Imagine you’ve just been involved in a car accident in Ontario. Amid the chaos and confusion, you might wonder, “Can I report an accident after 24 hours in Ontario?” In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the entire process, from understanding Ontario’s 24-hour accident reporting rule to seeking legal assistance and filing a police report. Stay prepared and informed – let’s dive in!

Short Summary

  • It is mandatory to report a car accident in Ontario within 24 hours, except for collisions resulting in personal injury or death.

  • Collision Reporting Centres provide resources and processes for incidents that don’t require police investigation.

  • Failure to report an accident can result in criminal prosecution and other legal consequences.

Ontario’s 24-Hour Accident Reporting Rule

In the aftermath of a car accident, feeling overwhelmed is natural. However, it’s essential to understand the 24-hour accident reporting rule in Ontario. This rule requires you to report a car accident to the Collision Reporting Center within 24 hours of its occurrence, known as filing an accident report.

But when should you contact the police? The police must be notified if any injuries are present, the total damage to all vehicles involved is estimated to exceed $2,000, or if there is suspicion of a Criminal Code offence committed by any other drivers involved.

Regardless of the accident’s severity, filing a collision report at the Collision Reporting Center is mandatory, even if there is no apparent damage. You should contact a Collision Reporting Centre within 24 hours if there are no reported injuries and the total damage to all vehicles involved is less than $2,000. This is important to document the incident properly.

Exceptions to the 24-hour rule

There are exceptions to the 24-hour accident reporting rule in Ontario. These exceptions include collisions involving personal injury or death, criminal activity such as impaired driving, and minor car accidents resulting in less than $2,000 of property damage.

Suppose you fail to meet the 24-hour reporting window. In that case, it’s crucial to report the accident as soon as possible at your local accident reporting centre and inform your insurance provider about the incident.

The Role of Collision Reporting Centres

A police officer at a collision reporting centre. *Image source credits to CBC News Ottawa.

So, what exactly is the purpose of collision reporting centres? These centres are designed to process collisions that do not require police investigation. Vehicles involved in accidents must be towed to the nearest collision reporting centre during business hours. Contact emergency services for assistance if a tow from the accident scene is needed. To ensure a smooth process at the collision reporting centre, bring essential information such as your driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance information, and details about the accident scene.

It’s important to be prepared and familiarize yourself with the necessary steps after a car accident in Ontario. This includes contacting the police immediately if required.

Locating the nearest collision reporting centre

To locate the nearest collision reporting centre in Ontario, consult the Ontario collision reporting centre directory.

If you’re in Ottawa, there are three collision reporting centres at 211 Huntmar Drive in Kanata, 474 Elgin Street downtown, and 3343 St. Joseph Boulevard in Orleans. The purpose of these centers is to allow drivers to file a self-report. This allows the law enforcement department to focus on more pressing issues.

If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), call 416-808-2222 to find the nearest local collision reporting centre. Alternatively, you can obtain information about the location of the nearest collision reporting centre by contacting your broker or the local police department.

Reporting an Accident to Your Insurance Company

A driver filing a report after a car accident. *Image source credits to CTV News Ottawa.

Reporting an accident to your insurance company is a crucial step in the aftermath of a collision. This guarantees that you are suitably insured in case of a claim. Some exceptions exist to the 24-hour rule in Ontario, where it is unnecessary to report the incident or submit an insurance claim if the overall damage (all cars included) from the accident is less than ,000.

To begin the claims process, contact your broker before submitting a claim to your insurance company. You’ll then receive a call from one of your insurance company’s claims adjusters, who will review your policy and answer any questions regarding the procedure.

Failing to report an accident to your insurance company may make you ineligible for coverage in the event of a claim.

Steps to Follow After a Car Accident

Recording information after a car accident

In the unfortunate event of a car accident, there are several crucial steps to follow. First and foremost, ensure that the driver and passengers in the other vehicle are not injured. Record important information such as the weather, road conditions, time, location of the accident, and any details about the vehicles involved appear relevant.

Activate your hazard signals if you cannot move your vehicle after the accident. Finally, seeking legal assistance is highly recommended.

Standard Accident Protocol

If there are no injuries, you must still call the police to report the accident. At that point, the person you speak with will assess your situation and provide instructions on how to file your accident report best. Despite the reason for the accident or car collision, when you report your collision to the police, you may be referred to the collision reporting center nearest you. If you need to have your vehicle towed, it’s recommended that you call your insurance, and they can provide assistance and instructions.

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Common causes of accidents include distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driver incompetence. However, other factors can result in car collisions, including:

  • Bad roads

  • Unfavourable weather conditions

  • Speeding

  • Distracted driving caused by emotional or mental distress

  • Aggressive or reckless driving

  • An overworked and tired driver

  • Unexpected vehicle malfunction

Call an Accident Lawyer Before Driving to the Collision Reporting Centre

Emotions are often running high in those moments immediately following an accident. It may be difficult to think straight and know the correct protocol. Discerning the correct course of action will save you from difficulties.

Accident lawyers are well-versed in the laws around motor vehicle accidents; they’ll ensure your legal matters are dealt with effectively and that your rights remain protected. If you fail to report the accident within the 24-hour window, your lawyer may be able to obtain extra time to file your case.

If you’ve sustained injuries due to someone else’s negligence, then an accident lawyer will know your rights and will assist you in deciding whether or not to take legal action. A reputed and skilled accident lawyer will assess the facts and the situation and know whether you have the right to file a personal injury claim.

If you wish to learn more or schedule a consultation, call Badre Law today to speak with an experienced team of accident lawyers.

How to File a Police Report for an Accident

A Collision Report Center in Ottawa.

Filing a police report for an accident is a straightforward process. A police officer at the accident scene or the reporting centre will request certain information from you. Follow their instructions when completing the necessary paperwork. A police accident report form typically includes the particulars of the incident, the individual who submitted the report, and the location where the report was submitted.

The advantages of filing a police report for an accident include the documentation of the accident, provision of evidence for insurance claims, and potential assistance with legal proceedings. Further information and resources can be located on the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website.

Dealing with Minor Car Accidents

A picture of a minor car accident showing a dent on the car's bumper. It is important to know if can i report an accident after 24 hours ontario to ensure proper reporting and insurance coverage.

Handling minor car accidents in Ontario requires knowledge of the necessary reporting procedures. Reporting minor car accidents to the Collision Reporting Centre in Ontario is mandatory. Failing to do so may result in legal action. If law enforcement personnel do not arrive at the location of the accident, visit an accident reporting centre to submit a police report regarding the accident.

Again, it is necessary to report a parking lot accident in the same manner as one on the road.

Dealing with Personal Injuries

An injured person being helped by a personal injury lawyer

If you’ve sustained personal injuries as a result of an auto accident or a car accident, it’s vital to know what to do next. First, bring the vehicle to a stop and assess any injuries. Seek medical attention promptly by visiting a hospital or consulting your physician.

Report the accident to the police if there is any property damage or personal injury at the accident scene.

Getting a Personal Injury Lawyer to Represent You

Hiring a personal injury lawyer is essential for understanding your rights and obligations and providing legal counsel and representation in court. To acquire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Ontario, contact Badre Law to arrange a free consultation.

Remember that the fundamental limitation period for submitting personal injury claims in Ontario is two years.

What Happens if You Don’t Report an Accident?

A driver could be charged with a criminal code offence for not reporting an accident

Failing to report an accident in Ontario can lead to severe consequences. These may include criminal prosecution, fines of up to $2,000, imprisonment, license suspension, and a conviction registered on your driving record. It is obligatory to report an accident without delay if any person is hurt or if the damage to all vehicles appears to be more than $2,000. Otherwise, you have 24 hours to report a collision to a Collision Reporting Centre.

Not reporting an accident may also lead to the cancellation or refusal to renew your insurance policy, as well as possible legal charges and penalties, including fines or imprisonment. It’s best to avoid these consequences by reporting accidents promptly and accurately.

Tips for Managing the Accident Reporting Process

Two drivers exchanging information after an accident and managing the accident reporting process

Accurately documenting the details of the accident is crucial for a successful accident reporting process. Capture photographs of the scene, record the accident’s time and location and note the weather conditions. After documenting the details, contact your insurance company to report the accident. If there is any property damage or personal injury, report the accident to the police.

Additional tips for managing the accident reporting process include procuring corroborative evidence and confirmation from any onlookers and abstaining from including personal biases in the report. Construct and utilize a template for the incident report.

Common Questions About Accident Reporting in Ontario

Common questions about accident reporting in Ontario

In Ontario, the 24-hour rule for accident reporting requires you to report an accident to the police within 24 hours of its occurrence. There are exceptions to this rule, such as hit-and-run accidents or collisions involving parked vehicles, which may be reported after the 24-hour window.

Collision reporting centres serve as locations where one can report an accident after 24 hours. These centres are staffed by police officers available to assist with the accident reporting procedure. The necessary steps after a car accident involve exchanging information with the other driver, taking photographs of the scene, and filing a police report.


In conclusion, understanding the accident reporting process in Ontario is essential for anyone who drives a vehicle within the province. From knowing the 24-hour rule to seeking legal assistance and filing a police report, being prepared can help alleviate stress and ensure a smooth experience. Remember, your safety and the safety of others on the road is paramount; always adhere to the rules and regulations to avoid any unnecessary consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to report an accident within 24 hours?

Yes, it is highly recommended that you report an accident within 24 hours to remain compliant with the law and ensure you can receive compensation for any damages.

By reporting the accident within 24 hours, you can ensure that you are following the law and that you can receive the compensation you deserve for any damages.

How long do you have to report an accident to the insurance company in Ontario?

In Ontario, you must notify your insurance company within seven days of the accident. It’s important to report the incident as soon as possible to protect yourself and ensure that all details are properly documented in the report.

How long do you have to report an accident at the police station?

You must report any car accident you are involved in immediately. The law in Ontario states that if the damages exceed $2,000 and the vehicle is driveable, you must report the incident at your local police station within 24 hours.

When should I contact the police after a car accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important to contact the police as soon as possible if there are any injuries or if the total estimated damage exceeds ,000.

In addition, contact the authorities if you suspect another driver has committed a Criminal Code offence.

How can I locate the nearest collision reporting centre?

To find the closest collision reporting centre, search online directories or speak with your local police department. All these resources can help you locate

author avatar
Daniel Badre Founder, Partner
Daniel Badre is a distinguished personal injury lawyer based in Ottawa, renowned for his unwavering commitment to justice and advocacy for those who have suffered from accidents or negligence. With a legal career spanning over two decades, Badre has established himself as a compassionate and tenacious advocate for his clients.
Skip to content