When Ontario drivers and passengers are involved in car or truck accidents, they may think about not calling the police to report the accidents. However, not calling the police may be a mistake. Though most minor fender benders may not need to be reported to the police, it is often prudent to contact the police after any motor vehicle accident in Kingston, Ottawa and other cities in Ontario. In fact, Ontario law sets forth reporting requirements for when drivers need to report motor vehicle accidents.
Section 199 of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act states:
Duty to report accident
(1) Every person in charge of a motor vehicle or street car who is directly or indirectly involved in an accident shall, if the accident results in personal injuries or in damage to property apparently exceeding an amount prescribed by regulation, report the accident forthwith to the nearest police officer and furnish him or her with the information concerning the accident as may be required by the officer under subsection (3).
Thus, if someone is injured, the accident must be reported to the police. However, involved parties may misinterpret what “injured” means. They may think they are injured only if they need to call an ambulance and receive treatment at the scene of the accident. Drivers and passengers may also only think they are “injured” if they suffer serious injuries, such as fractured bones, head injuries, etc. However, this is not true. Many injuries that may not seem serious enough to require calling an ambulance may develop into serious injuries later. For instance, injuries that seem minor, such as neck pain, may turn out to be a serious neck injury with multiple herniations in the cervical spine. A headache that does not go away for several days after the accident may be a symptom of a traumatic brain injury. Therefore, even if an injury seems minor immediately after the accident, the accident should still be reported to the police.
The law also provides that an auto accident should be reported if damages exceed an amount prescribed by regulations. In Ontario, if the damage to all vehicles involved appears to be more than $1,000, the accident should be reported. However, most drivers are not mechanics and probably do not know how to assess the amount of property damage just by looking at the damage. Further, some damage may not be visible, such as damage under the car. Therefore, other than minor fender benders, involved parties should call the police to report the accident.
Contact an Ontario Car Accident Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident in Ontario, call the car, truck and pedestrian accident lawyers at Bergeron Clifford to schedule a free consultation. The lawyers at Bergeron Clifford have 40 years of experience representing injured clients and their loved ones. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your accident and injury, please do not hesitate to call 1-866-384-5886.