What to do after a hit-and-run in Georgia

Areport revealed that Dekalb County, Georgia makes the list of the top 50 counties in the country with the most hit-and-run fatalities. One of the most serious violations Georgia drivers may be facing is a hit-and run. Drivers who are convicted of leaving an accident scene may face a heavy fine, a suspension of their license, and possible jail time. It is important to know what to do in Georgia if you are involved with a hit-and run.

Georgia Hit-and-runs

Most people think of a hit-and-run as striking a pedestrian or car and speeding off before the victim can obtain your information. This scenario is well-known, but there are many other hit-and-runs. One example is crashing a car, even accidentally, and driving away while the owner does not know.

Georgia hit-and-run laws

Georgia’s hit-and-run law is serious. Georgia’s hit-and run law could lead to felony charges if you cause injury or death. Even if you caused minimal damage to another vehicle or someone’s property, the hit-and-run Georgia statute specifies that not stopping (or not returning) to provide your information could be considered a crime. Here is what type of penalties you may face, depending on how severe the infraction is:

  • Property damage: A misdemeanor with a $300-$1,000 fine per violation
  • Injury: A $300-$1,000 fine and up to one year imprisonment.
  • Death: A felony conviction and imprisonment for one to five year
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Your car insurance could be cancelled or increased in price, along with the legal consequences and fines for leaving the scene.

Georgia’s hit-and-runs and car insurance rates

Insurance companies will determine the premium based on an individual’s driving record (among other factors). Safe drivers with no accidents typically get the lowest premiums. Drivers who leave an accident scene may be considered reckless, dangerous and more likely to be involved with other serious accidents. Higher-risk drivers will pay more for car insurance. Car insurance for a Georgia hit-and-run could cost twice as much as a standard driver.

Here are 4 things to do following a Georgia hit-and-run

It is important to be able to identify what to do if you cause an accident, collide with another person, vehicle, or object.

  1. Stop, or you can go back. It is crucial to immediately stop and assess if anyone is injured or in need of assistance. Safety should always be your number one priority. There are many other steps you can take but the most important is to stop at the accident site or to return there. You can reduce the chance of an even more serious accident by parking to the side of your vehicle in a safe spot that doesn’t impede traffic or cause additional accidents.
  2. If someone is hurt, call 911 to get an ambulance. Even if it appears that the injury is minor, it is crucial to consult a doctor to determine the severity of the injury.
  3. Leave a note: A note is required if you collide with someone’s property.
  4. Contact your insurance company: Once you have made sure that injured parties are safe and medically attended to, you can contact your insurance company and give them a summary of what happened. Your carrier may reimburse some or all of your expenses, depending on what coverage you have.
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Is insurance available to cover hit-and-runs?

Full coverage car insurance is generally the best type of insurance in the event of a hit-and-run. Minimal vehicle insurance usually only covers liability, which covers third-party injuries.

Full coverage adds collision coverage which pays for the damages to your vehicle, even if you were at fault. And if you were the victim of the hit-and-run, uninsured motorist coverage covers your expenses if you are unable to determine who struck you or your vehicle.

Questions frequently asked

What is the cost of my car insurance after a hit and run?

Your premiums will almost double if you are at fault for a hit-and run. According to Bankrate, the average annual insurance premium for Georgia after a hit-and-run was $3,848.

What is the cost of car insurance?

Bankrate’s study on the average cost of car insurance found that U.S. rates are $565 per year for minimum car insurance and $1,674 per year for full coverage. You may pay more or less based on the car insurance company you choose, the state you live in and your driving record.

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Who is responsible for the costs of a hit-and run accident?

Georgia law holds the driver at fault responsible for any accident-related costs. However, if the person flees the scene and their information is unknown, the victim’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage could pay for the damages.