver.
- Insurance investigators and the court designate fault after an accident in Nova Scotia.
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injuries is an indictable offense.
- You have twenty-four hours to report any accident involving death, injury, or property damage above $2000.
Nova Scotia hit and run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident?
Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act Section R.S.C 293, “Duty to Stop and Report,” says that all drivers in the province have a legal obligation to immediately stop whenever directly or indirectly involved in a traffic collision. In addition, section 298 of the act states that you are guilty of a class G offense if you fail to comply.
Under the Canadian criminal code section 252 – Leaving the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death is an indictable offense if the driver knew or should have known that the victim suffered injury or death. Depending on the facts presented, prosecutors may pursue charges under provincial or federal laws.
What you must remember is section 252 (1.3), “Offense Involving Bodily Harm or Death,” which reads – quote:
Every person who commits an offense under subsection 1 (failure to stop at the scene of accident) is guilty of an indictable offense 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 the death of the other…”
Additionally, section 252 (2) “evidence” says that in proceedings -failure to render reasonable assistance and exchange information listed under Nova Scotia’s traffic act is proof of an intent to escape liability.
What to do after an accident in Nova Scotia?
Under provincial and federal laws, an accident becomes a criminal offense if you leave the scene without exchanging information or rendering reasonable assistance.
Section 293 “duty to stop at accident and report”
If you are involved in an accident in Nova Scotia, you must:
- Immediately stop your vehicle.
- Give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the struck person, property owner, peace officer, or person attending to the struck person.
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone who needs it, including transporting the victim to a physician or care facility.
Legal experts in the province recommend that you should also:
- Investigate the scene and collect evidence you may use in your defense, including dashcam footage, witness testimonies, and so on.
- Remain at the scene until peace officers arrive and file a report.
- Call your lawyer immediately if the victim suffers death, injury, or expensive property damage.
- Do not admit fault at the scene.
- You may leave the scene if you have a valid reason to fear for your safety.
- Call the provincial insurer and private insurer if you have additional coverage.
- Do not threaten or harm the other driver. It will lead to additional charges.
What happens if you hit an unattended vehicle in Nova Scotia?
Section 293 (4) of Nova Scotia’s motor vehicle act says that you must locate and give your name, address, and vehicle registration to the property owner whenever you are involved in a collision with an unattended vehicle or property. What if you cannot locate the owner?
If you cannot locate the owner, section 5 says that, quote:
“If the driver of the vehicle involved in an accident is unable to locate and notify the owner or person who has control over the unattended vehicle or the property, he shall within twenty-four hours after the accident gives to the chief of police or any regular member of the police force, in the case of an accident occurring in a city or town, or the nearest detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, in the case of an accident occurring elsewhere, the information required by subsection (4) together with a description of the unattended vehicle or the property.”
How long do you have to report an accident in Nova Scotia?
Under provincial laws, you must report any accident that results in death, injury, or property damage above $2000 within twenty-four hours.
What if the driver is unable to make a report?
If the driver is incapable of making a report, an occupant may make the report to the Royal Canadian Mounted police.
Garages must report accidents in Nova Scotia
Under section 99 (1), garage owners have a responsibility to quote:
“The person in charge of any garage or repair shop to which is brought a motor vehicle which shows evidence of having been involved in a serious accident or struck by any bullet shall report to the nearest police station or peace officer within twenty-four hours after such motor vehicle is received, giving the make, serial number, registration number and the name and address of the owner or operator of the vehicle and of the person who brought it to or left it in the garage or repair shop.”
Failure to report a reportable accident in Nova Scotia may result in fines, demerit points, and jail time.
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Nova Scotia?
Under the Nova Scotia Traffic Act, your will lose your driving privileges temporarily or permanently upon conviction for:
- Refusing to provide a blood or breath sample.
- Filing a false police report.
- Dangerous driving.
- Driving with a revoked or suspended license.
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Criminal negligence resulting in death.
That said. The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Nova Scotia is:
- Failure to stop at the scene of an accident/failure to perform driver duties. Category G offense/summary offense, punishable by a fine and six demerit points.
Under Canadian criminal code section 252, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident is:
- Knowingly leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. Indictable offense, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
- Knowingly leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious bodily injury. Indictable offense, punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
How do victims of hit and run get compensation after an accident? And is car insurance mandatory in Nova Scotia?
Yes. Under provincial laws, all drivers in Nova Scotia must carry liability insurance. If you are involved in a hit and run, you may file a claim with the province’s public insurer. You may also purchase additional coverage from a private insurer.
Note. Nova Scotia insurance act requires all insurers in the province to include section D. Section D protects hit and run victims.
The victim may sue a hit and run driver
If the police find the hit and run driver, the victim may file a claim with the driver’s insurer or take civil action to recover pain and suffering, medical bills, or other damages. Before the case goes to trial, the parties may opt for an out-of-court settlement. We recommend consulting with an attorney immediately.
What victims should do after a hit-and-run in Nova Scotia
- Call the police and file a report within 24 hours. If you cannot, a passenger may do it on your behalf.
- Gather evidence, including the fleeing driver’s description, car make, color, vehicle damage, and other useful details.
- Do not admit fault at the scene of an accident.
- Seek medical assistance.
- Render reasonable assistance to anyone who needs it.
- Do not engage in road rage.
- Call your insurer.
How is fault determined in Nova Scotia?
Nova Scotia’s insurance act reads in part, quote:
“An insurer must determine the degree of fault of an insured for loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from the use or operation of an automobile in accordance with these regulations. Factors not included in degree of fault. The degree to which an insured is at fault in an incident must be determined without reference to any of the following: (a) the circumstances in which the incident occurs, including weather conditions, road conditions, visibility, or the actions of pedestrians; (b) where the point of contact between the insured’s automobile and any other automobile involved in the incident is located on the insured’s automobile.”
In short, insurance investigators, the police, and the court designate fault in Nova Scotia. That makes it vital that you do not admit fault.
It is also worth noting that Nova Scotia’s contributory negligence act says that quote:
“Whereby 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”
“Where damage or loss has been caused by the fault of two or more persons, the court shall determine the degree to which each person was at fault.”
Other Nova Scotia Laws