A hit-and-run happens when a party involved in an accident leaves the scene before providing aid or information to the other involved parties. It can also include a failure to report the accident to the authorities.
A hit-and-run car accident happens somewhere in the country every 43 seconds, according to a AAA Foundation survey of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. With a rise in these types of car crashes and higher numbers of injuries and fatalities, it is important for drivers to do what they can to protect themselves and their vehicles from hit-and-run drivers.
Hit-and-runs in Michigan
Under Michigan state law, a hit-and-run with a motor vehicle is defined as “the accidental striking of a person or persons outside of a vehicle (walker, jogger, cyclist, etc.) and the offender fails to stop and identify or give assistance.” The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that 25.5% of Michigan drivers are uninsured. Michigan had the second-highest estimated number of uninsured motorists in 2019, the most recent year with available data. Drivers without insurance could be more likely to leave the scene of an accident.
With such a high number of uninsured drivers on Michigan roads, it makes sense for insured drivers to protect themselves. By purchasing uninsured motorist coverage, you add a layer of financial protection in the event you are the victim of a hit-and-run.
Michigan hit-and-run laws
Michigan has several laws and statutes in place that drivers must adhere to regarding car accidents and hit-and-run crashes. If you are driving in the state of Michigan and are involved in a car accident, you must:
- Stop at the scene of the accident immediately.
- Give your personal and vehicle information to the person or occupants involved in the accident or a police officer at the scene.
- Render aid to anyone injured in the accident, call or arrange transportation for injured parties.
Violating this statute could lead to being charged with a misdemeanor if there is property damage, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine up to $100 or both. The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident in Michigan are serious and vary depending on the severity of the accident. If you:
- Leave the scene of an accident with serious injury or death: You may face felony criminal charges with prison time up to five years, a fine not to exceed $5,000 or both.
- Leave the scene of an accident where you caused the death of another party: You may face felony criminal charges punishable by up to 15 years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine or both.
If you are involved in a hit-and-run, whether you are at fault or not, leaving the scene can result in serious repercussions. The actual penalties you could face will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.
How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Michigan
If you cause a hit-and-run accident, you can expect your insurance premiums to increase.
Michigan drivers already pay more than the national average for auto insurance. After causing a standard accident, such as rear-ending another driver, a Michigan driver can expect an average increase of $1,223 per year. But after causing a hit-and-run accident, Michigan drivers could pay over three times as much for car insurance than they were paying before the hit-and-run crash.
Average annual full coverage premiums:
|Before a hit-and-run||After a hit-and-run||After a standard accident|
5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Michigan
If you are involved in an accident or hit-and-run in Michigan, state law requires you to stop and render aid whether or not you are at fault. Here are some steps to take if you are involved in a hit-and-run in Michigan:
- Call emergency services: Your first priority should be making sure you and anyone else involved is safe. If you, your passengers, a pedestrian or anyone else is injured, calling emergency services is the first step to take after an accident.
- Record as much identifying information for the driver as possible: Whether you can write it down or take a picture with your phone, try to identify the make, model and color of the car that hit you. Note the direction they were headed, any damage to the vehicle and a license plate number if you can.
- Call the police to the scene: If you have already called for medical aid, police may already be on the way. If not, filing a police report could help track down the at-fault driver. Provide as much information to the responding officer as possible.
- Check for eyewitnesses: Having a third-party witness may help identify the at-fault driver or corroborate your story to the police or your insurance company. Ask witnesses to stay to talk to a police officer, or ask for their names and phone numbers to provide to the police and your insurance company as part of the claims process.
- Contact your insurance company: Once you are safe and finished talking to the police, you may want to file a claim with your insurance company. You can often do this by calling your agent or company directly. Your company may also allow you to file a claim on its website or mobile app.
Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?
In Michigan, there are several coverages that you may have on your auto insurance policy to pay for your injuries and property damage after a hit-and-run:
- Personal injury protection (PIP): As a no-fault state, Michigan drivers are required to carry PIP coverage, which is designed to pay for medical payments and more, up to your policy limit, regardless of who caused an accident.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury: This coverage could help to pay for your medical expenses after being hit by someone without insurance. Your insurance company may require proof that the other driver did not have insurance before it will pay under this coverage.
- Uninsured motorist property damage: This coverage might pay for the damage the uninsured driver caused to your car or other property. Just like with uninsured motorists bodily injury coverage, the insurance company may first require proof the other driver was not insured at the time of the accident.
- Collision: If you have full coverage on your vehicle, you may be able to use your collision coverage to help pay for the damages to your car. You will likely have to pay your deductible, although some companies will waive it in the event of a hit-and-run.
Talking to your agent about your current insurance policy before you are the victim of a hit-and-run may be a good idea. Understanding how your policy could assist you in the aftermath of a hit-and-run could help you to identify coverage gaps.
Frequently asked questions
How much does car insurance cost?
On average, Michigan drivers pay $948 per year for state minimum coverage and $2,309 for full coverage. The cost for car insurance varies by insurance company, driving record, age, location and the type of car you drive and coverage purchased. Your premium will likely be different from the average.
What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Michigan?
It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident in Michigan. You could face criminal charges, fines and jail time. Although causing an accident can be a frightening situation, especially if you do not have insurance, leaving the scene could lead to harsher consequences.
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 coverages that meet 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.