A hit-and-run may be tried as a misdemeanor or a felony in Michigan. It carries possible penalties of fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to fifteen years.
If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Michigan, it’s important to stay at the scene of the crash, call 911 to summon the police and get medical assistance if necessary, and file a claim with your insurance company within three days.
Leaving an accident site without providing proper documentation and rendering aid to injured parties is illegal in every state—although punishments for this severe crime vary.
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What is a hit-and-run?
According to the
Michigan Vehicle Code, Section 257.618, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident in which you are involved without fulfilling the requirements of the law. These requirements include providing personal and insurance information and rendering aid if necessary.
The law also requires you to call 911 to file a police report and summon medical help if needed.
Michigan hit-and-run laws do not specify fault. You could be found guilty of a hit-and-run in Michigan even if you are not the at-fault party in the collision.
What happens if you commit a hit-and-run in Michigan?
In Michigan, committing a hit-and-run carries serious legal and financial penalties, including fines, a license suspension, or imprisonment. In all cases, you will be cited with a criminal charge—either a misdemeanor or a felony.
It is always in your best interest to stop and remain if you’re involved in an accident so you can avoid a hit-and-run charge.
Is a hit-and-run a felony in Michigan?
A hit-and-run is either considered a misdemeanor or a felony in Michigan. If the collision causes property damage or minor injury, it will be tried as a misdemeanor. If it causes serious bodily injury or death, it will be tried as a felony.
What is the punishment for a hit-and-run in Michigan?
The punishments for committing a hit-and-run in Michigan range in severity depending on whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Here’s how the possible penalties break down:
License suspension or revocation
License suspension or revocation
How to avoid a hit-and-run charge
Regardless of whether you were at fault, stay at the accident site after a collision and follow these steps to avoid a hit-and-run charge:
Move your car to a safe nearby location to avoid obstructing traffic.
Locate the other driver or property owner. Call 911 immediately and summon medical help to the scene if someone is injured. Assist anyone who’s injured while you wait for medical assistance.
Exchange personal and insurance information—including your name, address, insurance policy, and vehicle identification number.
Notify the police if the damage to either vehicle totals more than $1,000.
If the owner of the damaged property cannot be found, leave a detailed note with the above information and report the incident to the police if need be.
What should I do if I experience a hit-and-run in Michigan?
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run in Michigan, stay at the scene of the accident and call the police immediately. Do not attempt to chase the other driver.
At the scene
Stay at the accident site until you have summoned police to the scene to file a police report. While you wait for the police to arrive:
Move your car to a nearby location that is out of the flow of traffic.
Collect evidence from the scene, including pictures of any damage to the car or nearby property.
Talk to any witnesses and ask them to stay until police arrive to include their testimony in the police report.
When the police arrive, tell the officer on duty as many details about the other driver and the vehicle as possible. Information that may be helpful to police:
Color/make/model of the car that hit you
License plate number, if seen
Any identifying characteristics about the car
Circumstances of the collision (what happened)
Key Takeaway Always call 911 in the case of a hit-and-run and file a police report. This report will verify your claims to your insurance company.
After you leave the scene
Report the incident to your insurance company immediately. You have three days from the collision date to file a claim—but it is highly advised to file as soon as possible. Insurance companies may use a reporting delay as an excuse to deny your claim.
What insurance covers a hit-and-run?
Michigan is one of only 12
no-fault states where drivers need to file claims with their own insurance companies after an accident regardless of fault. When you file a claim through your insurance company, they’ll work with the other driver's insurance company to make sure the at-fault party
Two other insurance types would be helpful to have in case of a hit-and-run:
If you have
collision insurance—which pays for damage to your vehicle after an accident—your expenses should be covered, regardless of whether the at-fault driver is ever found. You will likely have to pay a deductible.
If you don’t have these additional coverages, it will be harder to receive compensation for damage to your vehicle unless the at-fault driver is found.
Key Takeaway If you’re involved in a hit-and-run in Michigan, you will have to file a claim through your own insurance company. Your medical expenses will be covered, but damage to your vehicle may not be, depending on your insurance plan.
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