Indiana Hit-and-Run

In Indiana, you must provide the required information, report the accident to the police, and file a claim within 24 hours after a hit-and-run.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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In
Indiana
, a hit-and-run can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony and possible penalties include up to $10,000 in fines, a prison term of six months to six years, and driver’s license suspension.
Getting into an accident is scary stuff and can cause a person to panic and flee the scene—but committing a hit-and-run is an extremely serious offense carrying extensive penalties. 
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What is a hit-and-run? 

A hit-and-run is defined as a type of accident in which a driver collides with another vehicle, person, or property and leaves the scene without stopping. If you hit another party with your vehicle, you are required by law to stop and provide your personal information and
proof of insurance
to all others involved. 
Take note that it doesn’t matter whether or not you committed the accident—leaving the scene of an accident without stopping and providing the required information is illegal and can result in criminal charges. 
MORE: Hit-and-run insurance and claims

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

If you are involved in an auto accident, do not leave the scene of the accident even if you are not to blame. Failure to supply your contact and insurance information to the other involved parties can lead to serious criminal charges and financial costs. 

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

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a hit-and-run in Indiana can be tried as either a misdemeanor or felony
Collision with an unattended or attended vehicle that only caused property damage is charged as a Class B misdemeanor, but if there is some injury to another person, it is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. More serious bodily injury and death will earn you a felony charge.
Even if you didn’t cause the accident or the resulting injuries are only minor, you can still be tried for criminal charges in Indiana if you leave the scene without following the proper protocol. 

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

In Indiana, the penalties for a hit-and-run depend on the extent of damages to property and life.
If you collide with either an unattended or attended vehicle and only cause property damage, the maximum sentence is imprisonment for 180 days and a $1,000 fine. If the hit-and-run results in someone’s injury or death, you could spend up to 12 years in prison and be fined $10,000
Here are the typical punishments from a hit-and-run violation: 
Result of accident
Potential punishment
Property damage only
Class B misdemeanor
Up to 180 days in jail
Fine up to $1,000
Minor injuries
Class A misdemeanor
Up to one 1 year in jail
Fine up to $1,000
Serious bodily injury
Level 6 felony
6 months-2.5 years in jail
Fine up to $10,000
Death
Level 5 felony
1-6 years in jail
Fine up to 10,000
According to
Indiana Vehicle Code IC 9-30-5-4
, a person who causes serious bodily injury to another person while driving intoxicated commits a Level 3 felony, with penalties being imprisonment for two to twelve years and possible fines up to $10,000. 
In addition to the potential jail time, a person may have their
license suspended
for up to the length of the maximum sentence. For example, if the offense is a Class A misdemeanor, you could receive up to a one-year license suspension.
Key Takeaway: You should never flee the scene of an accident—failure to stay at the scene is considered a hit-and-run can result in serious penalties. 

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

According to code 9-26-1-1.1, as the driver involved in an accident you must either stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the accident as possible in a “manner that does not obstruct traffic more than is necessary” and remain at the scene until you provide the following required information to the respective parties
  • Your name, address, and
    vehicle registration
    number to all parties involved in the accident
  • Your
    driver’s license
    to all parties involved in the accident or any person attending to any vehicle involved in the accident
By law, if an accident results in injury or death the driver must provide reasonable assistance and report the accident as soon as possible to one of the following:
  • Within a municipality: The local police department
  • Outside a municipality: The office of the county sheriff or the nearest state police department  
  • A 911 telephone operator
If the accident involves a collision with an unattended vehicle or causes damage to property other than a vehicle, the driver must take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner. If the owner cannot be located, the driver must contact law enforcement and provide the required information. 
If you knowingly or intentionally fail to comply with the law and leave the scene of the accident, you will be punished with at least a Class B misdemeanor charge. 

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

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, do not panic and flee. Instead, remain calm, document the accident details, and
report the hit-and-run
immediately. 

At the scene

Do not chase the fleeing vehicle.
If it’s necessary, move your car to a safe location. Check on everyone involved and call 911 if medical assistance is needed. Contact the police and try to collect as much of the following information as possible: 
  • How the crash happened
  • Any involved
    license plate
    numbers
  • The
    make, model,
    color, and body style of the fleeing vehicle
  • Identifying characteristics of the vehicle (dents, bumper stickers, body mods, etc.)
  • Any damages to the fleeing vehicle
  • The driver’s appearance
  • Which direction the car was headed
Speak with any witnesses present at the scene and inspect the scene for any other clues on the road such as debris or skid marks. If you’re physically able, take photos of the damages to your car and the accident scene so you have physical evidence.

After you leave the scene

Confirm that the reporting police officer files a report. This report can do two things: first, it could help lead to the offender, and second, it backs up any claims you make to your insurance company. 
It is essential to file an insurance claim within 24 hours after the hit-and-run. If you or the police find out the culprit’s identity or license plate number, their
liability insurance
should compensate for the damages and your insurance company will resume the claims process like any other accident.  
Without information about the other driver or their vehicle, filing a claim is more difficult. The liability insurance by itself can’t cover you.

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Insurance type
Will it cover a hit-and-run?
Notes
Collision coverage
Yes
You may need to pay the deductible first
Uninsured motorist coverage
Maybe
Confirm with your insurance company to see if your policy covers hit-and-runs
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage
Yes
Will only cover what health insurance doesn’t. You may need to pay a deductible
Personal injury protection (PIP)
Yes
It could also cover lost wages and other accident-related costs

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more 

If you want to be prepared for not only hit-and-runs but for anything else down the road,
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