Kentucky Hit-and-Run

In Kentucky, a hit-and-run must be reported to the police within 10 days if an injury is sustained or if there is more than $500 worth of property damage.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In Kentucky, a hit-and-run can be penalized as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of injury or property damage, with penalties ranging from a $20 fine to 5 years in prison.
If you find yourself the victim of a hit-and-run in Kentucky, do your best to identify the car that hit you, report the incident to police, and contact your insurance carrier for guidance in filing a claim.
It is illegal in all 50 states to flee the scene of a hit-and-run—you are required by law to provide your name, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle registration number to any other driver(s) involved in the incident. Penalties for hit-and-run incidents vary from state to state.
If you’re ever involved in a hit-and-run, or any other road-related incident, the
car insurance
broker and comparison shopping app
is on your side. In this article, we’ll break down what qualifies as a hit-and-run in Kentucky, how and when to report one, and how to file a claim with your
Kentucky car insurance
provider in the aftermath of one. We’ll also break down the penalties for Kentucky hit-and-run incidents.
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What is a hit-and-run? 

A hit-and-run is a traffic incident where one of the involved drivers fails to stop. If you strike another vehicle, person, or property, you are required by law to stop and exchange insurance information with other parties involved in the accident, in order for them to file a claim.
You are required by law to remain at the scene of a collision—even if you were not at fault, you could be charged with hit-and-run penalties. Always stay on the scene and exchange insurance information with any other drivers or involved parties.

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

Being involved in a collision can be a scary experience, but you must remain on the scene—leaving the scene can result in criminal charges being laid against you.

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

Depending on the incident, and whether it results in property damage, injuries, or fatalities, a hit-and-run in Kentucky can be deemed either a misdemeanor or a felony.

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

Punishment for a hit-and-run in Kentucky depends on the extent of any injuries or property damage sustained during the collision.
The penalties for a hit-and-run resulting in property damage only may include $20 to $2,000 in fines, and/or up to one year in jail. 
If a driver flees after a hit-and-run where a death or injury occurred and where the person should have known that a death or injury occurred, this will be classified as a Class D felony. This carries penalties of $1,000 to $10,000 in fines and/or one to five years in prison
Here is a breakdown of possible punishments for a hit-and-run in Kentucky:
Result of accident
Property damage only
Up to 1 year in county jail
$20 to $2,000
Injury or death
Class D felony
1 to 5 years in prison
$1,000 to $10,000

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

According to
Kentucky Revised Statutes § 189.580
, the following is
what you should do after a car accident
that might have caused injuries or death:
  • Stop immediately 
  • Determine the extent of the injuries and provide reasonable assistance, including carrying or arranging for any injured parties to be brought to a medical facility if needed or requested
  • Call 911 for police and emergency services
  • Give your name, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle registration number to the operator, occupants, or owner (no more than five people)
If there is no injury or fatality involved, and no hazardous material is being transported in any vehicle involved, do the following:
  • If possible, move the vehicle to a safe spot
  • Report the incident to the police
  • Exchange information including name, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle registration number
If you strike a vehicle or property that is unattended, do the following:
  • Stop immediately as safely and as close to the scene of the incident as possible
  • Locate or notify the owner of the vehicle or property
  • Give them your name, contact information, insurance information, and vehicle registration number
  • If the owner of the vehicle or property cannot be located, issue a note in a conspicuous spot on the vehicle or property with your contact information
  • File a report with the police

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

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, do your best to stay calm and gather as much information as you can. Be sure to report the incident to police as soon as possible—if an injury is sustained or you think there is more than $500 in property damage, report the incident to Kentucky State Police as soon as possible, and no later than 10 days following the accident.

At the scene

Do not try to follow the driver that hit you. Instead, pay attention to your own safety and your vehicle—if you or any of your passengers are injured, call 911 immediately. If you can, move your vehicle safely off the road.
While at the scene, do your best to do the following:
  • Ensure your own safety and those of your passengers—if anyone has sustained any injuries, call 911.
  • If you can, observe the fleeing vehicle and note its make, model, year, color, license plate, and any distinguishing characteristics of the vehicle.
  • If possible, get a description of the driver who fled the scene.
  • Report the incident to police—this ensures the creation of an official report of the crash and can help your insurer process your claim in a faster manner, as well as potentially help identify the fleeing driver.
  • Collect your own evidence, including taking photos of any damage and noting the location and surrounding landmarks—be sure not to interfere with police.
  • Collect the contact information of any witnesses—ask them to remain on the scene until police arrive.

After you leave the scene

Be sure to confirm that the responding police officer files a report of the incident—this is required if more than $500 in damages is sustained or if there is an injury or fatality.
Contact your insurance carrier and
file a car insurance claim
, ideally within 24 hours of the incident.
Filing a claim can be a challenge if you can’t identify the driver who fled the hit-and-run, especially if you only carry liability insurance. However, having
collision coverage
personal injury protection
should protect you in this kind of situation.

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Insurance type
Will it cover a hit-and-run?
Collision coverage
Usually a deductible with this coverage
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Will cover any medical bills for you or any passengers, no matter who is at fault

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more

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As the victim of a hit-and-run in Kentucky, it is likely your rate will not increase.
However, if you cause a hit-and-run, your insurance premium will go up significantly, and may even double.
Yes. If you commit a hit-and-run violation in Kentucky, it is a good idea to retain a lawyer.
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