Maine Hit-and-Run

If you're involved in a hit-and-run in Maine, report the accident to the police and file an insurance claim as soon as possible.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A hit-and-run in Maine can lead to a Class D or Class E conviction depending on the case. Punishment for a hit-and-run can range from a $1,000 fine to five years in prison. 
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, try to identify the vehicle and report the accident to the police as soon as possible. Be sure to file an insurance claim if you have collision or uninsured motorist coverage as well. 
Every state has laws against leaving the scene of an accident without providing personal and insurance information. However, every state has different punishments for hit-and-runs. 
Whether you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Maine or have committed one,
car insurance
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is here to outline the details of how to navigate it. This article will cover what counts as a hit-and-run, how to report one, how to file an insurance claim, and what actions to take if you commit the hit-and-run yourself.
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What is a hit-and-run? 

Hit-and-runs include any car accident where a vehicle hits a person, object, or vehicle and the driver intentionally leaves the scene without providing their information. If you hit another vehicle, it’s against the law to flee without providing your name, address, and insurance information so the victim is able to file a claim. 
Regardless of who caused the accident, everyone involved must stay at the scene. Even if you aren’t at fault, if you leave the scene, you’ll be found guilty of a hit-and-run. You must stay at the site of the collision and exchange information with the other parties or you’ll be penalized.

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

If you’re involved in an accident, it can be tempting to flee out of panic—but it’s important to stay at the scene of the accident. If you leave the scene without exchanging information, you’ll be on the hook for serious legal and financial consequences. 

Is a hit-and-run a felony in Maine? 

Maine no longer categorizes crimes as felonies or misdemeanors, so a hit-and-run in Maine can either be classified as a Class E, D, or C crime. Class E crimes are the least severe and Class A covers serious crimes. 
A hit-and-run that involves an unattended vehicle is considered a Class E crime, while a hit-and-run that results in injury or death is a Class D crime. A Class C hit-and-run is reserved for incidents where the driver caused the accident intentionally due to reckless driving or driving under the influence. 
Key Takeaway If you’re involved in an accident, don’t panic. Remain at the scene until you’ve provided your information—failing to do so can have serious consequences.

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

Punishments for hit-and-runs in Maine vary depending on the specific case and extent of damage caused by the accident. 
If the hit-and-run caused only minor property damage, the maximum penalty is a fine of $1,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 180 days. If the accident causes death or serious injury—defined by substantial risk of death, serious or permanent disfigurement, loss or major impairment of limbs or organs—the maximum punishment is 12 months in jail, a $2,000 fine, and a suspended license for 90 days.
If the driver is believed to have caused the accident intentionally or was under the influence while driving, the punishment is a five-year jail sentence, a maximum $5,000 fine, and 90 days of license suspension. You may also face extra consequences for an OUI (operating under the influence) conviction. 
Here’s a list of possible penalties for a hit-and-run in Maine:
Result of accident
Possible punishment
Property damage only (attended or unattended vehicle)
Class E crime
Up to 180 days in jail
Fine up to $1,000
Death or serious injury
Class D/felony crime
Up to 12 months of imprisonment
Fine up to $2,000
Intentional due to reckless or impaired driving
Class C crime
Up to 5 years of imprisonment
Fine up to $5,000

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

According to Maine Law 29A 2252, after any accidents that involve vehicle damage the driver must do the following:
  1. Stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as possible. 
  2. Provide their information, including name, address, vehicle registration number, and evidence of insurance or financial responsibility if requested. 
If a driver fails to comply with these rules, it automatically becomes a Class E crime. 
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What should I do if I experience a hit-and-run in Maine? 

If you become the victim of a hit-and-run in Maine, remember to stay calm and gather as much information as you can. Report the crime to the police immediately. 

At the scene

It’s important to never follow the car. First, you’ll need to make sure everyone in your car is safe and uninjured before moving the car to a safe location close by. Next, call 911 if medical attention is required as well as to inform the police and direct them to the scene. 
Even if you’re overwhelmed, note as many of the following details as possible before leaving the scene:
  • The other vehicle’s make, model, color, and body style
  • The license plate number of the car(s) involved
  • The other driver’s appearance
  • The circumstances surrounding the accident
  • Which way the other car was headed
  • Any identifying elements on the hit-and-run car—dents, bumper stickers, or modifications
It’s also a good idea to talk to any witnesses to see if they remember any other details. You also want to examine the scene for any additional evidence or information. Finally, don’t forget to take plenty of photos of the scene and surrounding area to document the accident for insurance purposes.

After you leave the scene

Make sure the officer at the scene files a police report. This ensures proper documentation, which increases the likelihood of identifying the other driver. The police report will also act as supporting evidence for your insurance claim, which should be filed within 24 hours after a hit-and-run. 
If the other driver is identified, their liability coverage should take care of the damage to your car. Your insurance company will then handle the case like any other car accident. 
If the other driver cannot be identified, putting in an insurance claim will be challenging. If you only have liability insurance, the insurance company will not cover the damage to your vehicle. These expenses may be covered, however, 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
May have to pay a deductible
Uninsured motorist coverage
Review your insurance policy to see if it covers hit-and-runs
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage
Covers gaps in medical insurance
Personal injury protection (PIP)
For covering lost income and other accident-caused expenses
MORE: Does insurance cover a hit and run?

How to find affordable insurance for collisions and more 

Whether you’ve been a victim of a hit-and-run or you want to protect yourself against accidents in the future, finding affordable rates is simple when you use
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If you’re a victim of a hit-and-run, your insurance shouldn’t be affected, even if you’re the one filing the insurance claim. In some cases, your insurance may even waive your deductible. If you committed the hit-and-run, though, you can be sure that your insurance prices will skyrocket since you’ve been charged with a significant violation.
Hit-and-run charges are serious, so if you commit a hit-and-run, it’s a good idea to seek legal counsel.
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