“Sorry for hitting your car!” – you aren’t supposed to leave a crash scene by saying this. Even worse, many drivers freak out and leave the place immediately.
Failing to remain at the scene of an accident is quite common. And a common misconception is to stay at the site of a car accident only if you were at fault. However, that’s not what you should do after being in a collision. You should remain at the site till the law enforcement authority arrives, such as Police.
Here’s everything you need to know about failing to remain at the scene of a collision in Alberta.
Failing to Remain at the Scene of a Collision in Alberta
Leaving the scene of an accident might seem like a good idea for a while. But you will be tracked down eventually.
Drivers run away after striking vehicles (hit and run) for various reasons. Some people are cruel and do not care that they could hurt someone else. Some are concerned that their insurance will become more expensive.
No matter the reason—you are required to stop. Moreover, you need to check in on the people involved in the crash. Also, you need to help them if they are injured.
Note that hit-and-run incidents, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, and failing to report an accident are all considered major traffic infractions under the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta.
If you leave the scene, there will be serious consequences. We’ll discuss the penalties in the next section.
What are the Penalties?
When a hit-and-run collision results in an injury to another person, such as another driver or a pedestrian, there are severe consequences and criminal charges for fleeing the accident scene.
Failure to remain at the scene of an accident has different penalties. In the same way, one could be charged under Alberta provincial act, which will be different too.
Basically, it depends on how serious the injury or injuries you caused were. You can receive one or more of the following penalties. A minor hit-and-run charge in Alberta is less than having a death involved in the incident.
- Maximum $2000 fines
- 7 demerit points on your driving record
- Up to 3 months of license suspension
- 5 years of jail
- 10 years of imprisonment if you cause serious injury or death
- Alberta’s hit-and-run penalties
The penalties for hit-and-run accidents for parked cars in Canada are 3 demerit points and fines of $400 to $750.
What to Do After a Hit-and-run Accident?
As soon as you report to the Police, law enforcement will take care of the rest. Here is what to do if your car or you got hit by another car and then ran away after the collision.
Seek medical care
If you are injured, you must get the essential medical attention before taking further steps. Let’s say you need some emergency care. In that case, call for an ambulance at 911.
Gather information about the vehicle
Immediately after a hit-and-run collision, you should write down all the details you can recall about the fleeing vehicle. You can collect considerable information from the model, color, license plate number, and driver’s description.
Inspect for damage
After a collision like this, it is crucial to determine the degree of the damage. Keep an eye out for any visible evidence of the other driver’s involvement, such as scratches in the paint, rim damage, headlight, or bodywork damage.
Also, mention other crashes before the hit-and-run or if the damage was caused by a single accident.
Find out the witnesses
If possible, try to track down any witnesses who might be able to explain what happened during the crash. This will support your investigation of the incident and include their names and contact information later as part of your claim.
Keep photos of the crash scene
Evidence is essential when pursuing compensation for losses since it shows the extent of the damage and who might be at fault. After an incident like this, taking photos of your vehicle or other property as quickly as possible is recommended.
This way, you can ensure that they fully reflect on what happened. Also, you should take photos of any identifying landmarks like medians, traffic signs, or nearby businesses.
Contact the Police
Once your injuries are thoroughly documented, and you have any information, it is time to call the Police.
Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal if someone has been hurt. It will be essential for the investigating officer to visit you for your statement and to collect evidence from your accident.
Provide them with as much information as possible about what happened, including facts about the collision and whether any witnesses were there.
Report to your auto insurance company
Finally, you need to let your insurance company know. The claim only names the driver. So, you must report the damages following your insurance. Hit-and-run accidents are the only instances in which you are not at fault but still have to pay your premium.
Consult a personal injury lawyer
You should talk to a personal injury lawyer if you are wounded in a hit-and-run. They can make sure you get the right compensation while your insurer or the police investigation for the accident.
Accidents occur daily. Every person involved in a collision has a moral and legal obligation to remain at the scene to ensure everyone is okay.
You must notify your insurance provider and the Police after a collision. And most importantly, if you are injured, you must seek an injury lawyer’s help to report a claim.
Check the following question for further clarification.
What are the consequences of leaving the scene of an accident?
There will be criminal charges if you leave failed to remain at the scene of an accident. Additionally, a hit-and-run offense will result in your driver's license suspension or revocation. Moreover, your car insurance can get terminated.
What is the charge for leaving the scene of an accident in Canada?
According to the Highway Traffic Act of Canada, failing to remain at the scene of a collision carries a charge of up to $2,000 and no less than $400. A maximum prison sentence of 6 months is also possible. And, you can have 7 demerit points.
What happens if you fail to stop at an accident?
If you flee the scene of an accident, you will get penalties, demerit points, have your license suspended, pay more for insurance, or even go to jail. Additionally, you will have a permanent criminal record.
Do you get points for leaving the scene of an accident?
Your driving record will be automatically penalized with 7 points if you are found guilty of leaving the scene following an accident that causes damage. Your insurance costs can also increase significantly. Furthermore, there may be legal action against you.