Hit-and-run accidents: 8 questions
Published on March 19, 2019
Is it possible you committed a hit-and-run without knowing it? What are the consequences of this moving violation? What should you do and what does auto insurance cover if you are a victim of a hit-and-run? Here’s a little quiz put together by the L'Unique General Insurance team to test your knowledge and give you tips on how to avoid certain pitfalls in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
- With regard to moving vehicle violations, hit-and-runs are the most frequent. True or false?
True. According to the Ministère de la Sécurité publique statistics (in French only), nearly half of reported violations in 2015 involved hit-and-runs.
- What is a hit-and-run accident?
According to the Highway Safety Code, drivers of a motor vehicle or an off-road vehicle have obligations if they collide with an object, a person or an animal weighing over 25 kg. Drivers who do not meet their obligations are guilty of committing a hit-and-run.
- What are the driver's obligations in the event of a fender-bender or collision?
- Remain on the scene of the accident or immediately return to help anyone in need.
- Call the police if the owner of the damaged property is not present and can’t be reached.
- Provide the required information to the owner of the damaged property or the police:
- Your contact information (name and address)
- Your driver's licence number
- The contact information (name and address) indicated on the vehicle registration if it’s different from yours.
- The licence plate number of your vehicle
- The name of your insurance company
- If you damage a vehicle and the owner is not present, can you just leave a note with your contact information on the windshield?
No! If it is impossible to wait for the owner of the damaged property to return to report the accident and give him or her the required information, you should call the police promptly. It’s the only way to avoid committing a hit-and-run in this type of situation.
- If you commit a hit-and-run, you could be fined from $200 to $2,000 and receive 9 demerit points on your driving record. True or false?
True. And note that in addition to paying a fine, the demerit points on your driving record could cause your fees to be increased when you renew your licence.
- Could you end up with a criminal record if you commit a hit-and-run?
Yes. In some cases, hit-and-runs are considered criminal and could cause your licence to be revoked. You could even face imprisonment. If necessary, you may want to consult a lawyer before speaking with the police.
- If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, are you covered by your car insurance?
You may be entitled to compensation, but only if you opted for one of the Section B coverages that cover your vehicle against damage in this type of situation. These are Coverage 1 “All perils” and Coverage 2 “Coverage against perils of collision or upset”.
If you don’t have one of these coverages, you can file a compensation claim with the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
- What should you do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run?
- Note the licence plate number of the vehicle causing the damage, if possible.
- Call the police department to report the violation and obtain an incident report.
- Call your broker so that he or she can advise you on what you need to do to file an auto insurance claim. Have your auto insurance policy number and the police report handy when you call.
Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!