What to do after a hit and run in South Dakota

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If you leave the scene of a car accident in South Dakota without trading your insurance information with the other driver and are caught, you can expect to see your annual full coverage auto insurance premium nearly double, from an average of $1,642 to $2,905, according to 2021 data obtained from Quadrant Information Services.

A hit-and-run in South Dakota can be frightening, especially if there are injuries or damage to your vehicle. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, there can be an impact on your insurance as well since you will likely have to file a claim. If you are the at-fault driver who has left the scene of the accident, you will face potentially steep car insurance hikes as well as legal penalties, including fines and possible jail time. The risk of a hit-and-run is one reason why car insurance is required in North Dakota.

Hit-and-runs in South Dakota

A hit-and-run accident is one where the at-fault driver leaves without stopping at the accident site to exchange information and determine if there are injuries. Leaving the scene of a car accident is illegal in South Dakota and is a felony if injury or death results from the accident.

The hit-and-run South Dakota statute also states that any accident that results in death, injury or more than $1,000 worth of damage must be reported to the police. Even if the damage is minor, a police report is a good thing to have if you plan to file a claim with your insurance company. If the other driver is not found after a South Dakota hit-and-run, you may need to make a claim with your own company.

South Dakota hit-and-run laws

South Dakota’s hit-and-run law shows that the state takes hit-and-run accidents seriously. A hit-and-run in South Dakota leaves you open to the following legal consequences:

  • If there is a death or injury: You can be charged with a class six felony and face a fine of $2,000 and/or two years in prison.
  • If there is damage to a vehicle or property: You can be charged with a class one misdemeanor and face a fine of no more than $2,000 and/or no more than one year in prison.
  • If there is damage to an unattended (i.e., parked) vehicle or property: You can be charged with a class two misdemeanor and face a fine of no more than $500 and/or no more than 30 days in prison.

The legal penalties are not the whole story. You will also likely face a significant increase in your car insurance premium. Unfortunately, you may even see an increase in your premium if you are the victim of a hit-and-run unless you have a rate guarantee on your policy.

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

The average cost of a full-coverage insurance policy, including collision and comprehensive coverage, is $1,642 per year in South Dakota. That average is for someone with a clean driving record. After a standard accident, you will find your insurance premium increasing to an average of $2,090.

If you are found to be at fault in a hit-and-run in South Dakota, however, your premium increases an average of more than $1,200 to $2,905. Although this is less than the national average, which is $3,367, it is still a significant hit to your wallet, as well as being one more reason why you should never leave the scene of an accident.

Average annual full coverage car insurance premiums before and after a hit-and-run accident
Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
South Dakota average $1,642 $2,905 $2,090
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,405

Five things to do after a hit-and-run in South Dakota

You may be asking, what to do in South Dakota after a hit-and-run? If you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver, you may be shaken up and unsure of what comes next. If you are not injured, here are some steps you can take to help make things go more smoothly.

  • Be sure you’re safe. If it’s driveable, get your car off the road and away from traffic. Be very careful when opening your car door and getting out so that you’re not at risk of being hit. Check to be sure your passengers are okay and not injured. If anyone is hurt, even if the injury seems minor, call for medical assistance.
  • Call the police. Even if no one is hurt and there seems to be a minimum amount of property damage, a police report will be vital when filing a claim. The police can also help you find the perpetrator of the accident. Share any information you might have noticed about the car’s make and model or license plate number.
  • Document the scene. While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, if you can do so safely, take photos of the location, your car’s damage, and anything else of interest. Note the time of day, weather, traffic level and any other factors that are pertinent to the accident.
  • Find witnesses. If anyone stopped to help or pedestrians or other drivers saw the accident, get their contact information if they are willing to give it. Ask them to stay and talk to the police as well.
  • Contact your insurer. Do this as soon as you can — within a few hours if possible. Although many insurance companies allow you to file a claim online, call your agent if you have questions or want to review your coverage.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in South Dakota, car insurance might be at the top of your mind. If the police can find the other driver, their policy’s liability coverage should pay for your damage or injuries. But what if they have no insurance or are never found? A few types of coverage may help you with the costs if the other party’s car insurance is not covering the expenses related to the accident.

If you have a full-coverage policy, you should have collision insurance, which covers damage to your car in an accident and can be used for repair costs up to your policy limits. There is a hit-and-run deductible whenever you use your collision insurance that ranges from $250 up to several thousand, depending on what you chose when you purchased your policy.

South Dakota also requires drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), which can, in some cases, be used when the driver of a hit-and-run cannot be found. Uninsured and underinsured motorist car insurance typically covers medical costs, lost wages, vehicle repairs and more up to certain limits.

Finally, if you have medical payments (medpay) coverage, this optional insurance type will pay for medical bills or funeral costs if necessary. You can make a claim on your medpay insurance no matter who was at fault. It also covers costs if you are a pedestrian hit by a car.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost?

The average annual cost for full coverage car insurance in South Dakota is $1,642, slightly below the national average of $1,674. Your rate will most likely be different, as it is based on your unique circumstances and factors related to your car, such as make and model, where it is garaged and its age.

What company has the best hit-and-run insurance in South Dakota?

There is no such thing as ‘hit-and-run’ car insurance, although there are coverage types that can help pay for expenses after a hit-and-run accident. That said, the best car insurance for you may be different from the best car insurance for somebody else. Most insurance experts recommend that you get quotes for the same coverage options from several different insurance companies to find the best company for you. Bankrate’s editorial team has done some research on dozens of car insurance companies, and our picks for the best car insurance may at least give you a good place to narrow your search.

Is a hit-and-run a felony in South Dakota?

That depends on the gravity of the accident. A simple fender-bender is a misdemeanor, but if there is a death or injury that results from the accident, it is considered a Class six felony, and you may face fines and prison time. If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, you may want to seek legal assistance.

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 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.

Written by
Mary Van Keuren
Insurance Contributor
Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com and Thesimpledollar.com for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including reviews.com and myslumberyard.com. Prior to that, she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.
Edited by
Insurance Editor