What to do after a hit and run in Virginia

If you’re the victim of ahit-and-runVirginia is not only a stressful place, but also your car insurance will likely increase.For a full coverage policy, the average cost of Virginia auto insurance is $1,304 annually. A hit-and-run accident can increase the average rate by $2,565Based on data from Quadrant Information Services.

Virginia hit-and-runs

A hit-and-run incident is defined as an accident in which the at-fault party runs from the accident scene. Virginia had over 238,000 moving violations for 2019. Among these, 4,278, or 2% of the total, were ruled as hit-and-runs. Surprisingly, around 5% of all hit-and-runs were committed while under the influence.

Virginia hit-and-run laws

Virginia law dictates any driver involved in an accident where an injury or property damage (including to a vehicle) must stop. If the property damage is less than $1,000, the driver must stop. This can lead to serious penalties. If the accident has a serious injury, death or property damage greater than $1,000, then the hit-and-run in Virginia is ruled a Class 5 felony. A Class 5 felony can result in a maximum of one year in prison and $2,500 fine or both.

Virginia requires every car insurance company that offers motor vehicle liability coverage to offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in addition to liability coverage. UM coverage is also available for hit-and-run incidents in Virginia. The driver who is the victim of a hit-and-run is responsible for the first $200 in property damage before the UM goes into effect.

What impact does hit-and-runs have on car insurance rates for Virginia?

Your car insurance will be affected depending on whether you were the victim of a hit and run accident or the person who was charged with it in Virginia. However, premiums may rise for both the victim and the at-fault driver. If you are a victim to hit-and-run, filing a claim can result in an increase in your insurance premiums.

The consequences of being the at-fault driver in a hit-and-run collision can be worse. Below is a table that shows how much auto insurance costs can rise in Virginia if you are found to be at fault. A hit-and run accident can increase the premium cost by up to 26%, or $1304 per year.

A standard accident can increase premiums by an average of $1,785 per year for full-coverage car insurance. Additionally, you may be required to file an SR-22 certificate with the state as proof of insurance if your current policy is canceled after your conviction for a hit-and-run accident in Virginia.

There are four things you can do following a Virginia hit-and-run

There are several key steps you should take when involved in a hit and run in Virginia. This can be a stressful situation, but if you stay focused on the next steps, it will help you get through.

  1. If you have any injuries, call 911 immediately for medical attention.Safety and medical attention are the top priorities. Although you and your passengers might not feel any immediate pain, medical personnel can assess everyone and determine the next steps.
  2. Contact the policeEven if you are not present at the scene of the accident, it is important to get the police involved. When you file an insurance claim, a police report can be very helpful. The police might also be able interview witnesses and collect important information about the accident.
  3. Make your own photos, and take any evidence.As many photos as possible of the vehicle’s damage and the surrounding area. These photos can be helpful later, either from an insurance standpoint or as evidence in a criminal case. You can also write down important details, such as the time and location of the damage, weather conditions, and road conditions if you don’t have your phone.
  4. Make an insurance claim. How to file an insurance claimIt is best to act quickly. A licensed agent will guide you through the process, and can review your coverage limits.

Is insurance available to cover hit-and-run accidents?

Virginia’s uninsured motorist coverage covers the costs of a hit-and run accident. This covers both property damage and medical expenses. Your policy will determine the exact coverages and limits of the UM. You should discuss these details with your agent.

Additionally, if you carry collision coverage, it will help cover damage to your vehicle as a result of the hit-and-run. Collision coverage covers the costs of repairs or replacement for a vehicle that has been damaged by an accident.

Questions frequently asked

What is the cost of car insurance?

For a full coverage policy, the average cost of car insurance is $1,304 per year in Virginia. This is well-below the national average of $1,674 per year for the same policy. Car insurance premiums vary and your actual cost may be higher or lower depending on many factors.

What are Virginia’s minimum insurance requirements?

Virginia requires minimum liability coverage for all drivers, including 25/50/20 of liability coverage, which is:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage per individual
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $20,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage

Virginia also requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance at the same policy limits as your liability insurance, unless you ask in writing for the limits to be reduced. Virginia allows drivers to pay $500 to skip buying car insurance, provided they are willing and able to prove that they can cover any damages or injuries incurred in an accident.