personal injuries, car accident, hit and run

Penalty for hit and run no injuries- fine for hit and run

What is the Penalty for hit and run no injuries- fine for hit and run?

Yearly, the USA experiences more than 7 million car accidents and of those, approximately more than 700,000 car accidents are hit-and-runs. Did you know that pedestrians and motorcyclists constitute the largest proportion that is affected by hit-and-runs?

Have you ever witnessed a hit-and-run accident, where the driver decides to flee the scene without stopping to help the victim? What if no one was injured, does the punishment change?

Anyway, hit-and-run accidents are not only a crime but also a moral failing on the part of you as a driver. When you are involved in a collision, it is your legal and ethical obligation to stop and provide assistance. 

But what happens when the hit-and-run occurs with no injuries involved? In this article, I will explore the consequences of a hit and run with no injuries, and what factors determine the severity of the punishment.

I will also help you understand all the criminal, civil, and administrative penalties you will face if you committed a hit-and-car accident. Ready? alright, let’s go.

Page Contents

What Is a Hit-and-Run Car Accident?

Hit and run is a type of offense you will have committed if you were involved in any car accident and decided to flee the accident scene without stopping by to identify yourself or offer the required help. 

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It is a requirement by all states in the USA to stop after a car accident and do the following. 

  • Identify yourself by sharing personal information with the parties involved in the accident. 
  • Render help to the injured persons like help in transporting them to the hospital. 
  • Call and inform the police about the crash. 

Failure to observe the above-mentioned implies you committed the hit-and-run crime and soon you could face serious penalties and fines depending on the severity of the accident and hit-and-run laws in your state or country. 

Hit And Run Accident – Non-injury Related

If you fled the accident scene in which there are no serious injuries incurred by any person, then count yourself a lucky person. Such type of hit and run is known as a minor hit and run case. 

Learn more: I caught an accident on my dash cam. I turned the footage over to the police. Now the party that was at fault is suing me. What should I do?

Penalties for minor hit and runs are not so severe as compared to major hit and run as I explain right in the following paragraph. Depending on the state you live in, you will be charged with a misdemeanor if you committed a minor case of hit and run offense.

Hit And Run Accident – Injury Related

A hit and run crime in which there are personal injuries or deaths are classified as a major case of the offense. Many states move forward to severely punish the offenders of major hit-and-runs. 

Depending on where you come from, brace yourself for a couple of years in jail, exorbitant fines, and other civil punishments as I will explain later in this article.

What to do in a Hit and Run Accident?

It’s our natural instinct to flee from disaster or any worrying situations and the same occurs after getting involved in car accidents especially if we are more worried about the outcomes. 

All in all, it’s important to follow the following steps if you are involved in a hit and run accident

1. Stay calm and make sure you are not injured. You will need to call 911 or any emergency services if you sustained personal injuries. 

2. Collect and record as much information as possible. Make sure you note the license plate number, car color, model, and make. Also, note the time of the accident and the direction the offending car was heading to. 

3. Notify police immediately by providing all the information you collected about the other driver that fled the accident scene. You want the police to also complete the car accident report.

4. Make sure you get information from any person that witnessed the accident. If possible, record what they have to say and note down their addresses and contact information.

5. Take pictures of your injuries or any other person injured, car damages, and the surrounding area in relation to the accident. 

6. Because the other driver fled the accident scene, you will most likely be compensated by your personal insurance company. You need to call and inform your insurance company immediately after the hit and run.

7. Think about seeking medical attention right away. In my last articles, I already told you that the amount you will receive as compensation from insurance companies depends on there severity of your personal injuries, and therefore you need medical documents to support this.

How a Car Accident Can Lead to Hit-and-Run Criminal Charges?

Car accident laws vary from state to state, or country to country. For example, what counts as a minor hit and run could earn you penalties similar for a major hit and run case in another state. 

For instance, in some states, fleeing the scene where you hit an animal or any stationary object is considered a hit and run, whereas in others it may not necessarily imply the crime. 

Learn more: Get the Compensation You Deserve with Dolan Law Car Accident Lawyers in San Francisco.

In some cases, a hit-and-run can lead to criminal charges even if there were no injuries or only minor property damage. For example, if you strike a parked car and fail to leave a note with their contact information, you can still be charged with a hit-and-run.

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On the same note, if you flee the scene of an accident where someone was injured or killed, you could face more serious charges, such as leaving the scene of a personal injury accident or hit-and-run resulting in death.

Therefore, it’s important to remember that in the event of any car accident, it is your legal and ethical obligation to stop and provide assistance, and failure to do so can result in serious legal consequences.

How the Law Defines Hit-and-Run?

I will not list here all hit-and-run laws but what you need to understand is that in all 50 states in the USA, leaving the accident scene without identifying yourself is a crime. 

In fact, in all 50 states, The specific definition of hit-and-run varies by jurisdiction, but the common elements include leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling one’s legal obligations.

I recently spoke to Alex who is a traffic officer in Los Angels, and this is what he had to tell me. “The severity of the punishment depends on the circumstances of the accident and the level of harm caused,” says Alex a Policeman. 

“If the accident caused only property damage, the penalty may be less severe compared to if the accident caused injury or death”, continues Alex.

“Additionally, some states have enhanced penalties for hit-and-run accidents involving bicycles, pedestrians, or other vulnerable road users”, concluded Alex.

What Kinds of Accidents Require Drivers to Stop?

In general, you are required to stop in any car accident involving another vehicle, person, or property. These crashes include the following;

1. Property damages. The law requires you to stop immediately after hitting a parked car, traffic sign, or any building or physical object.

2. Deaths or injuries. You are mandated to stop if you hit another vehicle, pedestrian, motorcyclist, or bicyclist and the accident caused injuries or deaths.

3. Car damages. You are also mandated to stop and identify yourself if you were involved in a crash that damaged other vehicles. 

But, do you need to stop and exchange information even if the car accident is not your fault? the answer is yes. 

The law required every driver to stop and identify themselves and offer help to the injured. This implies that you may still be charged with a hit and run even though clearly, you are not responsible for the accident.

What Kinds of Information Must a Driver Provide Following an Accident?

Following an accident, you are generally required to exchange certain information with the other parties involved in the crash, or with the authorities. The specific information required can vary by jurisdiction, but typically includes:

1. Personal information. All the parties involved in the accident have a right to know your name, address, contact telephone number, and your driver’s license number. 

2. Any insurance coverage. You must provide the other party with your insurance company name and policy number.

3. Vehicle information. The other driver has a right to know your car model, make, and your car license plate number.

4. Personal statement. You will also be required to make written statements to the authorities or give a detailed account of the accident. 

Consequences of a Hit-and-Run Accident

Causing any auto accident comes with numerous consequences, but committing a hit-and-run complicates every situation.

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The consequences of a hit-and-run accident can be severe, both legally and personally. Some of the most common consequences include:

1. Criminal charges. Committing hit and run is a criminal offense in many states. You will face these charges just like you would for reckless driving, vehicular assault, or manslaughter. 

2. Civil liability. The other driver or party could sue you for damages he/she incurred due to the car accident.

3. License suspension or revocation. Your license may be suspended or revoked depending on the severity of the crime. I know a driver whose license was permanently suspended after a hit-and-run offense.

4. Fines and imprisonment. Depending on the gravity of the case, you may be imprisoned and or asked to pay fines.

5. Insurance consequences: A hit-and-run accident can result in higher insurance premiums, the denial of a claim, or the cancellation of a policy by your insurance company.

Here’s why it’s never a good idea to flee the scene of a car accident.

Below are 2 examples I will give you to show that it’s never a good idea to flee the scene of a car accident. 

1. Moses, while driving in his truck rear-ended another vehicle where he claimed the lady in the front car slammed on breaks immediately. Moses decided to flee the scene well knowing no one saw him.

Police successfully tracked and arrested Moses in 5 days by use of the footage obtained from a nearby family security camera.”I was charged with a class A misdemeanor and my penalties were 1 year in prison and a $7000 fine” Said Moses.

2. Jim from Illinois committed a hit and run and police investigated and caught him within 10 days. “My penalties for the hit and run- I was charged with were 12 months in prison, a fine of $25,000, and my license was suspended for 6 months”, said Jim.

As you can see guys, the penalties for hit and run are so severe. Moses and Jim were so lucky because they faced misdemeanors. Penalties would be much more severe if they were charged with felonies

Criminal Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident?

Penalties for hit and run are a bit confusing, a reason I dedicated a separate section, and the following paragraphs to explain them. 

For instance, you will face criminal charges if the police found you after committing a hit-and-run. Criminal charges vary from state to state, and penalties also vary. 

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Criminal charges you will face after a hit and run are either a felony or a misdemeanor. You will battle a misdemeanor if you committed a minor case, whereas you could face a felony if you committed a major hit-and-run case.

The criminal penalties of a felony differ from state to state, but you could face $5,000 up to $20,000 as fines and up to 15 years in prison.

On the same note, a hit and run can also be classified as a misdemeanor meaning you committed a less severe case. Depending on the state you come from, you could face up to $5,000 in fines and up to 6-12 months in jail.

Below are 3 examples of criminally charged hit-and-runs.

1. In Michigan, criminal penalties for a minor hit and run (misdemeanor) is 90 days in prison and a fine of up to $100.

2. In Maryland, the penalty for a misdemeanor is a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

3. In Alabama, the penalties for class A misdemeanor is up to $6,000 in fines and up to 12 months in Jail.

Administrative Penalties for Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident?

I have explained the basics of criminal penalties of a hit and run. Now the question is, what are the administrative penalties for the hit-and-run offense? 

Well, these penalties are imposed on you through your state’s department of motor vehicles (DMV). Administrative penalties typically affect your driver’s license. 

Hit-and-run crimes could force the DMV to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. Depending on the gravity of the case, some states may suspend or revoke it for 3 years.

Civil Penalties for Hit and Run

Civil penalties not only apply to hit and runs but also to every car accident in which authorities think you are at fault. The driver who suffered personal injuries or any other damages is entitled to compensation which you will pay from own pockets or through your insurance coverage. 

The accident victim is usually entitled to compensatory and punitive damages. 

Compensatory damages include medical bills, emotional distress, lost wages, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages refer to the amount of money paid to the injury victim in order to punish you for your negligence.

For example, the jury could decide that you pay $55,000 as personal injury damages determined by the injuries and losses the plaintiff suffered, and in addition, the victim may receives $12,000 as punitive damages.

If you committed a felony or any other serious car accident out of a high degree of negligence, the victim could be awarded treble damages. For instance, instead of paying the victim $55,000 mentioned above, the jury could treble it thus paying $55,000 x 3= $165,000.

What is the penalty for a hit and run with no injuries?

A hit and run with no injuries is classified as a misdemeanor. These charges carry no serious penalties and police usually do not waste time investigating such minor cases of hit-and-runs. 

Below are examples of penalties for hit and run with no injuries. 

1. For people living in Michigan, the penalty for hit and run with no injuries is a fine of $100, and up to 90 days in prison.

2. The penalty for a major hit and run in Illinois is up to 1-3 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.

3. In NC, penalties for hit and run with no injuries is a punishment of up to 120 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. You may also have your driver’s license suspended. 

4. If you are living in Texas, a hit-and-run charge you committed might earn you up to 12 months in jail.

What Makes Hit-and-Run a Misdemeanor or Felony?

what makes a hit-and-run a misdemeanor or felony depends on the circumstances of the accident and also varies from state to state. 

For example, in some states hitting an animal like a deer or any stationary object like a traffic sign could be classified as a misdemeanor while in other states, such an event earns you no charges.

In general, any hit-and-run crime in which there were deaths or significant personal injuries implies a felony, whereas if you hit a stationary object or if only properties were damaged implies a misdemeanor.

In short, a hit-and-run is a crime with severity ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on factors such as the level of property damage or injury caused.

How does a Hit and Run Affect Car Insurance?

According to insurance policies, any at-fault car accident leads to increased insurance coverage rates. For many other insurance companies, any claim filed will also impact negatively your premiums on the next renewal. 

Automatically, committing a hit and run will raise your rates in addition to facing other punishments like suspension of your car insurance policy.

If you are a victim of a hit and run, your insurance company may deny your claim because the company has no means of recovering the compensation they are paying you unless you are able to provide the other driver’s personal information.

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Getting Help After a Hit and Run

If you are the victim of a hit and run, soon or later you will need help. You will need to be compensated for the damages you incurred yet the likelihood of identifying the offender is slim. 

I already told you how your own insurance company may deny your claim unless you produce the perpetrator. 

This implies that you badly need the services of an experienced car accident attorney to negotiate compensation on your behalf and help you explore all legal options.

I have seen a situation where the person’s own insurance company hired a lawyer to defend the hit and run offender. Here, the victim suffered serious damages in excess of $98,000, but the hit and run offender had no insurance coverage or properties. 

The insurance company in fear of paying such huge damages to its own customer sided with the hit and run perpetrator with an intention of reducing the amount payable to its own client. 

Luckily, the jurors stuck on their guns and the insurance company had nothing to do but cough $89,000.

Talk to a Defense attorney

If you are the hit and run criminal, then definitely you stand no chance unless you hired an experienced hit-and-run lawyer. In my own opinion, you do not need the services of an attorney if you committed a minor hit and run.

You need to hire an experienced car accident lawyer to fight on your behalf and ensure that the penalties you receive are fair and less severe. Car accident attorneys know best how to navigate the law and find loopholes they can take advantage of and save your day.


In conclusion, the penalty for hit and run with no injuries can vary depending on the state and circumstances of the accident. However, it is important to note that hit and run are considered a serious crime, regardless of whether there are injuries or not.

Without exchanging information with the other party, leaving the scene of an accident can result in penalties, license suspension, and possibly jail time. It is always preferable to stay still, exchange details, and request assistance if needed.

Although accepting responsibility for the accident can be challenging, it is essential to do so in order to avoid further consequences.

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