What to know about hit-and-run offences in Canada

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is stressful enough as it is. But when someone is involved in one with a hit-and-run driver, it's likely even more stressful. Drivers in Canada who leave the scene of an accident aren't only making things more difficult for others involved, but for themselves as well.

Such driver will either face Criminal Code of Canada charges or will be charged under the laws in their province or territory. And if a hit-and-run driver was the cause of the accident that injured or killed someone, he or she will likely face additional charges. The Criminal Code defines a hit-and-run as failing to stop at the scene of an accident with the intent to escape criminal or civil liability and failing to help -- or call help for -- anyone who has been hurt or injured.

Drivers should realize that if they leave the scene of an accident, they will likely face hefty punishments and not just a slap on the wrist. Those found guilty of not stopping could end up spending five years in  prison. If they are found at fault for causing bodily harm, that sentence could be increased up to 10 years. If their actions cause death, they could face manslaughter charges or charges of criminal negligence.

Those injured by a hit-and-run driver may have grounds to sue civilly. A lawyer in Canada will help injured parties to pursue claims for compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses and the like. Those who lose a family member in a motor vehicle accident due to someone's else's negligence can also pursue compensation for their loss.

Source: findlaw.ca, "Hit-and-run offences: What to know", Accessed on Dec. 16, 2017

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