- Posts: 2
A few days ago, while I was exiting the pump area at a gas station I apparently backed up into one of the vacuums there. I got out the car to check for damage and besides a few scrapes on the bottom of my rear bumper I didn't notice any damage to my car. I examined the vacuum and surrounding area, and although the vacuum had some bents in it, these were not on the side of where I thought my car would of hit it. So I assumed that my car's bumper must have hit the concrete in front of the vacuum (my bruised ego probably didn't let me think I caused any damage at that time). I should of swallowed my pride and spoke with the manager then but instead I drove off. Cut to today, I received a register letter from a traffic officer asking that I get in contact with him ASAP. I called the gas station's manager (after receiving traffic officer's letter) and they seemed open to coming to a private settlement. They reviewed the camera and said it was pretty clear that I caused damage to the vacuum, but I am pretty sure the vacuum also had previous damage to it because of the number of dents and markings on it.
Could the traffic officer charge me with failure to remain at the scene of an accident? I'm hoping no, since there were no other vehicles involved, no injuries and damage does not appear to exceed 1,000$, also accident occurred on private property. BTW I was told the traffic officer wont be in until tomorrow and to call back then. Can anyone give me a heads up as to what to expect when talking to the traffic officer?
- High Authority
- Posts: 2111
- Location: Ontario
As the accident occurred on private property, the applicable charge would be Ã¢Â€ÂœFail to report accidentÃ¢Â€Â contrary to section 199 of the Highway Traffic Act. ThatÃ¢Â€Â™s only if the total damage (i.e. your vehicle and the vacuum, etc.) exceeds $1,000. As you said, probably would have been best to deal with the matter at the time, but whatÃ¢Â€Â™s done is done. YouÃ¢Â€Â™ll just have to wait and see what the officer has to say and go from there.
- Posts: 2
Update: I just made arrangements with the franchisee of the gas station to make a deposit for the repairs. He's willing to avoid going through the insurance companies which is what I was hoping for. I don't want my insurance rates to skyrocket as a result of an at-fault claim. From his estimate, damages to the vacuum cleaner are likely to be less than $1,000 (he ball-parked it at between $500 and $1,000). There is no damage to my car. Since the total damages don't exceed 1,000$, I'm guessing I can't be charged with "Failure to Report an Accident" under the HTA. I haven't been able to speak with the investigating traffic officer yet since he's been on vacation. However, I have spoken with another traffic officer who says its unlikely I will be charged with anything since this occurred on private property. He thinks the investigating officer just wants to make an accident report. Does this report get passed along to the insurance company? If so, am I legally obligated to cooperate with the officer's investigation.
Thanks again for all your help,