man on cellphone at the scene of a car accident

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When you get into an accident on the road it can be incredibly overwhelming. You will likely have all kinds of questions running through your mind. Is everyone ok? How will this affect my insurance?

Once you get over the initial shock, the first thing you’ll likely do is step out of your car to assess the damage to your vehicle. If you exchange names, phone numbers and insurance information with the other driver you can just leave it up to the insurance companies to figure out the details right? Well, maybe not.

When an accident happens there are some procedures you have to follow. Here’s what you need to know about when and where to report an accident in Hamilton, Ontario.

Times You Don’t Need to Report It

If there isn’t any damage or the damage is estimated to be less than $1,000 AND none of the situations listed below applies, then you don’t have to file a police accident report. In these cases, you can exchange your information with the other driver and take your car to the garage of your choice for any fixes needed, or check for further damage.

When You Need to Report an Accident on Scene

If the damage is severe, or the cars are not in driving condition, then you will always need to file a police accident report.

In addition, there are some other times that you will need to file a report ON SCENE regardless of the amount of damage to the vehicles involved:

  • Injury or Death – if someone is injured or death has occurred.
  • Government Vehicles – if one of the vehicles involved in the accident, regardless of fault, is registered as a government vehicle.
  • Dangerous Goods – if the collision involves a vehicle transporting dangerous goods.
  • Uninsured Drivers – if a driver doesn’t have insurance.
  • Criminal Activity – if it is suspected one of the drivers is impaired in some way or may be involved in some form of criminal activity.
  • Pedestrian or Cyclist – if there was a pedestrian or cyclist involved in the accident.
  • Property Damage – if any private, municipal or highway property was damaged in the accident.

When To Make Your Accident Report at a Collision Reporting Centre

In Hamilton, if none of the situations above apply, but the damage is likely over $1,000, then you will need to file a police accident report at one of three Collision Reporting Centres.

  • 155 King William Street, Hamilton
  • 2825 King Street, Hamilton
  • 400 Rymal Road East, Hamilton

Be sure to exchange information with the other driver before leaving the scene (name, driver license number, address, phone, insurance, vehicle plate, make, model and year) as well as the name and phone number of any witnesses.

What if You Don’t Report it?

You may be tempted to think that by not reporting an accident it will be less hassle, but actually, the opposite can be true. Not reporting when you are legally required to do so may result in serious consequences. You could be charged with Leave the Scene of an Accident, which is a criminal charge. Penalties for this charge could include large monetary fines, license suspension or, in really extreme circumstances, time in jail.

After an accident happens, you have 24 hours to report it to the police. If your car is so damaged it cannot be driven to the reporting station then you can arrange for it to be towed there so the damage can be documented.

While being in an accident can be stressful, it is important you follow the procedures necessary to ensure everyone is safe and protected. If you aren’t sure about the damage, or it’s close to that $1,000 mark, then you should report it just in case.

Reporting a Collision in Halton, ON

Each region has their own accident reporting policies to be aware of.

Halton’s Collision Reporting policies are similar to Hamilton’s, but does have a slightly different list of situations requiring officer dispatch and the damage amount that requires reporting is $2,000.

Halton also has 3 collision reporting centres of its own.

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