If you or a loved one was in a car crash in the Motor City and the person who hit you fled the scene without stopping, then he or she has violated the Detroit hit and run accident law. A driver who leaves the scene of a crash where someone was injured or killed could be guilty of a felony and sent to prison.
After a car accident in Detroit, the law requires drivers to: (1) stop at the scene; (2) share driver’s license and insurance information with anyone involved in the crash; and (3) help anyone who is injured with “securing medical aid.”
You should immediately call the police to report both the accident and the hit-and-run driver. Provide the police with as much as information as possible about the driver who left the scene, such as: (1) the license plate number; (2) the make, model and color of the vehicle; (3) distinguishing characteristics; (4) the extent and location of damage on the fleeing vehicle; and (5) a description of the fleeing driver.
Most auto insurance policies nowadays have very strict – and vigorously enforced – provisions requiring that you file a police report within 24 hours of a hit and run auto accident. Complying with this 24-hour time requirement for the filing of a police report is very important because failure to timely file the police report will be used by insurers to deny claims and refuse to pay the “uninsured motorist” and/or “underinsured motorist” benefits the insurer would otherwise be legally obligated to pay.
Having a claim for “uninsured motorist” or “underinsured motorist” benefits denied after a hit-and-run accident could be devastating for the victim and his or her family because if the fleeing driver is never caught, the victim’s UM or UIM claim will be his or her only way to recover pain and suffering compensation after a car accident.
Similarly, there are also requirements for when an insurer must be notified about a hit-and-run accident and when a victim must file his or her application for No-Fault benefits.
To be clear, leaving the scene of an accident in Michigan is illegal. Not only could the fleeing driver face serious criminal penalties if the police are able to identify and arrest the fleeing driver, but he or she could also be sued for the injuries or death that resulted from the accident that his or her negligent driving caused.
To learn more about Detroit hit and run accident law, please check out my “hit and run accident” page.
Named a “Leader in the Law” and “Lawyer of the Year” by Michigan’s largest legal newspaper for his record-breaking auto accident verdicts, settlements and advocacy work in preventing wrecks, Steven Gursten heads Michigan Auto Law—a firm dedicated to serious motor vehicle accident injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits.