October 31, 2006

Hitting pedestrians a “Hallowe’en horror”, insurance specialist says

Toronto, Ontario – As trick-or-treaters come out tonight, Ontario insurance specialist Lee Romanov reminds motorists of the consequences of hitting a pedestrian, outlined in four scenarios.

  • If a pedestrian does not appear to be hurt and walks away, it should still be reported to police. The police will not report the collision to your insurance company, and by reporting it, you are covering yourself against a criminal hit-and-run charge. However, if you hit and injure someone, you are required to report both to the police and your insurance company.
  • If the pedestrian is taken to hospital, report it to your insurance company. If the pedestrian or cyclist has their own insurance, they may claim through their own policy, but you will still be considered at fault.
  • Sometimes pedestrians jump in front of you to get insurance money. Never pay a “victim” cash, or offer in any way to pay their medical bills. This is in violation of your insurance contract, and often results in the person reporting a claim anyway. It is important to get witnesses.
  • A hit and run is a serious event; if convicted of leaving the scene, in addition to jail time, the conviction can affect your ability to get a job or travel to other countries. Insurance companies will cancel your policy if you are charged with leaving the scene, and will not pay any claims for damage to your vehicle.

  • If you hit a pedestrian or cyclist, offer assistance immediately, and don’t move them unless you must to get them out of the way of other traffic, as moving them can cause further injury.

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