Prince Edward Island Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Prince Edward Island Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Prince Edward Island hit-and-run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident?
Under provincial laws, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident on Prince Edward Island is license suspension/revocation, vehicle impoundment, and a maximum fine of $2000 for a first offense. In addition, if the victim dies or suffers serious injury, the hit-and-run driver risks ten years to life in prison – according to the Canadian criminal code.
Quick take: What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident on Prince Edward Island?
- Leaving the scene of an accident is a hybrid offense in Canada.
- The facts presented determine if the hit and run driver is guilty of a summary or indictable offense.
- Prince Edward Island is a “no-fault” insurance province (your insurer pays you).
- Victims of hit and run may take civil action if the other party is at fault.
- Vehicle insurance is mandatory on Prince Edward Island.
- You have twenty-four hours to report an accident that results in death, injury, or property damage above $2000.
Prince Edward Island hit-and-run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene of an accident?
Prince Edward Island Highway Traffic Act section 232 “accident procedure” says that if a driver in the province is directly or indirectly involved in a traffic collision, that individual/s has a legal obligation to immediately stop the vehicle and remain at the scene until he fulfills the requirements listed below.
Duties of a driver at the scene of an accident on Prince Edward Island
- Stop the vehicle at or close to the scene without interfering with traffic more than necessary. If the victim dies, suffers serious injuries, or if you were transporting hazardous materials, do not move the vehicle.
- Give your name, address, and vehicle registration number to the struck person, a person attending to the victim, or a peace officer present at the scene.
- Exhibit your driver’s license to the struck person, struck vehicle occupant, witness, or peace officer upon request.
- If it is apparent that immediate medical care is necessary or, if the victim requests it, render reasonable assistance to the struck person, including transporting the individual to a physician or hospital.
What to do after an accident on Prince Edward Island
An accident on Prince Edward Island becomes an indictable or summary offense if you leave the scene without fulfilling the obligations above. However, the victim may sue, and your actions may lead to additional charges. Consequently, legal experts from the island recommend that you do the following immediately after an accident.
- Stop your vehicle and remain at the scene until peace officers arrive.
- Investigate the scene and find anything that may aid your defense. We recommend taking pictures and collecting dashcam footage/witness testimonies.
- Do not engage in road rage, harm, or threaten the other party.
- Assist anyone who needs it.
- Do not admit fault at the scene.
- If the victim dies, suffers a serious injury or expensive property damage. Call an attorney immediately.
- File a police report within the set time.
- You may leave the scene if you have a valid reason to fear for your safety.
How long do you have to report an accident on Prince Edward Island?
Under provincial laws, you have twenty-four hours to report any accident that results in death, injury, or property damage above $2000.
If you suffer injury and cannot report, an occupant must file an accident report within twenty-four hours. If you were alone in the vehicle, then you must report the accident as soon as you are physically capable.
It is worth noting that section 233 (9) reads, quote:
“The fact that a report has been made shall be admissible in evidence solely to prove a compliance with this section, but no such report or any part thereof, or any statement contained therein, shall be admissible in any trial, arising out of such accident except to prove falsity in a prosecution for making a false statement in the report or statement.”
“In any prosecution under this section, the onus of proof that the report was furnished shall be upon the accused.”
Furthermore, under section 234 (1), garage owners have a legal obligation to report any vehicle that shows evidence of involvement in a serious accident.
Failure to report an accident on Prince Edward Island is punishable by a maximum fine of $500 for a first offense.
What to do if you hit an unattended vehicle on Prince Edward Island
Under section 232 (6) “Reporting Accident Involving Unattended Vehicle,” if you hit a vehicle and the damage done exceeds $2000, you must locate and notify the vehicle owner or person having responsibility for the struck vehicle. When you find the owner, you must give the individual your name, address, vehicle registration number, and exhibit your driver’s license.
What if you cannot find the owner?
If you cannot find the owner, you must report the accident to the nearest detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Failure to report constitutes a hit and run.
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident on Prince Edward Island?
Under Prince Edward Highway Traffic Act, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident is:
- Failure to remain at the scene of an accident. Punishable by a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum of $2000 for a first offense.
- Failure to give your name, address, or exhibit driver’s license. Punishable by a maximum fine of $500 for a first offense and a $1000 fine for subsequent offenses.
- Failure to render reasonable assistance to an injured person. Punishable by a maximum fine of $2000 for a first offense and $3000 for subsequent offenses.
Under the Canadian criminal code, section 252. The penalty for leaving the scene of an accident is:
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. Indictable offense, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury. Indictable offense, punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Civil and administrative penalties
As mentioned, after an accident on Prince Edward Island, the victim has the right to take civil action. You or the victim’s family may file a claim to recover medical expenses, burial expenses, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and financial support. We recommend consulting with an attorney immediately.
Other penalties for leaving the scene of an accident on Prince Edward Island include:
- Vehicle impoundment for up to three weeks.
- License suspension for up to six months
What victims should do after a hit-and-run on Prince Edward Island
- Stop your vehicle and remain at the scene until police arrive.
- Seek medical attention and keep records of expenses related to the collision.
- Do not threaten or harm the other driver.
- If the driver flees, take pictures and document details including driver description, car make, vehicle color, damage done to the vehicle, and anything else that may aid investigators.
- If you have additional private coverage, contact your insurer.
- File an accident report within twenty-four hours.
- Contact an attorney if you choose to take civil action.
Does Prince Edward Island have no-fault insurance?
Yes. If you are involved in an accident, provincial laws say that you may file a claim with your insurer. Furthermore, drivers in the province must buy insurance from a private insurer.
The penalty for driving without insurance on the island is a minimum fine of $5000 and a maximum of $50000 plus license suspension and vehicle impoundment.
How is fault determined on Prince Edward Island?
After an accident on Prince Edward Island, insurance investigators and the court designate fault considering the actions of both parties before and after the accident.
The islands contributory negligence act reads in part, 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 shall be 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.”
“Where damage has been caused by the fault of two or more persons, the court shall determine the degree in which each was at fault, and where two or more persons are found at fault, they shall be jointly and severally liable for the fault to the person suffering loss or damage, but as between themselves in the absence of any contract express or implied, they shall be liable to make a contribution to and indemnify each other in the degree in which they are respectively found to have been at fault.”
Prince Edward Island hit and run laws defenses
If the case goes to trial, common defenses include:
- The accused feared that remaining at the scene would result in more harm.
- Mistaken identity/ you reported the vehicle stolen within a reasonable period before the accident.
- Leaving the scene was not voluntary.
We recommend consulting with a defense attorney immediately.
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