Car Accident Lawyer Barrie
Car Accident? Slip & Fall? Personal Injury?
Understanding Your Legal Obligations when involved in a Car Accident in Barrie
Winters in Barrie, Ontario can be very extreme, which explains the frequent number of car crashes in winter months. As an example, on the 1st of January, heavy snowfall and poor visibility caused a series of crashes on Highway 400 near Barrie. No matter how careful a driver may be on the road, one cannot account for another’s carelessness or reckless driving habits. It is, therefore, important that you know your legal obligation if you are involved in a car accident.
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Understanding your legal obligation if you are involved either directly or indirectly in an accident that causes serious bodily injury, or property damage ensures you do not find yourself on the wrong side of the law and ensures you are able to successfully advance your claims.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is the regulatory body mandated with setting your legal obligation in case of a car accident since it is the body that regulates access to statutory accident benefits. FSCO is a body of the Ministry of Finance and it also regulates auto insurance, loan and trust companies, pension plans, credit unions, mortgage brokering, co-operative corporations, and caisses populaires in Ontario.
At Grillo Barristers, we have been practicing personal injury law for over 30 years, in which time we have prosecuted over 15,000 claims. We understand the law and know what it takes to successfully advance your claims.
The first step to commencing a claim is to understanding your important legal obligations outlined below.
1. Do not leave the scene of the accident
You are legally obligated to stay at the scene of the accident. Failure to stay on the scene of the accident is an offence punishable under the Highway Safety Act of Ontario and the Criminal Code of Canada. Violating the Highway Safety Act attracts fines of up to $2,000, imprisonment as well as loss of driver’s license. Violating of section 252 of the Criminal Code of Canada attracts up to 5 years in prison.
2. Giving help to injured persons
Under the Good Samaritans Act, there is no prescribed legal obligation to voluntarily give assistance and aid to anyone who may need it. A person may assist an injured victim but are recommended not to touch or move the injured person, unless they have medical training and unless the needs of the victim are clear (such as pulling the victim out of a burning vehicle). If it is proven that a driver left the scene knowing someone is injured or even sustained fatal injuries, they risk imprisonment of up to 10 years and life imprisonment respectively under the Criminal Code of Canada. Drivers involved in accidents are also obliged to help prevent further accidents by raising the hood of their car, putting on hazard lights, moving their car from the middle of a road and taking any other reasonable necessary measures.
3. Report the accident
The law requires that you call the police or that you report the accident by calling the police or reporting to a collision centre. If the damage to property was under $2,000 and no one was injured, you need not wait for the police. The exception is if there is damage to other property including guardrails, lawn, and telephone poles. If the damage is over $2,000, if someone is injured, and if any of the drivers are suspected to be involved in a law violation, you are required to contact the police before you leave the scene. In many circumstances involving serious accidents, police will require you to wait for them to arrive or to take your vehicle to a Collision Reporting Centre.
4. Contact your Insurer
All vehicle insurance policies require that you report all accidents, no matter the amount of damage and the at-fault driver.
Call your lawyer
Although not a legal obligation, you should call your lawyer for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights. A personal injury lawyer Barrie ensures your legal rights are fully protected and that the insurers do not attempt to take advantage of your rights.
Enlisting the services of a car accident lawyer in Barrie is particularly important if you have been injured or you have work or family commitments. Some claims end up in court. At Grillo Barristers, we know which cases should go to trial and those that should be settled out-of-court and we will guide you through the legal process accordingly.
Call us today on (416) 614-6000 for a free consultative session.