If you are involved in an accident, you might wonder what the first thing to do is. Should you pull over or call 911?
Here’s one thing you should never do: drive away. Not only does it abandon those who may require medical attention, but it can result in a criminal charge with serious consequences. Failure to stop or remain at the scene of an accident is an offence both under the Criminal Code (federal level) and the Highway Traffic Act (provincial level).
If you want to learn more about what to do when you’re involved in an accident, keep reading. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to do to avoid this charge:
What To Do At The Scene Of An Accident
When you are involved in an accident, there are a few key things you must do. If you fail to do any of the following, you could be charged.
- Stop. Do not drive away if you directly or indirectly cause an accident. You must do more than merely stop, though—you must remain at the scene until the police allow you to leave.
- Offer assistance. Make sure to help anyone who may have been injured in the accident. You may need to call an ambulance if their injuries are severe.
- Provide your information. You are legally obligated to give your name, address, insurance information, and phone number to everyone involved, including the police.
Neglecting to do any of the above can result in criminal charges. It’s important that you remain at the scene for as long as you’re required—leaving briefly and then returning will not suffice. Even if the people involved do not suffer injuries or damage to their vehicle, make sure you remain at the scene; any form of contact between two vehicles can be considered an accident.
What Happens If You Flee The Scene?
If you fail to remain at the scene of an accident, you could be subject to several penalties, including a fine, demerits, a licence suspension, higher insurance premiums, and even jail time. You will also have a permanent criminal record. Depending on the extent of the vehicle damage and injuries to those involved, punishments may be more severe. Whether you are charged under the Criminal Code or the Highway Traffic Act, you may be subject to these penalties.
To charge someone with this offence, the Crown must prove several things:
- The identity of the driver.
- Which vehicle that they drove.
- If they fled the scene knowingly.
The prosecutor must provide evidence of these events to prove this charge. They need sufficient proof to convict someone of this offence.
If you are charged with failure to stop or remain at the scene of an accident, you need a defence lawyer in Winnipeg. At Brodsky Amy & Gould, we can help you find reasonable defences for your incident and build a strong case—for example, you may have been unaware that an accident occurred. Give us a call today to work with one of our expert attorneys.