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

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Alabama does not take hit-and-run accidents lightly. Drivers convicted of leaving the scene of an accident can face both fines and jail time. Bankrate may be able to help you understand how Alabama reacts to hit-and-runs, what may happen to your insurance if you have a hit-and-run claim and how to react if you are the victim of this scenario.

Hit-and-runs in Alabama

Alabama hit-and-run law states that a hit-and-run is whenever a driver leaves the scene of an accident without stopping to help or provide insurance information. Another person does not necessarily have to be involved. Hit-and-runs can involve a parked car or other property.

A report by AAA found that 11% of all crashes nationwide were hit-and-runs. Alabama recorded 258 hit-and-runs that resulted in at least one fatality between 2006 and 2016.

Alabama hit-and-run laws

The Alabama Legislature has outlined what drivers are expected to do in the case of an accident. The Alabama hit-and-run statute states that any driver who is in an accident where there is injury, death or damage to another vehicle must stop at the scene of the accident and give their name, address, registration number and driver’s license number to the other party or parties.

Drivers convicted of a hit-and-run may be charged with a Type C felony, which could result in a one to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. If no serious bodily injury or property damage occurred, the driver may instead be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. For Class A misdemeanors, drivers may be imprisoned for up to one year and have a fine of up to $6,000.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Alabama

Hit-and-run claims generally increase insurance rates substantially. The average premium percentage increase for full coverage auto insurance in Alabama after a standard claim is about 53%, whereas the percentage increase after a hit-and-run is around 106%.

Depending on the severity of the hit-and-run, a judge may order an SR-22 to be filed with the state, which proves a driver is properly insured. SR-22s also require insurance companies to tell the state whenever a driver’s insurance is cancelled. If the driver does not replace the cancelled policy with another, the state may revoke the driver’s license and registration.

Average annual full coverage premiums:

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Alabama average $1,623 $3,340 $2,485
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,311

5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Alabama

If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run in Alabama, you may be flustered. Understanding what steps to take before such an incident occurs might help you feel more in control.

  1. If anyone is hurt, call 911: Evaluate the health of your passengers, yourself and anyone else involved. If anyone is hurt, dial 911 immediately.
  2. Move your car to a safe location: You should not exit the area entirely, but if your vehicle is blocking traffic, you should find a nearby shoulder or parking lot to move to if your car is drivable. This is for your protection and the protection of other drivers.
  3. File a police report: If you have any information, provide it to the police. The officer will walk you through what they need, but you will most likely be asked for a description of the vehicle and driver, the date and time of the incident, as well as the exact location of the hit-and-run. The more information you can provide, the better.
  4. Take pictures and document the damage: If you are not injured, take pictures of your car if it is safe to do so. You may need these pictures to file a hit-and-run claim.
  5. Call your insurance provider: If you want to file a claim under your own insurance, you will need to contact your carrier. Give your insurer everything you have, including a police report number and any pictures you took at the scene of the accident.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Hit-and-run Alabama insurance is not its own policy, but there are certain types of coverage that may help cover the damages.

  • Collision: This coverage is designed to cover repairs to your car after collision incidents. There may be a deductible to use this coverage, though.
  • Medical payments: If you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver, medical payments coverage may pay the medical costs of everyone in the car at the time of the accident, up to your policy limit per person.
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: Drivers in Alabama may be able to use uninsured motorist coverage for medical expenses caused by hit-and-run accidents.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost?

The average cost of car insurance in Alabama is $1,623 per year for full coverage. This is just slightly less than the national average rate for full coverage, which is $1,674 per year. Keep in mind that what you pay may be more or less depending on your personal rating factors.

What is the best car insurance company?

There is no single best car insurance company for everyone. Instead, you should choose the best car insurance company for your own needs by evaluating what you are looking for in a provider and comparing several quotes.

Is there a hit-and-run deductible?

Because hit-and-run coverage is not an actual insurance policy, there is no specific deductible earmarked for hit-and-run accidents. However, depending on the coverage you use for the damages, you may have to pay a deductible. Collision insurance, for example, usually has a deductible.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.
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