South Dakota Hit-and-Run

If you’re in a hit-and-run accident in South Dakota, report the crime to the police immediately, then file an insurance claim.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In South Dakota, hit-and-runs can either be tried as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the circumstances of the accident. Punishments for a hit-and-run could be as minor as a $500 fine or as major as two years in prison.
In the event that you’re a victim of a hit-and-run, do your best to identify the vehicle and report the event to law enforcement immediately. If you have collision or
uninsured motorist coverage
, you’ll also want to file an insurance claim as soon as possible.
Every U.S. state has a law forbidding drivers to leave the scene of an accident before providing their information, but the penalties for hit-and-runs differ by state. 
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run in South Dakota,
car insurance
comparison and broker app
is here to detail everything you need to know, including what counts as a hit-and-run, how to report one, how to file an insurance claim, and what to do if you commit a hit-and-run. Then we'll show you how to save on your
South Dakota car insurance
at the end.
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What is a hit-and-run? 

A hit-and-run is an accident where a driver hits another person, object, or vehicle and leaves the scene before they’ve provided their information. If there’s an accident or collision—major or minor—it’s mandatory that drivers stop and exchange contact and insurance information so the victim can file a claim with their insurance.
No matter who caused the accident, all parties involved must remain at the scene of the incident. Even if you weren’t the offender, leaving the scene means you’ll be guilty of a hit-and-run. Everyone present at the accident has to stay at the scene to exchange information or risk being penalized.
MORE: Hit and run insurance claims: Everything you need to know

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

Car accidents can be overwhelming, but it’s important not to panic. Don’t flee—you must never leave the scene of an accident without following the proper procedure. If you drive away without exchanging information with the other driver, you can find yourself in hot water. 

Is a hit-and-run a felony in South Dakota? 

According to South Dakota law, a hit-and-run will either be counted as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the damage caused. If the hit only damaged property, like another car, it will count as a misdemeanor. A hit-and-run will be counted as a felony if it caused death or personal injury.

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

Penalties for hit-and-runs in South Dakota are contingent upon the amount of damage caused in the accident. 
If the damage was done to an unattended vehicle or property, the maximum penalty is a fine of $500 and/or 30 days in prison. If the driver committed a hit-and-run against an attended vehicle, the punishment goes up to a $2,000 fine and up to one year in prison. Finally, if the accident caused the death or injury of another person, it can come with a $2,000 fine and/or two years in prison.
Here’s a look at the possible punishments for a hit-and-run in South Dakota:
Result of accident
Possible punishment
Damage to unattended vehicle or property
Class 2 misdemeanor
Max. fine of $500
Max. imprisonment of 30 days
Damage to attended vehicle or property
Class 1 misdemeanor
Max. fine of $2,000
Max. imprisonment of one year
Death or personal injury
Class 6 felony
Max. fine of $2,000
Max. imprisonment of 2 years
Fines and/or jail time will apply, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the judge assigned to the case. 

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

South Dakota Code 32-34-6 requires any driver involved in an accident that results in damage of property to stop at the scene of the accident to provide their name and address—and the name and address of the vehicle’s owner, if different. 
If the owner of the damaged vehicle is not at the scene of the accident, the driver must leave their information on the other vehicle. If the damage is to property other than a vehicle and the owner is not present, the driver has to leave the information with the owner or law enforcement as soon as possible.

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

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in South Dakota, it’s key to remain calm, gather as much information as possible, and report the crime to the police right away.

At the scene

Even if you think it may be helpful, you must never attempt to follow the fleeing car. After the accident, you’ll want to make sure everyone in your car is uninjured before moving your vehicle out of traffic and to a safe location. Call 911 immediately to summon medical attention and the police. 
It’s important to try and take note of as many of the following details as you can from the scene:
  • The other car’s make, model, color, and body style
  • The license plate number of the other vehicle
  • The other driver’s appearance
  • The circumstances of the accident
  • The direction the car was headed when it fled the scene
  • Any unique markers on the other car, like dents or bumper stickers
Try to talk to witnesses so you can gather any extra details they may have noted. You should also try to examine the scene for evidence, like vehicle fragments, and take photos to document the scene. 

After you leave the scene

To increase the odds of identifying the other driver, the officer at the scene should file a police report. A police report will serve as evidence for your insurance claim, which you need to file within 24 hours of the accident. 
If law enforcement is able to identify the driver’s identity, their liability insurance should cover your damage. Aside from that, your insurance company will deal with the claim as if it were any other accident. 
If they aren’t able to identify the other driver, though, claims get a bit more complicated. If you only have liability coverage, you’ll be on the hook for covering the damage. However, you may be protected if you carry
collision insurance
uninsured motorist coverage
medical payments coverage (MedPay)
, or
personal injury protection

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Insurance type
Will it cover a hit-and-run?
Collision coverage
Might need to pay a deductible first
Uninsured motorist coverage
Your insurance company can tell you if your policy covers hit-and-runs
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage
Will only cover what health insurance doesn’t; may need to pay deductible
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Can cover lost income and other expenses that result from a collision

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more 

Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of a hit-and-run or you just want to be proactive, you can be sure to find the most affordable
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If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, your insurance shouldn’t be affected—even if you’re the one filing a claim. Your insurance might even waive your deductible. If you’ve committed a hit-and-run, though, you can expect your insurance prices to drastically increase since you’ve been charged with a serious violation.
Hit-and-runs are no small thing. If you’ve committed a hit-and-run, it’s a wise idea to seek legal counsel.
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