Whether or not they leave a note
If someone hits your car, whether it’s in a parking lot or on the road, your insurance rates could go up if you have to file a first-party claim (a claim with your car insurance provider). However, if the person leaves a note with their contact and insurance information, you can file a third-party claim, and your rates won’t increase. Here’s what to do if you’re not at fault in a car accident, whether or not it was a true hit-and-run.
One of the most frequently asked questions in car insurance is, “What do you do if another driver is at fault in a collision?” Learn what to do if someone hits your parked car or if someone hits your car while you’re driving.
If the at-fault driver leaves a note:
If the at-fault driver gives you false information:
In terms of coverage, insurance companies view drivers in hit-and-run accidents the same way they view uninsured motorists due to the lack of coverage and information.
If you’re injured in an accident:
If you’re not injured in an accident:
In our hit-and-run research, we found that 73 percent of hit-and-runs involved property damage only, while 27 percent involved injuries only.1
Insurance may or may not pay if someone hits your car. If the other party gave you accurate insurance information, their third-party insurance will pay for your damages and injuries. However, if the other driver didn’t give you accurate or any insurance information, you will have to turn to your own insurance policy, which may or may not cover your damages and injuries, depending on which coverages you have. See below to find out which coverages cover hit-and-runs and which don’t.
Liability insurance coverage, which includes property damage and bodily injury coverage, will not cover your costs in a hit-and-run. Rather, it applies only to the other party’s costs in accidents you caused.
You can use uninsured motorist coverage for your property damages, injuries, funeral expenses, and loss of income from a hit-and-run.2 Uninsured motorist coverage includes both uninsured motorist property damage and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
You can also use collision coverage to get your car repaired after a hit-and-run. Note that if you use collision coverage, you’ll have to pay a deductible before your insurance company contributes up to your car’s actual market value.3 Learn more about collision insurance.
You can’t use comprehensive coverage for hit-and-runs, as it doesn’t apply to damages from collisions.
While neither comprehensive nor collision insurance is part of the minimum coverage in any state, they are part of full coverage car insurance, which we recommend getting.
Finally, you can apply either medical payments coverage in fault states or personal injury protection (PIP) in no-fault states to your injuries.
Any time you file a first-party claim, you risk higher insurance rates. However, if you’re able to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, your insurance rates won’t increase. Hopefully, they leave you a note with their contact information.
After the accident, you may be required to report it to the police, depending on its severity. Find out your state’s legal requirements for accident reporting below.
|State||Accidents after which you have to file a police report||Deadline to file after accident||Penalty for not reporting the accident by the deadline|
|Alabama||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500 due to an uninsured motorist||30 days||Class A misdemeanor (up to $1,000 fine) for accidents resulting in property damages, Class C felony ($2,500 to $6,000 fine) for accidents resulting in death or injury|
|Alaska||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $2,000||10 days||License suspension for up to 30 days, plus a fine up to $200 or imprisonment for up to 90 days, or both|
|Arizona||No state law requiring the driver involved in an accident to file a police report||None||None|
|Arkansas||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately (death or injury) or 30 days (property damage)||License suspension|
|California||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||10 days||90 days to 4 years in prison and/or a $1,000-$10,000 fine|
|Colorado||Death, injury, or any property damage||10 days||10-90 days in jail, $150-$300 fine, or both|
|Connecticut||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||5 days||$75-$600 fine, imprisonment for up to 1 year, or both for first offense; $100-$1,000 fine, imprisonment for up to 1 year, or both for subsequent offenses|
|Delaware||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||Immediately||$25-$75 fine for first offense; $57.50-$95 fine for subsequent offenses|
|District of Columbia||None||None||None|
|Florida||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||As soon as possible||$30 fine|
|Georgia||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||Immediately||3 points on driving record|
|Hawaii||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $3,000||Immediately||$100 fine|
|Idaho||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500||Immediately||Fines or license suspension|
|Illinois||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500, or $500 if any vehicle is uninsured||10 days||License suspension|
|Indiana||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $750||Immediately||License and vehicle registration suspension|
|Iowa||No requirement for driver to submit reports for an accident with death, injury, or damage of $1,500 or more if the accident was investigated by the police||3 days (if report is required)||License suspension|
|Kansas||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500||Immediately||License suspension, up to $500 fine|
|Kentucky||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||10 days||$20-$100 fine|
|Maine||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately||Imprisonment for 6 months and $1,000 fine|
|Maryland||Death or injury||15 days||5 points and $140 fine|
|Massachusetts||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||5 days||License suspension|
|Michigan||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately||Imprisonment for up to 90 days, up to $100 fine, or both|
|Minnesota||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||10 days||License suspension|
|Mississippi||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||10 days||License suspension|
|Missouri||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||5 days||License suspension, fine, or misdemeanor charge|
|Montana||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately||Misdemeanor ($200-$300 fine or imprisonment for 20 days)|
|Nebraska||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||10 days||Class V misdemeanor (up to $100 fine)|
|Nevada||All crashes||Immediately||Suspension of driving privileges for up to 1 year|
|New Hampshire||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 (not required if police file report)||5 days||Felony if the accident caused death or injury; misdemeanor if there was only property damage|
|New Jersey||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||Immediately||License suspension and $30-$100 fine|
|New Mexico||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||Immediately||License suspension|
|New York||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,500||10 days||$250 fine, 15 days of imprisonment, or both|
|North Carolina||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately||Up to $100 fine|
|North Dakota||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000 (not required for property damage only with an undomesticated animal)||Immediately||License suspension|
|Ohio||All crashes||Immediately||Up to $150 fine|
|Oklahoma||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $500||Immediately (death or injury) or 6 months (property damage)||License suspension|
|Oregon||Injury or death (involved driver must call 911), more than $2,500 in damage to vehicle, any vehicle towed from the scene, more than $2,500 of any property damage (not including vehicles)||72 hours||Up to $300 fine|
|Pennsylvania||Death, injury, or if the vehicle is disabled||5 days||Suspension of driving privileges|
|Rhode Island||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||21 days||Up to $500 fine|
|South Carolina||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||15 days||$100-$5,000 fine, 1 year of imprisonment, or both|
|South Dakota||Death, injury, damage worth over $1,000 to 1 person’s property, or $2,000 of total property damage||Immediately||Class 2 misdemeanor (up to 30 days of imprisonment, $500 fine, or both)|
|Tennessee||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $50||Immediately (death, injury, or property damage worth $50-$400) or 20 days (death, injury, or property damage worth over $400)||License and registration suspension|
|Texas||Death, injury, or property damage of worth over $1,000||Immediately (death or injury) or 10 days (property damage)||License suspension|
|Utah||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||10 days||License suspension|
|Vermont||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $3,000||3 days||Fine|
|Virginia||Death or injury||Immediately||Up to $250 fine|
|Washington||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $700||4 days||License suspension|
|West Virginia||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately||License suspension|
|Wisconsin||Death, injury, property damage worth over $1,000, or government property damage worth over $200||Immediately (to law enforcement by quickest means of communication)||$40-$200 fine|
|Wyoming||Death, injury, or property damage worth over $1,000||Immediately||$200 fine4|
Leaving the scene of an accident is either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on where the accident occurred.5 If you commit a hit-and-run and get caught, you could face legal consequences.
The only defenses for hit-and-runs are if you say you weren’t aware that you hit another person or vehicle, or that the victim said there was no damage. If the other driver says the hit-and-run didn’t cause damages, you legally don’t have to provide your contact or insurance information.
There are two ways to collect damages after a hit-and-run:
|State||Monetary threshold (dollar amount of damages/injuries)||Serious injury threshold|
Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
|Hawaii||PIP benefit amount||Significant and permanent loss of use of a bodily function or body part
Permanent and serious disfigurement resulting in emotional or mental distress
|Kansas||PIP benefit amount||Permanent disfigurement
Fracture of weight-bearing compound or bone
Comminuted, displaced, or compressed fracture of any bone
Permanent loss of a bodily function
Fracture of weight-bearing compound or bone
Comminuted, displaced, or compressed fracture of any bone
Permanent loss of a bodily function
|Massachusetts||$2,000||Permanent and serious disfigurement
Substantial loss of sight or hearing
|Michigan||None||Serious impairment of a bodily function
Serious and permanent disfigurement
|Minnesota||$4,000||60 days of disability
Significant scarring or disfigurement
Loss of a fetus
Permanent injury other than disfigurement or scarring
|New York||None||Bone fracture
Permanent limitation of use of a body member or organ
Significant limitation of a bodily system or function
Substantially full disability for 90 days
|North Dakota||$2,500||Permanent and serious disability
Disfigurement of at least 60 days
|Washington, D.C.||PIP benefit amount||Substantial permanent disfigurement or scarring
Substantial permanent impairment
Substantially total impairment lasting 6 months6
You can choose whether or not to hire a traffic attorney when filing a civil suit for a hit-and-run, but we recommend taking advantage of their expertise.
At-fault accidents happen, even if you drive defensively. Here’s what to do if you hit a parked car:
Whether you’re financially responsible for someone’s injuries in addition to their property damage depends on your state’s fault system.
|District of Columbia||At fault|
|New Hampshire||At fault|
|New Mexico||At fault|
|New York||No fault|
|North Carolina||At fault|
|Oregon||At fault (but requires PIP)|
|Rhode Island||At fault|
|South Carolina||At fault|
|South Dakota||At fault|
|West Virginia||At fault|
Let’s say, for instance, that you live in the no-fault state of Florida. In this case, each driver would pay for their own injuries, childcare, and lost wages under PIP, which has a $10,000 minimum limit.7 The at-fault driver would pay for the other driver’s property damage under property damage coverage and their own damages under collision coverage, if they have it. In a fault state, on the other hand, the at-fault driver would pay for both injuries and damages.
The thing about auto insurance coverages is that they don’t work retroactively, meaning if you’re involved in a hit-and-run and lack collision or uninsured motorist coverage, you can’t get your damage repairs reimbursed, even if you add on these coverages after the fact. That’s why you should buy as much auto insurance as you can afford, and be sure to take advantage of car insurance discounts. To see if you can save money by switching car insurance, get an insurance quote today.
Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2022, Mar 02).
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Geico.
Someone hit my parked car. What do I do?. Allstate. (2019, Sept).
State-by-State Laws & Requirements for Reporting a Car Accident. Enjuris.
Consequences of a Hit-and-Run Accident. Nolo.
No Fault Car Insurance: States with Monetary Thresholds. Nolo.
Florida Insurance Requirements. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.