If you leave the scene of an accident, you may face a penalty of five years in prison or other penalties, depending on circumstances. Leaving the accident scene and being involved in a hit-and-run accident are two different things. 

Jaswal & Krueger criminal lawyers have extensive experience with car-related cases and a thorough understanding of what happens if you leave the scene of an accident, so read on to learn about your rights, responsibilities and risks when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. 

If You Have Been Involved in an Accident and Need a Criminal Lawyer, Surrey Residents Should Contact Jaswal & Krueger Criminal Defence Lawyers

 

Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident

Drivers are required to stop at the scene of an accident to exchange information with all involved, see who is and isn’t injured, and receive medical attention. 

If drivers have exchanged information (such as name, address, driver’s licence number, insurance information, vehicle registration) and left the scene, this does not constitute a hit-and-run accident.

 

police officer reviewing notes in car

What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?

In contrast to leaving the scene of an accident, a hit-and-run car accident is when a driver collides with another driver, or individual, and leaves the scene without providing contact information. This is a criminal offence.

Here are a few scenarios:

  • A driver strikes your car while you’re driving.
  • Someone hits your parked vehicle when you’re not around and purposely leaves without providing their contact and insurance information.
  • You’re hit by a driver as a pedestrian or bicyclist.

 

Why do hit-and-run accidents happen? A guilty driver won’t stick around for many reasons, including:

  • They’re fearful of being caught for causing the accident.

  • They don’t want to face additional penalties, such as they were driving under the influence.

  • They are illegally in Canada.

  • They do not possess a valid driver’s licence.

  • They do not have insurance.

  • They have a criminal record.

  • They struck a pedestrian or bicyclist.

  • There is a warrant for their arrest.

 

Penalties for a Hit-and-Run Driver

In these cases, drivers can face both civil and criminal penalties. According to Section 252 of the Criminal Code of Canada, a hit-and-run accident for the driver who doesn’t stop carries a five-year sentence in prison. However, the penalty can vary depending on the number of injuries or fatalities involved.

 

car side mirror

 

Personal Injury Claim

All individuals in a motor vehicle accident have the right to claim damages suffered in a car accident and seek compensation. In the case where the offending driver is located, a criminal claim will be processed for the hit-and-run accident.

 

Call a Lawyer after a Car Accident

No matter how a car accident occurs, it should be reported. Injuries and property damage need to be assessed, even if it’s as minor as a fender bender. 

If you were involved in an accident and left the scene prematurely, you could potentially face legal consequences, so call a criminal defence lawyer as soon as you can. 
Contact us for a free consultation.