After an accident in North Dakota, both drivers are required to stop and exchange information. However, hit-and-run accidents, where one of the drivers involved leaves the scene, are more common than you might think. Understanding how North Dakota views hit-and-runs, how a hit-and-run could affect your insurance and how to react after an accident could help you feel more prepared.

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Hit-and-runs in North Dakota

In North Dakota, a hit-and-run is defined as a collision between two or more vehicles where one of the drivers involved does not stop. After an accident, all drivers involved are required to stop, render medical aid if possible, call emergency services if necessary, and exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver or drivers.

North Dakota hit-and-run laws

After an accident in North Dakota, the at-fault driver is responsible for the financial fallout of the damages they caused. Because North Dakota is a no-fault state, every driver carries personal injury protection (PIP), which will automatically pay for their medical bills and lost wages, regardless of fault, up to their policy limit. However, North Dakota does allow litigation for medical expenses in certain instances and up to certain thresholds.

Leaving the scene of an accident in North Dakota comes with consequences, particularly if there are injuries or fatalities. Any driver who is charged with a hit-and-run that results in bodily injury or fatalities will likely have their license restricted. If a driver causes an accident and there is more than $4,000 in property damage, they are required to notify the police. Failure to report the accident will result in a $50 fine.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in North Dakota

Whether you are the victim or the cause of a North Dakota hit-and-run accident, you may see changes to your policy after the accident. If you are the victim, you are likely not at fault, but if the other driver is not found and you have to file a claim against your own insurance, your rates may still rise.

If you are at fault in a hit-and-run and are found after you have left the scene, you are likely to see a significant increase in your premium cost. You are also likely to have legal penalties and other fees, and your insurer may place you in the high-risk category for insurance, which can increase your costs.

3 things to do after a hit-and-run in North Dakota

Getting into a hit-and-run accident can be scary. The first thing you should do is make sure that no one is injured, including you, your passengers and any other involved parties. If anyone needs medical attention, your first call should be to 911. If no one is injured and you are able to safely pull over to the side of the road, here are the three steps you may want to follow:

  1. Call the police: Even if the accident was minor, you may still want to call the police after a hit-and-run. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime, and the police may want to investigate it. An officer could also write a police report which could be helpful to your insurance company, should you file a claim.
  2. Document the damage: If you are able to pull over in a safe place, you might consider taking pictures of the damage to your vehicle. These could be helpful during the insurance claim process. Also keep a record of any medical treatment that you or your passengers receive, either at the scene or at a hospital.
  3. Call your insurance company: The last step is to call your insurance company, if you want to file a claim, and let them know what happened. An agent will walk you through the claim process and explain what your policy will cover.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Your own car insurance policy may help to cover the aftermath of a hit-and-run in North Dakota. A minimum coverage car insurance policy in North Dakota includes both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which could help cover your medical bills if you get hit by a driver who leaves the scene of the accident. Keep in mind, though, that you may need to prove that the other driver did not have insurance or did not have enough insurance for your expenses to use these coverage types.

Personal injury protection (PIP) is also required in North Dakota, and is designed to pay for your medical costs and other qualifying expenses after a loss, up to your policy limit and regardless of fault. For vehicle damage, drivers who have a full coverage policy may be able to use their collision insurance to help pay for car repairs.

Frequently asked questions

    • The best car insurance company is different for every driver. It depends on where you live, how much you want to spend, what discounts you qualify for, what type of coverage you need and more. Shopping around may help you find the best carrier for your needs.
    • The average cost of car insurance in the United States is $2014 per year for a full coverage policy and $622 for minimum coverage. In North Dakota, the average rates are much lower. The average North Dakota driver pays $1,302 for full coverage and $269 for minimum coverage. Your rates will vary based on your personal rating factors.
    • There is no single company that always has the cheapest insurance for everyone. To find cheap car insurance in North Dakota, it pays to shop around and gather several quotes from companies. It’s also helpful to talk to a knowledgeable licensed insurance agent, who can work with you to make sure you’re getting every discount for which you are qualified.