A hit and run occurs when a party involved in an accident leaves the scene before providing assistance or information to the other parties involved. It may also be a failure to report the accident to the authorities.
A hit and run car crash happens somewhere in the country every 43 seconds, according to one AAA Foundation survey data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With an increase in these types of car accidents and more injuries and deaths, it’s important that drivers do what they can to protect themselves and their vehicles from hit and run.
Michigan hit and run
Under Michigan State law, a hit and run with a motor vehicle is defined as “the accidental impact of one or more people outside a vehicle (walker, jogger, cyclist, etc.) and the offender fails to stop and identify or carry assistance ”. The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that 25.5% of Michigan drivers are not insured. Michigan had the second highest estimated number of uninsured motorists in 2019, the most recent year for which data is available. Drivers without insurance may be more likely to leave the scene of an accident.
With such a high number of uninsured drivers on Michigan’s roads, it makes sense for insured drivers to protect themselves. While purchasing coverage for uninsured motorists, you add a layer of financial protection in case 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 follow regarding auto crashes and hit-and-run accidents. If you are driving in the State of Michigan and are involved in a car accident, you have to:
- Stop immediately at the scene of the accident.
- Give your personal and vehicle information to the person or occupants involved in the accident or to a police officer at the scene.
- Help anyone injured in the accident, call or arrange transport for injured people.
Violation of this law could lead to being prosecuted for a misdemeanor if there is property damage, which is punishable by up to 90 days in prison, a fine of up to $ 100, or both. Penalties for leave the scene of an accident in Michigan are serious and vary according to the severity of the accident. If you:
- Leave the scene of an accident with serious or fatal injuries: You can face criminal charges with a prison sentence of up to five years, a fine not exceeding $ 5,000, or both.
- Leave the scene of an accident where you caused the death of others: You can face criminal charges that carry up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 10,000, or both.
If you are involved in a hit and run, whether you are at fault or not, leaving the scene can have serious repercussions. The actual penalties you may incur will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.
How hit-and-run is affecting auto insurance rates in Michigan
If you cause a hit and run accident, you can expect your insurance premiums to go up.
Michigan drivers already pay more than the national average for auto insurance. After causing a standard accident, such as another driver in the back, a Michigan driver can expect an average increase of $ 1,223 per year. But after causing a hit-and-run crash, Michigan drivers could pay more than three times as much for auto insurance than they paid before the hit-and-run crash.
Average annual premiums for full coverage:
|Before a hit and run||After a hit and run||After an ordinary accident|
|Michigan average||$ 2,309||$ 7,886||$ 3,532|
|national average||$ 1,674||$ 3,367||$ 2,405|
5 things to do after a hit-and-run in Michigan
If you’re in an accident or hit-and-run in Michigan, state law requires you to stop and rescue whether or not you are at fault. Here are some steps to follow if you are involved in a Michigan hit and run:
- Call emergency services: Your first priority should be making sure that you and everyone else involved is safe. If you, your passengers, a pedestrian, or anyone else are injured, calling emergency services is the first step after an accident.
- Record as much identifying information as possible for the driver: 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 heading, any damage to the vehicle, and a license plate number if you can.
- Call the police to the scene: If you’ve ever asked for medical help, the police may already be on their way. Otherwise, filing a police report could help locate the driver at fault. Provide as much information as possible to the responding agent.
- Search for eyewitnesses: Having a third-party witness can help identify the driver at fault or corroborate your story to the police or your insurance company. Have witnesses stay to speak to a police officer, or ask for their names and phone numbers to be provided 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 business may also allow you to file a complaint on its website or mobile app.
Will the insurance cover a hit and run?
In Michigan, there are several coverages you can have on your auto insurance policy to cover your injury and property damage after a hit-and-run:
- Injury Protection (PIP): As a no-fault state, Michigan drivers are required to transport PIP coverage, which is designed to pay for medical bills and more, up to the limit of your policy, regardless of who caused the accident.
- Bodily injury of an uninsured motorist: This coverage could help you pay for your medical bills after being hit by someone without insurance. Your insurance company may require proof that the other driver did not have insurance before paying under this coverage.
- Material damage to uninsured motorists: This coverage may cover damage caused by the uninsured driver to your car or other property. As with bodily injury coverage for uninsured motorists, the insurance company may first require proof that the other driver was uninsured at the time of the accident.
- Collision: If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, you may be able to use your collision coverage to help pay for damage 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 get hit and run can be a good idea. Understanding how your policy could help you in the aftermath of a hit and run could help you identify gaps in coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does auto insurance cost?
On average, Michigan drivers pay $ 948 per year for minimum state coverage and $ 2,309 for full coverage. The cost of auto insurance varies depending on insurance company, driving record, age, location and 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 illegal to leave the scene of an accident in Michigan. You could face criminal charges, fines and jail time. While causing an accident can be a frightening situation, especially if you don’t have insurance, leaving the scene could have more serious consequences.
Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all zip codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, DC Rates shown are based on a 40 year old male and female driver with a clean driving record , good credit and the following comprehensive coverage limits:
- $ 100,000 in civil liability for bodily injury per person
- $ 300,000 liability for bodily injury per accident
- Civil liability for property damage of $ 50,000 per accident
- $ 100,000 in bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist per person
- $ 300,000 in uninsured bodily injury per accident to a motorist
- $ 500 collision deductible
- Global deductible of $ 500
To determine the minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets the requirements of each state. Our basic profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and cover 12,000 miles a year.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparison purposes.
Incident: The rates were calculated by evaluating our basic profile with the following incidents applied: clean criminal record (basic), responsible accident, single speeding ticket, single conviction for driving while intoxicated and forfeiture of coverage.