A hit and run is when one party in an accident leaves the scene without providing assistance or information to other parties. This can also include failure to report an accident to authorities.
According to a AAA Foundation survey, a hit-and-run accident occurs in a car every 43 seconds. This is according to data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers must take precautions to avoid being hit and run drivers, as there has been an increase in car crashes like these and more fatalities.
A hit and run with a motor vehicle in Michigan is defined as the “accidental striking of a pedestrian, jogger or cyclist outside of a vehicle.” According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), 25.5% are uninsured in Michigan. In 2019, Michigan was the state with the highest number of uninsured motorists. This is the most recent available year. Drivers who don’t have insurance may be more likely than others to abandon the scene of an accident.
It makes sense to insure yourself with such a large number of uninsured Michigan drivers. You can add financial protection to your finances by purchasing uninsured driver coverage in case you are involved in a hit-and run.
Michigan hit-and-run laws
Michigan has many laws and statutes that drivers must follow regarding hit-and-run accidents and car accidents. You must follow these guidelines if you’re a Michigan driver and you are involved in a auto accident.
- Stop immediately at the scene.
- Provide your vehicle and personal information to the victim or other occupants of the accident.
- Call or arrange transport for those who are injured in an accident.
If there is property damage, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. This is punishable by up 90 day in jail and a $100 fine or both. There are severe penalties for leaving an accident scene in Michigan. They vary depending on how serious the accident was. You can:
- Do not leave the scene of an accident that has caused serious injury or death. You could face felony criminal charges, including a maximum five-year sentence and a $5,000 fine.
- Do not leave the scene of an accident that has resulted in the death of another person: You could face felony criminal charges which can lead to up to 15 years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.
You could face serious consequences if you are involved with a hit-and run, regardless of whether you are at fault. The exact penalties that you may face depend on the circumstances of each accident.
Michigan’s hit-and-run policy: How does it affect car insurance rates
You can expect to see your insurance premiums rise if you are involved in a hit-and run accident.
Michigan drivers pay already more for auto insurance than the average. A Michigan driver who causes a regular accident such as rear-ending another motorist can expect an average increase in their annual insurance premium of $1,223 However, Michigan drivers may end up paying three times more for car insurance after causing a hit and run accident.
Five things to do following a Michigan hit-and-run
Michigan law requires that you stop and render assistance to anyone who is involved in an accident or hit and run. These are the steps you should take if you’re involved in a hit and run in Michigan.
- Notify emergency services: Safety should be your first priority. Call emergency services immediately if you, your passengers or pedestrian are hurt in an accident.
- As much information as you can about the driver, record it. Whether you have the ability to write it down or snap a photo with your phone, you should be able to identify the make, model, and color of any car that was hit. If possible, note the driver’s direction and any damage to the vehicle.
- Police should be called to the scene. If you have already called for emergency medical assistance, the police might already be there. A police report can help you track down the driver at fault. Give as much information as you can to the officer responding.
- You should check for eyewitnesses. Having a third party witness can help you identify the at fault driver and corroborate your story to your insurance company or the police. As part of your claims process, ask witnesses to remain to speak with a police officer.
- Your insurance company may be able to help you. This can be done by calling your insurance company or agent. You may be able to file a claim online or via mobile app.
Is insurance available to cover hit-and-run accidents?
There are many coverages you can have in Michigan to cover your injuries and property damage following a hit-and run.
- Personal injury protection (PIP). Michigan is a no-fault State. Michigan drivers must have PIP. This coverage covers medical expenses and more up to your policy limit.
- Uninsured motorist bodily Injury: This coverage can help you pay for medical expenses if you are injured by someone who is not insured. You may need to prove that the other driver had no insurance before your insurance company will cover you under this coverage.
- Uninsured motorist property damages: This coverage may pay for damage that the uninsured driver did to your vehicle or other property. Similar to uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, an insurance company might first ask for proof that the other driver wasn’t insured at the time the accident occurred.
- Collision: You may be eligible to use your collision coverage to pay for damages to your vehicle if you have complete coverage. Your deductible will be due, but some companies will waive it in cases of hit-and-run.
It may be a good idea to talk with your agent about your insurance policy before you become the victim of a hit and run. Knowing how your policy can help you in the event of a hit and run could help you identify coverage gaps.
Questions frequently asked
What is the cost of car insurance?
Michigan drivers spend $948 annually on state minimum coverage, and $2,309 on full coverage. Car insurance costs vary depending on the insurance company you choose, your driving record, whereabouts, and what type of coverage you have purchased. Your premium may be higher than the average.
What happens if you leave the scene in Michigan of an accident?
It is illegal to leave the accident scene in Michigan. You could be facing criminal charges, jail time, and fines. Even though an accident can be frightening, you could face criminal charges, fines, and jail time.