See the French version.
Have you ever accidentally damaged another vehicle in a parking lot? If so, you may have committed a hit-and-run without knowing it. What is a hit-and-run and what may be the consequences? Here are a few facts the Legal Access Insurance team published in the La Capitale blog to shed some light on the question!
1- Hit-and-runs are the most frequent offence related to driving a vehicle.
In 2015, statistics from the ministère de la Sécurité publique showed that more than half of reported offences were hit-and-runs.
2- The driver of a vehicle has certain obligations in the event of a collision.
According to the Highway Safety Code, drivers of standard or off-road vehicles who are involved in a fender-bender or a collision are required to:
- Remain or return to the accident site to help anyone who may need help
- Call the police if the owner of the damaged property is not present
- Provide the following information to the owner of the damaged property, or if the owner is absent, to the police:
- Full name
- Driver’s licence number
- Name and address of the owner named on the vehicle registration
- The vehicle’s licence plate number
- Name of the insurer
3- A person who does not abide by these obligations has committed a hit-and-run.
Whether you are driving a car, truck, ATV or any other vehicle, if you hit an object, a person, or an animal weighing more than 25 kg, you must comply with the obligations listed in item 2.
4- Leaving your contact information on the windshield is not sufficient.
What do you do if you damage a vehicle or other property when the owner is not present, and you can’t wait around to give him or her your contact information? It is not sufficient to leave your contact information on a scrap of paper. The only way to avoid committing a hit-and-run is to immediately call the police to report the accident and provide the required information.
5- Committing a hit-and-run can be costly.
Individuals found guilty of a hit-and-run may face:
- A fine ranging from $200 to $2,000, depending on the situation
- 9 demerit points on their driving record (which may result in increased driver’s licence renewal fees)
- A criminal record in certain cases, which may lead to suspension of their driver’s licence or even imprisonment
If you find yourself in this situation, and you have Legal Access Insurance, contact this service immediately for advice and guidance.
6- If you are the victim of a hit-and-run you need to have “two-way insurance” to be compensated by your insurance company.
In other words, the insurance policy covering a vehicle damaged by a third party hit-and-run must include Section B2 “Collision or upset protection” for the damage to be covered.
If you don’t have this coverage, you can make a claim for compensation with the SAAQ.
7- Practical tips if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run:
- If you can, note down the licence plate of the vehicle at fault.
- Contact the police to file an incident report. It’s in your interest to file this report since doing so might avoid your having to pay part of the repairs (the deductible), an advantage offered by some insurers including La Capitale.
- Immediately notify your insurer by telephone. You will need to provide the numbers of your insurance policy and the police report to start a claim.
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