Gianetta Palmer is a writer for, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance in her spare time.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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A hit and run police report will include a variety of information including the name of the party that was hit, time and date of the accident, details about the accident, any witness reports, and any information that is available about the party who hit and ran. The amount and detail of information in the report will vary depending on a number of factors.

A hit and run is defined as when a driver hits another car, person, or property and leaves the scene without giving the proper information that is required when an accident occurs. Being involved in a hit and run is considered a serious traffic violation. It can result in serious consequences depending on the state and the severity of the accident.

What constitutes a hit and run accident?

There are a number of scenarios that can be considered hit and runs. One scenario is that there are two drivers and two vehicles involved in a collision of some kind. If one of the drivers leaves the accident scene, it is considered to be a hit and run.

A hit and run occurs also when a driver and their vehicle hits another car on the street or in a parking lot and the driver does not try to find the owner of the car or does not leave a note with contact information.

If a driver and a vehicle hit another human being and does not stop to exchange information, it is also considered to be a hit and run.

What type of information should be exchanged in the case of an accident?

If you are in an accident with another vehicle and driver, you are required to exchange information and in many states, you are also required to contact the police. You should exchange contact information such as names, addresses, and phone numbers with the other driver. Car insurance information is important to exchange, including the:

  • Name of the company
  • Agent’s name if available
  • Policy number
  • Phone number
  • License numbers
  • Vehicle identification number

You, as the driver should also take notes about the accident. While your memory is fresh, you should write down everything remember about the accident and be as detailed as possible. Describe any damage that you notice on the car and if you have a camera, you should take pictures. Also, write down any physical symptoms that you may be noticing after the accident occurred. Once the police arrive, they will ask you more questions about the accident and ask you to fill out an accident report.

If you hit a parked car and the driver is not present, what should you do?

If you hit a vehicle and the driver is not present, it is your legal duty to do your best to find the driver. If you cannot find the driver or owner, you will need to leave a note on the vehicle you hit. On the note, leave your name, phone number, and explain what happened. Make sure you leave it in a place where it will be easy for the driver to see.

If by chance you were driving someone else’s car, some states require that you also leave a note with the name and number of the person who owns the vehicle. Many states also require you to contact the police as soon as possible after the accident.

What should you do if you witness a hit and run?

If you see a vehicle hit another vehicle, property, or person, and drive away without giving information, you have been a witness to a hit and run. The first thing you should do is get as much information about the vehicle as possible. First, look at the license plate number and get as much of it as you can.

Along with the license plate, write down the color, make, and model of the car. Take down any other details you can such as how many car doors, if there is any damage to the car, etc. If you get a look at the driver, take down that information as well.

As a witness, write down where the accident occurred and the time of day. Call the police if they have not been called already. They will want to get your statement about exactly what happened. If the hit and run resulted in someone getting hurt, you should also call the proper medical professionals and help the victim the best you can.

What are the consequences of a hit and run?

If you are involved in a hit and run, the consequences will vary depending on how serious the accident is. Each state lays out its own consequences in terms of hit and runs.

If the hit and run resulted in minor damage to another vehicle, you will be responsible for the damage and there is a chance your license will be suspended because you ran from the scene. It will also usually result in an increase of your car insurance because a hit and run adds many points to your driving record.

If your hit and run resulted in bodily damage to another person or driver, your consequences will be more severe. You may lose your car insurance and/or license, you may have to pay high fines, and you even may receive jail time. If the individual died because of the accident, you will definitely face the possibility of prison.

If you are involved in an accident, make sure you leave information about yourself and your insurance company in order to avoid more trouble and consequences.