Hit-and-Run in St. Louis: A Guide on What to Do If You’re Involved


Being involved in a hit-and-run accident can be a frightening and stressful experience.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the latest traffic crash data for 2020 has uncovered concerning trends in road safety. Despite a decrease in the number of police-reported injuries, a staggering 38,824 lives were lost in traffic crashes nationwide.


This data indicates a disturbing rise in fatal crashes, with an increase of 6.8% compared to the previous year. Particularly alarming is the surge in fatalities resulting from hit-and-run crashes, which saw a significant uptick of 26%.


In light of the escalating fatalities and the prevalence of hit-and-run incidents, empowering individuals with the appropriate information is paramount. This guide will provide you with a roadmap on what to do if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident in St. Louis, Missouri.

Understanding Missouri Hit-and-Run Laws

A hit-and-run occurs when an individual is part of a collision with another vehicle but neglects to halt and furnish the required information. The severity of the consequences under Missouri hit-and-run laws depends on the extent of the damage caused by the accident. 


According to Yahoo! Finance, in Missouri, a driver responsible for a hit-and-run is liable for the vehicle damage of the other driver. Moreover, they’re liable for the medical expenses of the injured driver and any passengers involved in the accident.


As per Missouri regulations, a hit-and-run incident resulting exclusively in property damage might entail misdemeanor charges for the driver. Nonetheless, if the accident causes any form of injury or fatalities, the repercussions substantially intensify. The driver could incur fines reaching $5,000 and potentially serve a prison term of up to four years.


TorHoerman Law notes that in such challenging situations, victims of accidents may find themselves overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. This is where the expertise of a car accident lawyer can be invaluable. 


A knowledgeable car accident lawyer in St. Louis can guide victims through the legal process, helping them understand their rights to seek compensation. They can also gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent the victim’s interests in court if necessary. Moreover, a car accident lawyer can provide emotional support to victims during what is often a stressful and traumatic time. 

Immediate Actions After the Incident

In the chaotic aftermath of an accident, taking swift and decisive action is crucial. First and foremost, prioritize safety. Activate hazard lights to alert other drivers, and if feasible, move your vehicle to a safe location to prevent further harm. 


Once safety is ensured, conduct a thorough check for injuries, both for yourself and any passengers. Attend to any injuries promptly, providing necessary first aid or calling emergency services for medical assistance if injuries are severe. 

Report the Accident

After ensuring safety and attending to any injuries, the next crucial step is to report the accident to the authorities. Contact the St. Louis Police Department (SLPD), regardless of the severity of the damage. 


When speaking with the dispatcher, provide as much detailed information as possible about the hit-and-run vehicle. The information should include the vehicle’s make, color, model, and license plate number, if visible. Any unique features or distinguishing marks can also aid in identifying the vehicle later.


While awaiting the arrival of law enforcement, it’s advantageous to collect as many details from the scene as feasible. Capture photographs of your vehicle’s damage from different perspectives, ensuring to depict the impact’s full extent. Additionally, document the surrounding area, including street signs, traffic signals, and any debris that may belong to the other vehicle. 


These records can serve as valuable evidence during the investigation and insurance claims process.

Document the Event

Comprehensive documentation can notably bolster your case. Gathering contact information from witnesses is crucial. Their statements can offer valuable perspectives on the incident’s timeline and support your account of the accident. 


Additionally, if possible, exchange information with the other driver before they leave the scene. Safely gather their license number and insurance details, as this information is vital for filing a police report and initiating an insurance claim. While it may be challenging to obtain this information, any details you can gather may prove invaluable in identifying the responsible party.

Will Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Incidents?

According to Bankrate, navigating insurance coverage after a hit-and-run incident in Missouri can be complex. Fortunately, every driver in the state is required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which may offer some protection in such scenarios. 


This coverage can potentially cover injuries sustained in an accident if the responsible driver is never identified or lacks insurance. For those with full coverage, collision coverage may extend to cover damages to the vehicle. However, it’s essential to note that basic minimum coverage policies typically do not provide coverage for vehicle damage in hit-and-run incidents.


Understanding the specifics of your insurance policy is crucial for navigating the aftermath of an accident. Consulting with your insurance provider can clarify what benefits are available and help you make informed decisions about your next steps

Frequently Asked Questions

Is hit and run a crime in the USA?

Yes, hit and run is considered a criminal offense in the USA. It entails departing from the accident scene without offering essential information or aid. Penalties fluctuate by state but may encompass fines, license suspension, or imprisonment, contingent upon the gravity of the occurrence.

Do police investigate hit-and-runs in Missouri?

Yes, police investigate hit-and-run incidents in Missouri. When reported, law enforcement officers will conduct investigations to identify and apprehend the responsible party. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, and utilize available resources to pursue justice for the victims.

What is the difference between an accident and a hit-and-run?

An accident denotes an unplanned incident leading to harm, injury, or damage. In contrast, a hit-and-run occurs when a driver departs the accident site without offering requisite details or aid. This constitutes a criminal act, differing from accidents where individuals typically exchange information and collaborate with authorities.


In conclusion, while a hit-and-run accident can be an upsetting ordeal, remembering these steps can help you navigate the situation effectively. By prioritizing your safety, reporting the accident thoroughly, and keeping detailed records, you’ll be in a better position to deal with the aftermath.  


If you have any further questions or concerns specific to your situation, contacting an attorney specializing in car accidents is always recommended.



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