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What Happens If I'm the Victim of a Hit and Run?


After a crash, the drivers involved are required to stop. Unfortunately, some drivers don’t do this. Maybe they’re driving while intoxicated. Maybe they’re driving without insurance. Regardless of the reason, they make the illegal decision to flee the scene of the crime.

Here’s what happens if you become the victim of a hit and run – and what you can do to protect yourself.

Hawaii Insurance System

Hawaii has a no-fault system of insurance. This means that if you are involved in a crash, your insurance company pays for any injuries suffered by you and your passengers, up to the personal injury protection (PIP) policy limit, while the other driver’s insurance pays for their and their passengers’ injuries. Lawsuits aren’t allowed unless the injuries are significant.

However, Hawaii’s no-fault system does not apply to property loss. The at-fault driver is responsible for paying for property damage.

To demonstrate that they are able to pay for any property damage liabilities or injuries that might result from a crash, drivers in Hawaii are required to carry auto insurance that includes:

  • $10,000 per person in personal injury protection (PIP) benefits
  • $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
  • $10,000 per occurrence in property damage liability

Despite these requirements, though, some drivers let their insurance lapse. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 10.6 percent of drivers in Hawaii are uninsured.

After a Hit and Run

If you are the victim of a hit and run accident, you should stop your car.

  • Call the police to report the hit and run. Request medical assistance if anyone is injured.
  • See if there are any witnesses.
  • Take photographs of the damage and note the conditions at the time of the crash.
  • Contact your insurance company.

If the police are able to catch the hit-and-run driver, that driver can be held responsible. However, if the other driver cannot be found, it will be impossible to make the unknown driver pay for any damages. As a result, you could be left on the hook for the costs.

Your PIP insurance will cover your injuries, but only up to your policy limit, and it will not cover the damage to your vehicle. This may leave you with considerable out-of-pocket costs. However, additional coverage may help in this situation.   

Additional Insurance Coverage

Which insurance do you need to cover a hit and run? That depends on whether you’re dealing with property damage or bodily injury, as well as the insurance laws regarding unknown drivers in your state.

In Hawaii, if an uninsured driver hits you, or if you are the victim of a hit and run, uninsured motorist insurance provides coverage for serious injury or death. Drivers can reject uninsured motorist coverage, but the coverage may prove very useful. You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage.

Another insurance type that can help is collision insurance. Collision insurance provides coverage for damage to your vehicle caused by a collision. If you are the victim of a hit and run, you can file a claim with your collision insurance policy for the damage to your car. When purchasing collision insurance, it’s common to also purchase comprehensive insurance, which covers other causes of damage to your vehicle. 

As you can see, auto insurance coverage issues can be complex. Be sure to discuss your needs with a FICOH agent or representative. If you’d like to explore your coverage options, get a personal auto quote today.