In Canada, it is mandatory to report an accident to the police if the estimated damage exceeds the limit set in the province.
For instance, in Alberta and Ontario, it is set at $2,000. It is best to be well aware of this before driving.
But what about the police report after a car accident in the province of Quebec? Is it mandatory and, if so, when?
Me Bégin, a qualified SAAQ lawyer for road accidents victims since 1992, explains everything you need to know about the police report after a car accident in Quebec.
Is it mandatory to file a police report after a car accident?
In Quebec, a police officer doesn’t need to be present during a minor accident. If there are no injuries, you are under no obligation to file a police report after a car accident. However, if you want to file a claim for compensation after a car accident, it is always better to file a police report to provide your insurance company with all the necessary information.
Before thinking about the police report after having a car accident, it is important to notify emergency services first if someone is injured or slightly injured.
For what type of accident do I need a police report to file a claim?
If you have insurance, we strongly recommend that you obtain a police report when:
- Your vehicle is the subject of theft or attempted theft
- Your vehicle is vandalized
- You are hit by a car (required by companies that offer an excess waiver clause)
- You are involved in a major collision with another vehicle
- You are the victim of a criminal act such as mugging on the road
In Quebec, you can obtain the police report several hours or several days after the accident.
The Joint Report is preferred in the case of a minor accident
If the road accident is minor, for example, in the case of a simple collision, we advise you to complete a Joint Report. You will not need to call the police as long as you have this document.
The joint report makes it possible to describe a car accident in a precise and objective way. It will help your insurance company identify the guilty party and determine the damages to expedite the processing of your claim.
How to properly complete a Joint Report
You can fill out details of vehicles and drivers involved, including contact details of witnesses, and draw a sketch of the accident.
- Carefully copy each driver’s first and last name, their addresses, and details of the driver’s license, registration, and insurance certificate of each party involved.
- If there are witnesses, note their names and addresses in Section 5 of the report. This is especially important when the other driver involved does not cooperate.
- Both parties must sign the report and have a sample of the completed document. If the other driver refuses to complete the report or refuses to sign it when completed, you must still sign it.
- Do not forget to make a sketch of the accident and describe the visible damage.
- Use only one report when there are two vehicles involved in the accident or two reports if there are three vehicles involved. It does not matter much who provides the insurance report or who completes it.
When should a Joint Report be filled out?
While there is no mandatory time frame for filling out a Joint Report, it’s best to do so right after the accident and immediately submit it to your insurance company.
If the other driver refuses to fill out the Joint Report, there is no obligation for them to do so. In this case, jot down the license plate of the vehicle involved and take a few photos of the accident.
You can get a free copy of the Joint Report from the Groupement des assureurs automobile (GAA):
What to do if you were unable to complete a police report or fill out a Joint Report?
According to the Quebec Ministry of Public Security, approximately 20,000 hit-and-runs are reported each year. It can happen to any car accident victim.
What is a hit and run? When your vehicle is hit and damaged, and the driver or owner of the vehicle that caused the accident leaves the scene and cannot be identified.
What to do if you are the victim of a hit-and-run after a car accident
- Note all the information you remember about the driver and the vehicle: car brand, model, color, license plate number, and a description of the driver.
- Contact the police as soon as possible to file a police report within 48 hours of the accident.
- Take additional information from any witnesses and obtain their contact details.
- Take photos of the damage caused to your vehicle
- Contact your insurance company to report the incident and provide the police report number.
If your insurance policy includes coverage for damage resulting from a collision with another vehicle, your insurance company will assess the damage to your vehicle and compensate you according to the terms of your policy.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run and you are not covered for damage resulting from a collision with another vehicle, the SAAQ (Société Provinciale d’Assurance Automobile) has a compensation to cover damage to cars or other property for Quebec residents.
Good to Know: our article “How to file a claim with the SAAQ after a car accident” will help you understand the procedure to follow and the essential documents to present to the SAAQ.
Contact an experienced lawyer to file a claim with the SAAQ
Whether you are responsible or the victim of a car accident, it is sometimes difficult to act rationally. However, being involved in a car accident can have a major impact on both your health and finances.
With 30 years of experience, you can trust Me Bégin in helping you defend yourself or receive compensatory damages. We are committed to offering you outstanding service and guiding you throughout the entire process.