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Last updated: October 12, 2023

What to do After a Hit-and-Run in Florida

You must remain at the scene, give information, and render aid, or face the legal consequences

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You’re driving when you hear a bump and realize you hit another vehicle. Should you stop your car or keep driving? The answer is, obviously, the former. But stopping at the scene of the car accident isn’t your only legal duty following a collision, and if you break the law, you could face some pretty serious penalties.

That’s not to mention that, if you’re convicted of this at-fault accident, your car insurance premium will increase. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should keep driving to avoid this price bump. You should follow the law and take responsibility for your actions.

What to Do After You’re Involved in a Hit-and-Run Accident in Florida

If you hit someone’s car, here’s how to handle a hit-and-run accident.

Call the Police

You’re required to report to the police any accident involving:

Damage to Unattended Vehicles and Property

If you hit a parked car with no one in it, or you damage property, and no one is around, you must stop and try to locate the owner or driver, notify them of the accident, and exchange information.

If you can’t find them, you must leave a securely attached note in a conspicuous place on their vehicle or property. The note should include your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Vehicle registration number

Make sure to move your car so it’s not obstructing traffic, as that’s a nonmoving violation on its own (more on penalties below).

Property Damage Only

If your at-fault accident caused property damage only, you are required to give information after you stop at the scene of the crime, or as close as you can, and move your car from obstructing traffic: Exchange your name, address, registration number, and, if any vehicle occupant or police officer requests it, your driver’s license or learner’s permit information

Personal Injuries and Death

In addition to the above requirements, you’ll have to render aid to any injured parties, meaning carry or arrange to carry them to a hospital, physician, or surgeon for surgical or medical treatment if it seems necessary or if the injured person requests it. This duty to “render aid” applies only to “serious bodily injuries,” which the Florida Statutes define as physical conditions that cause a substantial risk of:

  • Death
  • Serious personal disfigurement
  • Protected loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ or member

If you caused death, the police will hold you in custody until you’re released on bail, if you can pay it.1

Gather Evidence

That’s it for your legal duties, but we recommend doing the following after an accident to gather evidence for your auto insurance claim:

  1. Talk to witnesses and gather their contact information. See if anyone saw their license plate number.
  2. Ask for a copy of the police report to use in your claim.
  3. Write down the time of the accident, weather conditions, and date.
  4. Take photos of a hit-and-run accident.

How to Recover Damages

Florida’s no-fault laws mean that the at-fault driver pays for the other driver’s property damages under property damage liability coverage, but each party pays for its own medical expenses under personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If you don’t know the identity of the other driver, you can use uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage to repair or replace your car. If you’ve reached your PIP limit, you can use your health insurance as secondary coverage.


PIP covers 80 percent of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses up to $10,000. It also covers lost wages and child care costs due to an accident.2

Due to Florida’s pure comparative negligence laws, you can seek economic and non-economic damages for pain and suffering in a civil suit, given you know the identity of the hit-and-run driver. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

How Hit-and-Runs Affect Car Insurance

Florida car insurance premiums will increase by an average of 47 percent following a hit-and-run, given you caused the accident and were caught and convicted.

Hit-and-Runs in Florida Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System tracks fatal car crashes throughout the U.S. Focusing on Florida specifically, we found that from 2011 to 2021, the most recent data available, 7 percent of fatal car crashes in Florida were hit-and-runs.

Year Involved a hit and run Did not involve a hit and run Total fatal crashes in Florida Percentage of all fatal crashes
2011 135 2,077 2,212 6%
2012 145 2,108 2,253 6%
2013 146 2,077 2,223 7%
2014 166 2,170 2,336 7%
2015 185 2,514 2,699 7%
2016 207 2,728 2,935 7%
2017 210 2,715 2,925 7%
2018 206 2,711 2,917 7%
2019 204 2,748 2,952 7%
2020 247 2,850 3,097 8%
2021 295 3,156 3,451 9%
Total 2,146 27,854 30,000 7%
Average 195 2,532 2,727 7%

More than 1 in 4 fatal hit-and-runs in Florida involved drunk driving in 2021, meaning the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Speeding and distracted driving were involved less often.

Driver involvement Number of fatal hit-and-runs in Florida, 2021 Percentage of total
Alcohol impairment (BAC of 0.08% or higher) 80 27%
Speeding 12 4%
Distracted driver 19 6%
Total 295 N/A

Of the known fatal hit-and-run drivers in Florida the same year, a quarter were between the ages of 25 and 34, while nearly half were between 25 and 44.

Age group Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Florida, 2021 Percentage of total known drivers
16-20 19 8%
21-24 19 8%
25-34 58 25%
35-44 55 24%
45-54 36 15%
55-64 30 13%
65-74 9 4%
Over 74 8 3%
Unknown 184 N/A
Total 418 N/A
Total known 234 N/A

Nearly 8 out of 10 drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs were male when the sex of the driver was known. Despite this outsized involvement, men in Florida pay the same amount for car insurance as women in Florida, given all else is equal, due to the state’s anti-discrimination legislation.3

Sex Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Florida, 2021 Percentage of total known drivers
Male 190 79%
Female 49 21%
Reported as unknown 179 N/A
Total 418 N/A
Total known 239 N/A

Hit-and-Run Laws in Florida

Depending on the consequences of the hit-and-run, penalties could include fines, imprisonment, a license revocation, community service, and even community control, meaning house arrest.

Penalties for Hit-and-Run Drivers

If you leave the scene of the accident without calling law enforcement, you’ll face the following penalties under Florida law.

Hit-and-run involvements Not reporting to the police an accident with injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more

Hitting an unattended vehicle/property

Obstructing the flow of traffic when stopped at the scene of the crime

Damage to a vehicle or property Injury Death
Charge Noncriminal traffic infraction 2nd degree misdemeanor 3rd degree felony 1st degree felony
Imprisonment None 60 days maximum 4 years minimum 4 years minimum
License revocation Maybe Maybe 3 years minimum 3 years minimum
Victim impact panel or driver improvement course to reinstate license No No Yes Yes
Community service in trauma center/hospital 120 hours if accident resulted in death No May be required 120 hours
Maximum fine $500 $505 $5,000 $10,000
Community control if no imprisonment N/A No 1st offense: 6 months

2nd offense: 1 year

3rd and subsequent offenses: 2 years

1st offense: 6 months

2nd offense: 1 year

3rd and subsequent offenses: 2 years

Points on your driving record 6 6 6 6


To reinstate your license, you’ll need your insurance company to file an SR-22, a form that proves you have minimum coverage, with the state.


Whenever you file a claim with your insurance provider, it’ll make finding cheap car insurance in Florida that much harder. That being said, hopefully you’re able to find the identity of the hit-and-run driver so you can file third-party claims with their insurance provider, keeping your rates low.

Frequently Asked Questions

How serious is a hit-and-run in Florida?

How serious a Florida hit-and-run is depends on the consequences of the hit-and-run. For example, less serious violations are hit-and-runs of unattended or attended vehicles/property, which can give people only a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $505 fine. However, if you cause an injury or death, you could face a minimum of four years in jail, a minimum license revocation of three years, and up to $10,000 in fines, among other penalties.

What do the police do in a hit-and-run in Florida?

According to Florida Statutes 316.066, the police are legally required to investigate any car accidents that involve:

  • Death
  • Personal injury
  • Indications of complaints of pain or discomfort
  • Inoperable vehicle
  • Commercial motor vehicles

Within 10 days, they must write and submit a Florida Traffic Crash Report, which must include:

  • Location, time, and date of the crash
  • Descriptions of involved vehicles
  • Names and addresses of all parties involved, designating who was a driver/passenger
  • Names and addresses of witnesses
  • Name, badge number, and law enforcement agency of investigating officer
  • Names of insurance companies of parties involved in the crash

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

If you received a traffic infraction for hitting an unattended vehicle or unattended property and not reporting it to the police, you can prevent Florida from adding points to your record by completing a Basic Driver Improvement course. That way, your car insurance won’t get more expensive. However, since all other hit-and-run violations are misdemeanors or felonies, they will remain on your record indefinitely.

Does insurance cover hit-and-runs in Florida?

Insurance may or may not cover hit-and-runs in Florida. If you misrepresented the hit-and-run to your insurance company, or if your license has been suspended or revoked during the policy period, it could cancel your coverage with a 60 days’ notice at the least, according to Florida Statutes Section 627.728. However, if you still have your driving privileges and represent the hit-and-run to your insurance company truthfully, it will cover your losses.


  1. The 2023 Florida Statutes. Florida Legislature. (2023).

  2. Florida Insurance Requirements. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. (2023).

  3. 2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session). The Florida Senate. (2021).