Québec Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Québec Hit and Run Laws: What happens if someone leaves the scene of an accident?
- Québec hit and run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene accident?
- What to do after an accident in Québec
- What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Québec?
- How is fault determined in Québec?
Under provincial laws, failure to remain at the scene of an accident in Québec is punishable by a maximum fine of $2000, license suspension, and vehicle impoundment. If anyone suffers death or serious injuries, under the Canadian Criminal Code; the punishment can carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Quick take: Leaving the scene of an accident in Québec
- Québec is a “no-fault province.” You file a claim with your insurer after an accident.
- You must report any accident that results in death, injury, property damage above $2000, or a collision with an animal weighing 25kgs or more.
- A hit-and-run is a hybrid offense in Québec.
- The maximum sentence for summary offenses in Canada is two years in jail.
- Your share of responsibility in an accident diminishes the amount you may recover if you file a suit.
- It is unlawful to operate a vehicle without insurance in Québec.
Québec hit and run laws explained: What happens if you leave the scene accident?
Under Title IV section 166.1 – “Obligations in Case of Accident,” if you are involved in a traffic collision in the province, you must immediately stop your vehicle and fulfill the requirements below.
Duties of a driver at the scene of an accident in Québec
- Stop your vehicle at the scene or close to the scene. If you leave, you must immediately return.
- Render necessary assistance to anyone who may need it.
- If anyone suffers injuries or death, you must notify a peace officer using the quickest means of communication.
- Give your name, address, license number, and certificate of insurance/ proof of financial responsibility to the struck person, a person attending to the victim, or a peace officer at the scene.
- If you hit an animal that weighs more than 25kg, you must report the accident to the nearest police station.
What to do after an accident in Québec
As mentioned, an accident escalates into a criminal offense if either driver involved leaves the scene without fulfilling the requirements above. Because of that, legal experts recommend that you do the following:
- Stop and remain at the scene until peace officers arrive or until you exchange information with the other party.
- If the victim requests it or it is apparent that immediate medical care is necessary, transport the victim to a physician or care facility.
- Collect evidence, including pictures of the scene, dashcam footage, and witness testimonies.
- If the victim dies, suffers serious injuries, or expensive property damage. Contact your lawyer immediately.
- Do not admit fault at the scene of an accident.
What you must remember is that the Canadian criminal code section 320.16 (1) requires that, quote:
“Everyone commits an offense who operates a conveyance and who at the time of operating the conveyance knows that, or is reckless as to whether the conveyance has been involved in an accident with a person or another conveyance and who fails, without reasonable excuse, to stop the conveyance, give their name and address and, if any person has been injured or appears to require assistance, offer assistance.”
Québec Traffic Act Section 166.1. through to 176: What to remember
- You must notify the police using the quickest means of communication if anyone dies or suffers a serious injury.
- If you strike an unattended vehicle or animal weighing more than 25kg you must report the accident at the nearest police station.
- You must immediately report the incident to the SQ if your vehicle is destroyed.
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Québec?
Under provincial laws, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling statutory obligations is:
- Failure to report a destroyed vehicle. Punishable by a maximum fine of $200.
- Failure to give your information to the struck person or peace officer. Punishable by a maximum fine of $300.
- Failure to stop and remain at the scene of an accident. Punishable by a minimum fine of $600 and a maximum of $2000.
Penalties under the Canadian Criminal Code
If the victim dies or suffers serious injuries, prosecutors may pursue charges under the criminal code. Depending on the facts, a hit and run driver in Québec risks charges including manslaughter, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol, failure to stop at the scene of an accident, and flight from a peace officer.
Upon conviction for any criminal offenses, the driver will have a criminal record, and the court will suspend or revoke your driving privileges. Additionally, you will get demerit points.
Under section 251(1.2) and section 320, the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in Canada is:
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. Indictable offense, punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine.
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury or death. An indictable offense, is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison.
- DUI hit and run involving death. Punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment plus fines.
It is worth noting that section 320.23 (1) (2). “Exception to Minimum punishment” of the Canadian criminal code reads, quote:
The court may, with the consent of the prosecutor and the offender, and after considering the interests of justice, delay sentencing of an offender who has been found guilty of an offense under subsection 320.14(1) (Operation While Impaired) or 320.15(1) to allow the offender to attend a treatment program approved by the province in which the offender resides. If the court delays sentencing, it shall make an order prohibiting the offender from operating, before sentencing, the type of conveyance in question, in which case subsections 320.24(6) to (9) apply.”
“If the offender completes the treatment program, the court is not required to impose the minimum punishment under section 320.19 or, to make a prohibition order under section 320.24, but it shall not direct a discharge under section 730.”
Civil and administrative penalties
The victim of a traffic collision in Québec can take legal action if the fault is on the other party. You may sue to recover medical bills, lost wages, or other suitable damages. Consequently, it would be best if you did the following immediately after an accident:
- File an accident report within twenty-four hours.
- 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.
- Contact an attorney if you choose to take civil action.
How is fault determined in Québec?
Québec is a “no-fault” province. Consequently, if you are involved in a traffic collision, file a claim with your insurer. Furthermore, under Québec’s insurance act, all drivers in the province must have civil liability insurance.
That said. The court and insurance investigators designate fault after an accident. If the court finds you at fault, you may be liable to pay damages to the other party.
Failure to have insurance or proof of financial responsibility is punishable by a license suspension, damages, and a maximum fine of $2800.
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