Hawaii Hit-and-Run

In Hawaii, a hit-and-run is a criminal offense with up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Written by Kaitlin May
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 10, 2023
Hit-and-run offenses in Hawaii are serious criminal convictions that can earn drivers up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
hit-and-run incidents
happening every 43 seconds in the U.S. according to AAA, they’re a nationwide issue. To mitigate these issues, each state has implemented stringent laws penalizing drivers who fail to stop and exchange their information after an accident.
A hit-and-run incident should never be taken lightly. The first step in protecting yourself and others from being involved in a hit-and-run accident is by understanding the laws in place to prevent them, and how to respond when you’re on either side of the collision.
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What is a hit-and-run?

Any collision with another driver or stationary object where the driver leaves the site of the accident is considered a hit-and-run. There’s a legal and moral obligation to remain at the accident site, regardless of who caused the accident, and exchange insurance information so a claim can be filed.
There’s also a requirement to contact law enforcement officials and/or paramedics immediately after an accident to ensure medical attention is administered to those who need it. Failure to contact officials and provide personal information before
leaving the scene of the accident
will result in criminal charges.

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

Any accident that causes damage to another vehicle, property, or pedestrian where the driver flees the scene is considered a hit-and-run in Hawaii. Drivers are required to stop immediately after the collision and remain at the scene until all necessary legal actions are taken.
Neglecting to stay long enough to offer the information needed to file a police report will earn you serious criminal charges and financial obligations.

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

If the aftermath of a hit-and-run incident results in minor injuries and property damage for the victim, the driver will be charged with a misdemeanor. Should the accident cause severe bodily injury or death, the offense will be prosecuted as a felony.
The severity of the charges depends on the amount of harm caused to the victim in terms of injuries and damage to their personal property. If you’re convicted of hit-and-run offenses, it’s best to hire a lawyer to help you navigate options for reducing the charges.

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

The minimum penalties for a misdemeanor hit-and-run in Hawaii are up to one year in prison and up to $2,000 in fines. Devastating circumstances caused by a hit-and-run—like the death of a victim—will cause the driver to permanently lose their driver’s license, among other consequences.
This is how the hierarchy of hit-and-run charges are broken down in Hawaii:
Result of accident
Possible punishment
Bodily injury
Fine up to $2,000
Up to one year in prison
Substantial bodily injury
Class C felony
Fine up to $10,000
Up to five years in prison
Class B felony
Fine of up to $50,000
Up to 10 years in prison

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

When you strike another driver’s vehicle or property, your fight-or-flight response is triggered and the worst possible choice you could make is to flee. Instead, follow these steps the moment an accident happens to avoid being charged with a hit-and-run:
  • Move your car to a nearby spot and stop your vehicle
  • Assess the damage and contact officials like police and paramedics, if needed
  • Approach the other driver(s) involved and exchange personal information
  • When the other driver isn’t present, leave a note with your information
In more critical accidents that leave drivers injured or worse, you’ll need to arrange for their transportation to the nearest hospital.

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

It’s shocking and terrifying to be on the receiving end of a hit-and-run, but there are actions you can take at the time of the accident to ease the aftermath. 
First of all, breathe. Stop your car as soon and as safely as you can, determine if you or any passengers need medical attention, and then follow these steps:
  • Call 911 to get medical assistance if needed and alert police to file a report
  • Consult any nearby witnesses and ask for their contact information to have on hand
  • Record notes and take photos of the scene to use as evidence
  • Reach out to your insurance company immediately after those steps are completed
What to avoid:
  • Don’t attempt to follow the car that hit you
  • Don’t post any pictures on social media where they could be misinterpreted

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Hawaii is a no-fault state. That means drivers in Hawaii are required to demonstrate their ability to pay for byproducts of a collision, which includes covering their medical expenses regardless of who is at fault. 
These coverages include:
These requirements tend to fall short in the case of a hit-and-run, but 10.6% of drivers in Hawaii fail to maintain their insurance payments, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
To combat the number of uninsured drivers with a safety net of your own, it’s recommended to get these three additional coverages:
Insurance type
Will it cover a hit-and-run?
Uninsured motorist coverage
Offsets the costs of your medical bills even when the other driver is uninsured
Collision coverage
Covers damage done to your vehicle in a collision
Comprehensive coverage
Common to purchase alongside comprehensive insurance and covers damage sustained by other causes

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more

The last thing you’ll want to do after a hit-and-run accident is put your time into finding a car insurance policy that can help you recover from the damage. 
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