Motorists in Ontario might think that only a major accident needs to be reported to the police. Actually, there are numerous times when a seemingly minor incident calls for notification of the closest officer, or the one then available to arrive at the scene.
When a motorist must report an accident:
• When the amount of damage exceeds 2,000 Canadian dollars.
• When government vehicles were involved.
• When property that belongs to someone other than the involved parties has been damaged.
• When a pedestrian was involved.
• When somebody was injured.
• When one of the drivers has committed a criminal offense.
• When one of the drivers was uninsured; that would include any time that a hit-and-run incident has disrupted the flow of traffic.
What should a motorist in Ontario do if an accident does not have to be reported to the police?
Depending on the nature of a given motor vehicle accident, it is best to make some report available to the proper authorities. In Ontario that means filing a report with the Collision Reporting Centre.
What can happen if a motorist fails to report an accident?
Any motorists that fail to report an accident invite the imposition of penalties from both the government and the insurance company.
The government could suspend the license of such a motorist for up to 2 years. Someone that has become dependent on the availability of 4 wheels would certain view that as quite an inconvenience. The government hopes that such thoughts can push most motorists to report any accident in which they have been involved.
In addition to reporting an accident to the police, that same incident should be reported to the proper insurance company. If an insurer learns that a policy holder has failed to provide notice of his or her involvement in a collision, that insurance company has the right to issue its own penalty. That is why a personal injury lawyer in Cornwall needs to be consulted.
Some companies elect to raise the rates being charged to the policy holder that neglected to call-in or send-in a report. Others have what seems like a harsher penalty. They actually force the offending customer to lose his or her policy.
Still, it could be argued that the raising of insurance rates is harder on a driver than the loss of a policy. Remember, the government can suspend the driver’s license for 2 years. That gives the insurance-lacking driver 2 years in which to search for a company that will agree to offer the needed car insurance policy.
On the other hand, a driver might get stuck paying higher rates for a product (insurance) that cannot be used, at least not for a 2-year period. The reader might care to ponder over which is the harsher penalty.