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False or Incomplete Accident Report

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False or Incomplete Accident Report

This page has been written for the purposes of legal education. Its purpose is to present in a general and simplified manner the law in force in Quebec concerning police powers and duties, your obligations as citizens and advice when you believe that a police officer writes an accident report that he or she knows to be false or inaccurate. Its content should therefore not be construed as legal advice or advice. To find out the specific rules or advice appropriate to your situation, consult a lawyer.


Your Obligations

First, you don't have to call the police after a car accident, unless there are injuries or one of the people involved commits a hit-and-run. Once you have ensured that no one is injured and that the vehicles involved have been moved to a safe spot, you can complete the drafting of an accident report with the driver of the other vehicle involved. Drivers who have a cell phone with them are encouraged to take photos of vehicles in impact position. This will help determine driver liability. Secondly, you should contact your insurer to file your claim.


The Power to Investigate a Car Accident

When a police officer is called to the scene of an accident and fills out an accident report, the latter consists solely of their observations. They have a large autonomy on the methods which allow him to form an idea concerning the causes of a traffic accident and on the opinions which he is called upon to formulate as a result.

Whether it's a joint report or an accident report from the police, these documents are used to describe what happened and to record any other important information. It does not establish who is responsible for the accident. The police therefore do not have the power to assess which driver is responsible for the accident.

The power to investigate the motor vehicle accident and establish who is at fault rests with the insurance companies. Insurers rely on specific criteria to establish the responsibility of the parties involved in the accident.

Since the criteria of the insurer are not the same as those of the police, a citizen could be held responsible for an accident even if he strictly complied with the Highway Safety Code, or conversely, not be held responsible for an accident even if he violated the Highway Safety Code. If a police officer gives you a ticket while responding to the accident scene, this does not mean that your insurer will hold you responsible for the accident.



The Police Duty Related to Writing an Accident Report >>



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