What to do after a hit-and-run in Michigan?
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What to do after a hit-and-run in Michigan?

May 25, 2023
Verified by Jessica Parker
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Hit-and-run occurs when a driver involved in an accident leaves the scene without providing information or assistance to the other parties involved. Hit-and-run accidents can also result in failure to report the accident to authorities. Unfortunately, these types of accidents occur all the time. Therefore, it is important for Michigan motorists to know what to do if they are involved in a hit-and-run.

Hit-and-run in Michigan

Under Michigan law, drivers are required to stop at the scene of an accident. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 25.5 percent of Michigan drivers were uninsured in 2019, the second highest rate in the entire United States. And drivers without insurance may be more likely to leave the scene of an accident.

That said, it is probably in your best interest as an insured motorist to protect yourself. Purchasing uninsured motorist coverage can add an extra layer of financial protection should you become the victim of a hit-and-run.

Michigan hit-and-run laws.

If you are involved in a hit-and-run, whether you are at fault or not, leaving the scene can result in a felony charge or worse. Potential penalties vary depending on the severity of the incident.

  • If you leave the scene of an accident that caused property damage, you could face up to 90 days in jail: you could face up to 90 days in jail, a $100 fine, or both.
  • If you leave the scene of an accident that caused serious injury or death, you could be imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to $5,000, or both.
  • If you leave the scene of an accident that results in the death of another person, you face imprisonment of up to 15 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

Impact of hit-and-run accidents on auto insurance premiums in Michigan.

Any at-fault accident can result in higher insurance premiums because insurers consider the driver a greater risk to insure. But if you are at fault in a hit-and-run accident and are caught in the act, you can expect an even higher insurance premium increase because you can be charged and have points on your record.

On average, Michigan motorists pay $2,691 per year for comprehensive auto insurance, 34 percent more than the national average of $2,014 per year. After causing a standard accident, such as rear-ending a car, motorists can expect to pay an average of $4,051. In the case of a hit-and-run, the amount to be paid is likely to be even higher.

4 things to do after a hit-and-run in Michigan.

In addition to stopping, Michigan drivers must take certain steps after an accident to comply with state laws. These include providing personal and vehicle information to the person or occupants involved in the accident, rendering aid to the injured, and arranging or providing transportation for the injured.

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, experts also advise that you should

  • Record as much identifying information as possible: whether you write it down or photograph it with your phone, try to identify the make, model and color of the car that hit you. Note the direction of travel, any damage to the vehicle, and the license plate, if possible.
  • Call the police at the scene of the accident: if you have requested medical assistance, it is possible that the police are already on their way. If not, filing a police report may help find the driver responsible. Provide as much information as possible to the responding officer.
  • Check for eyewitnesses: the presence of a third witness can help identify the responsible driver or corroborate your story with the police or your insurance company. Ask witnesses to stay and talk to a police officer or ask for their names and phone numbers so you can pass them on to the police and your insurance company as part of the claims process.
  • Contact your insurance company: once you are safe and have spoken to the police, you can 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.

Does insurance cover hit-and-run?

In Michigan, your auto insurance policy may provide several coverages to help pay for injuries and property damage resulting from a hit-and-run:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): as a no-fault state, Michigan motorists are required to have PIP coverage, which is designed to help pay for medical and other care, up to the policy limit, regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist: this coverage can help pay for medical expenses after being hit by an uninsured person. The insurance company may require proof that the other driver was uninsured.
  • Property damage caused by an uninsured motorist: this coverage can help pay for damage to your car or other property caused by the uninsured driver. As with coverage for bodily injury caused by an uninsured motorist, the insurance company may require proof that the other driver was uninsured at the time of the accident.
  • Collision: If you have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, you can use collision coverage to help pay for damage to your car. You will probably have to pay the deductible, although some companies waive it in the case of a hit-and-run.

It might be a good idea to talk to your agent about your current insurance policy before you are the victim of a hit-and-run. Understanding how your policy can help you in the event of a hit-and-run can help you identify gaps in your coverage.

Frequently asked questions.

How much does car insurance cost?

On average, Michigan motorists pay $1,104 per year for minimum coverage and $2,691 for comprehensive coverage. However, the cost of car insurance varies depending on the insurance company, driving record, age, place of residence, vehicle, and so on. So you may pay more or less than the average.

What happens if you leave the scene of an accident in Michigan?

Leaving the scene of an accident is considered a hit-and-run. Drivers who commit a hit-and-run in Michigan are subject to criminal prosecution, with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison. In addition, car insurance premiums are likely to increase significantly.

How long does a hit-and-run stay on your criminal record in Michigan?

In Michigan, most at-fault accidents stay on the criminal record for seven years. However, a hit-and-run is a criminal offense and the state takes these offenses very seriously. A hit-and-run can remain permanently on your record because you will be charged with a criminal offense.

Irene Scott
Written by
Irene Scott
I’ve worked for more than 5 years as a Credit Analyst and more than 4 years as an Internal Auditor for one of the leading global financial institutions. I have been exposed to the credit review process, various banking products, financial security topics, corporate governance, operational risk, and the internal control framework of a complex, multinational organization.