Alabama Hit-and-Run

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Alabama, report the crash to the police and your insurance company. You may also need to file a form with DPS.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
A hit-and-run in
can be a misdemeanor or a felony, and it could carry penalties of up to $15,000 and 10 years in prison.
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Alabama, try to get as many details as possible about the other vehicle or driver. Stay on the scene, report the collision to the police immediately, and file a claim with your insurance company if you have collision or uninsured motorist protection.
No matter where you live, it’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident before you leave your identification and insurance information. However, every state has its own penalties for this serious offense.
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What is a hit-and-run? 

A hit-and-run occurs when there’s a traffic collision and one of the drivers leaves the scene afterward. Legally, if you hit any person, property, or vehicle, you must stop and leave your insurance information so the other person can
file a claim
It doesn’t matter whether the accident was your fault. If you are in an accident and you leave the scene, you are guilty of a hit-and-run. Any time you’re in a collision, pull over and exchange information with the other driver.
If it’s an accident involving personal injuries or deaths, you must report it to the police. In Alabama, you can also be charged with a hit-and-run if you fail to report a serious accident to the police, even if you stop. 

What happens if you commit a hit-and-run in Alabama?

If you get into a car accident in Alabama, stay calm and stay on the scene. You might be worried about getting into trouble, but if you leave without at least exchanging your personal and insurance information, you could face serious charges, steep fines, and
license suspension

Is a hit-and-run a felony in Alabama? 

In Alabama, a hit-and-run can be considered either a misdemeanor or a felony—it depends on the outcome of the crash. If no one was injured, it will be tried as a misdemeanor. If someone was injured or killed, the driver will typically be charged with a Class C felony.
You can be charged with a felony for leaving the scene of an accident where someone was killed even if you are not the one who caused the incident. 

What is the punishment for a hit-and-run in Alabama? 

The punishment for a hit-and-run in Alabama depends on whether the driver is charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you commit a hit-and-run that only involves property damage, you’ll be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum penalties for this include one year of imprisonment and/or up to $6000 in fines
If anyone was hurt or killed, however, you’ll be charged with a Class C felony. The sentence for this is 366 days to 10 years of imprisonment and/or up to $15,000 in fines.
Each of these charges will appear on your
driving record
and may impact your insurance rates.
Here’s how the possible punishments for a hit-and-run in Alabama break down:
Result of accident
Possible punishment
Property damage only
Up to 1 year of imprisonment
Fine up to $6,000
Both imprisonment and fine
Injuries or death
Up to 10 years of imprisonment
Fine up to $15,000
Both imprisonment and fine

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

According to
Alabama Code Section 32-10-2
, if you’re involved in an accident where there’s damage to an occupied vehicle (whether anyone was injured or not), you must stop and provide the other vehicle’s occupants with your name, address, and your
vehicle’s registration
If anyone was injured in the accident, you must also give them “reasonable assistance,” which may include transporting or arranging transportation to get them to a physician or hospital.
If you leave the scene without providing your information or assisting anyone who was injured, you could be found guilty of a hit-and-run.

What should I do if I experience a hit-and-run in Alabama? 

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Alabama, it can be upsetting, but do your best to stay calm and try to gather as much information about the other vehicle as possible. Also, call the police to report the crime immediately.

At the scene

Do not try to pursue the other driver—not only is it unsafe, but if you leave the scene, you could also be charged with a hit-and-run.
Make sure that everyone in your car is okay and move your car to a safer location if you need to. Then, call 911 to notify the police about the accident and to get medical attention for anyone who’s injured. 
Take note of as much information as possible while you’re still at the scene, including: 
  • How the crash occurred
  • The other car’s make, model, color, and body style
  • The
    license plate
    number of any vehicles involved
  • A description of the other driver
  • The direction the car was traveling
  • Any details that could help identify the other car, like dents, decals, or mods
Talk to any witnesses on the scene to see if they remember any key details, and look around for any helpful information. You might notice a scrape on your car with paint from the other vehicle, for instance. 
It’s also a good idea to take photos of the scene of the crash—just remember to be cautious, especially if you’re walking in a roadway.

After you leave the scene

Double-check to be sure that the responding officer files a report. Having a police report on file makes it more likely that the culprit will be found. In addition, it’s important to have that corroborating evidence when you
file your insurance claim
Contact your insurance company to file a claim within 24 hours of a hit-and-run incident.
If the other driver is found or you have the license plate number of the other vehicle, their
liability insurance
should cover any damages. Your insurance company will handle the claim the same way it would any other accident.
It’s more difficult to file a claim if you can’t locate the driver or their vehicle. However, you could still be covered if you have
collision coverage
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
medical payments (MedPay) coverage
, or
personal injury protection (PIP)

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Insurance type
Will it cover a hit-and-run?
Collision coverage
You may need to pay your deductible first.
Uninsured motorist coverage
Check with your insurance company to see if your policy covers hit-and-runs.
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage
This only covers what health insurance doesn’t; you may need to pay a deductible.
Personal injury protection (PIP)
PIP may also cover lost wages and other expenses related to an accident.

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more 

Whether you have been involved in a hit-and-run or you just want protection in case you’re in an accident in the future,
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Typically your insurance won’t be affected if you’re the victim of a hit-and run, even if you make a claim on your insurance. In some cases, you might not even be required to pay your deductible. However, if you commit a hit-and-run, you’ll be charged with a violation, and your insurance premiums will likely go up as a result.
A hit-and-run is a serious charge with serious penalties. If you’ve committed a hit-and-run, it’s a good idea to seek counsel from an experienced attorney.
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