What to do after a hit-and-run in Washington, DC



The tiny 68 square miles of Washington, DC are teeming with the hustle and bustle of DC residents, many of whom walk, bike, or use the subway instead of the city’s all-too-congested streets. The high pedestrian traffic is one reason for the city’s stricter rules on hit-and-run. This is one reason why motorists in Washington, DC are adhered to strict auto insurance standards.

Hit-and-runs in Washington, DC

Hit-and-runs in the District of Columbia are officially called abandoned after a collision and unfortunately are too common. Despite the district’s small size, data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2019 shows it 22 fatal crashes in DC and 23 deaths for an overall rate of 0.61 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles driven. Most of the deaths were pedestrian, accounting for 39% of the total deaths in accidents involving a single vehicle.

Corresponding Bankrate 2021 data, Washington, DC ranks ninth nationwide for most uninsured drivers. This presents an additional risk to DC drivers who are risking financial devastation if they do not have sufficient insurance coverage to help with damage in the event of an accident.

Hit-and-run laws in Washington, DC

Just leaving the scene of the accident is an offense under Washington, DC law. Section 50–2201.05c. If this is your first offense, you can face up to 180 days in jail or a fine of up to $ 1,000. You can receive up to $ 2,500 in penalties and up to one year in prison after your second offense.

There are additional penalty scenarios under DC law:

  • Leaving after personal injury: If another driver is injured and a driver does not stay on site to contact emergency services, that driver can face substantial fines and up to 180 days in jail.
  • Leaving after property damage: If a driver leaves the scene and leaves damaged property, the driver can be fined and sentenced to 30 days in prison.

Depending on the severity of the accident, additional penalties may be imposed.

How hit-and-run runs are affecting auto insurance rates in Washington, DC

A hit-and-run can affect your auto insurance rates in a number of ways. SR-22 insurance is a requirement for drivers who are classified as high risk. This could be due to a past hit-and-run or a license revocation. Regardless of the reason, an SR-22 certificate indicates that you have at least the minimum car insurance required for Washington, DC

Several factors will affect how much your car insurance rates will increase, such as: B. the severity of the accident, your driver’s license and your insurer. Data from Quadrant Information Services’ Bankrate show that accidents were caused by fault Increase your insurance rates by 38% for the average driver. Hit-and-runs in particular can cost you nearly $ 1,000 more than a standard accident.

Average annual fully comprehensive premiums

Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Washington, DC average $ 1,855 $ 2,854 $ 2,373
National average $ 1,674 $ 3,367 $ 2,405

5 things to do after an accident in Washington, DC

If you are involved in a hit and run in Washington, DC, here are some steps you must take:

  1. Park your car. Once it is safe, stop and find a parking space.
  2. Record details. To help with the police and insurance report, try to remember all the relevant details, such as: B. a license plate or a vehicle description of the offending vehicle.
  3. Call the police. Immediately call the police to report the hit and run and any injuries or property damage. Washington, DC provides a full list of Metropolitan Police Department contacts.
  4. Document the damage. Be sure to document damage with photos and videos that you can show to the police and your insurance company.
  5. Contact your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company and start the claims process. You will likely need to provide a copy of the police report for your claim.

Does the insurance cover a hit-and-run?

There are a few Types of car insurance this can help in an accident with hit and run:

  • Collision protection: If your vehicle is damaged by the hit-and-run, your collision insurance can help cover that damage, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured damage to property by the driver: You can benefit from uninsured property damage caused by motorists, which you can protect if you are a victim of a hit and run with damage caused by another driver.
  • Personal Protection (PIP): PIP is optional coverage in DC but can help cover medical expenses caused by an accident if included in your policy.

To decide which coverage is best for you, speak to an insurance agent about your specific needs for your policy based on Auto insurance laws in Washington, DC.

frequently asked Questions

How much does car insurance cost?

The national average cost of car insurance in 2021 is $ 1,674 per year for fully comprehensive insurance or $ 139.50 per month. The average cost of auto insurance in Washington, DC is $ 1,855 per year for full coverage, or $ 154.60 per month.

How common are hit-and-runs?

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are more than 682,000 driver accidents occur every year.

How can I lower my car insurance after an accident?

In order to lower your car insurance premiums, be sure to do that Find and compare car insurance offers from the top insurers. It also helps improve your credit score and increase your deductible, although that means you will have to pay more upfront in the event of a loss.

Another way to save is to use the best auto insurance that combine great car insurance discounts with affordable insurance coverage.


Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all zip codes and airlines in all 50 states and Washington, DC Coverage Limits:

  • $ 100,000 personal injury liability per person
  • $ 300,000 liability per accident
  • $ 50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $ 100,000 personal injury from an uninsured motorist per person
  • $ 300,000 personal injury to an uninsured driver per accident
  • $ 500 deductible in case of collision
  • $ 500 deductible

To set the minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets the requirements of each state. Our Basic Profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles a year.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparison purposes.

Incident: The rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile using the following incidents: clean record (base), fault accident, single speeding, single DUI conviction, and expiry of cover.


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