What is the Penalty for Leaving the Scene of an Accident in BC?
The consequences of leaving the scene of an accident can be very terrific. Know what is the penalty for leaving the scene of an Accident in BC.
In British Columbia, it is a serious criminal offence to leave the scene of an accident. It can even lead to felony charges if someone avoids the statutory duties after the accident. Whether the accident is major or minor, one should leave the place according to the law of Canada.
Failure to remain at the scene can be an expensive and life-changing mistake for the at-fault party as you all know that the criminal code of Canada is one of the strictest ones in the whole world. Especially in British Columbia, there are many precise penalties for leaving the scene of an accident.
In this article, we are going to discuss this in detail. Read on the article to know the consequences of leaving the scene of an accident in BC.
What does it mean to leave the scene of an accident?
Leaving the scene of an accident is also known as a hit and run in Canada. It refers to failure to remain at the accident scene and complete the statutory duties. However, this term will only be used when the accident causes damages to the property, physical and mental injuries, or death.
Besides this, leaving the scene of an accident will be a crime only when the person involved in the crash is on another person's property. That person willingly leaves the scene without giving them proper detailed information, including name, address, driver's license number, car registration number, etc.
Here, another notable thing is, according to the accident law of Canada, if the owner of the property or the victim is not present there to receive the information, one needs to provide the information to the nearby law enforcement agency.
So, after the above discussion, you can say that leaving the scene of an accident means leaving the spot of the accident willingly without giving any information to the victim or other part and avoiding the statutory duties. This offence is generally done by the person who is mainly the at-fault party of an accident.
Statutory Duties After an Accident:
For every accident which causes damage to property, mental or physical damage or death, the driver has some obligations and duties that must be conducted before leaving the scene.
Now let's discuss the statutory duties after an accident that cause damages to the properties, including vehicles, buildings or any other objects:
- Try to stop or save the vehicle as much as possible.
- Collect all the information of the vehicle owner or operator, driver's name, address, vehicle registration number, and all relevant information.
- Report to the police providing all the information, including driver's license number and vehicle registration number.
- Provide all information of you if requested. Police can ask for your driver's license; show them if they ask.
- If the property owner is not present (for instance, you have hit a parked car), try to find the property owner or provide your information by which the victim can easily find you.
- In case of an unattended victim, if it is not possible to reach the victim, you must leave your information to the nearby law enforcement authority.
There are also some statutory duties after an accident that cause physical injury or even death. In both cases, duties are almost the same. The duties we have given above will also apply to this one. Here just a few more will be added.
These are as follows:
- If the other party needs medical treatment, you have to provide reasonable assistance to get a doctor, surgeon, or physician for the medical treatment.
- You need to pay for all the things required for medical emergencies, and all other responsibilities are yours, like calling ambulances.
- If the victim cannot receive your information, you need to leave it to the non-injured person on the victim's side of the nearby law enforcement authority.
What is the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in BC?
You all know that leaving the scene of an accident is a punishable offence in British Columbia. According to the criminal code of Canada, there are many serious penalties for it.
When someone leaves the accident scene, the investigation process starts at that moment to find out the criminal. Law enforcement officers conduct the investigation process.
Initially, they ask witnesses who may have directly seen the accident and check all nearby surveillance cameras to detect the criminal. Once the criminal is detected, they request the court order.
In most scene of accident cases in British Columbia, criminals are punished by a fined payment. Besides, in some cases, they also get driver's license suspension. However, if the case is very serious, the fine payment is increased at a big amount and even imprisonment for a specific period.
Besides, a lawsuit is filed against the at-fault party on behalf of the victim. At that time, the victim will get the right to compensation for the damages caused by accident. It includes medical bills, mental traumas, lost incomes and so on.
Anyways, the major consequences that the at-fault party faces are:
- For property damages, the convicted will get a fine of $500 and up to six months jail.
- In case of second third-degree personal injury, the convicted will get a fine of $5000 and up to five years of imprisonment.
- If the accident cause death, the convicted will get a fine of $10000 and up to 30 years of imprisonment.
In a nutshell:
So, these are mainly the penalties for leaving the scene of an accident in BC. Here, we have discussed all the significant things relevant to this topic. Hopefully, you have got all the needed information that you are searching for.
In conclusion, only one thing is to say that one should never leave the scene of an accident. Rather everyone should help the victim as much as s/he can. It is the best option for both parties. It can save the victim's life and help the at-faulty party from many severe penalties.