Average Hit-and-Run Settlement Amount (2024)

The average settlement for hit-and-run car accident in the United States is $87,233 and the median settlement amount is $28,000, which is a better representation of the typical settlement payout. Factors that affect how much a hit-and-run settlement is worth includes the extent of injuries, total medical costs, and strength of supporting evidence. Settlement data is based on 58 hit-and-run cases recorded by Thomson Reuters in the last 5 years (between 2019 and 2024)

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Average hit-and-run settlement amount chart (2024)
Average hit-and-run settlement amount chart (2024)

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Note: Average settlement data should not be interpreted as a guaranteed settlement amount for your hit-and-run case. Data and settlement examples provided are intended to be used for informational purposes.

  • Median settlement = $25,000: The median more accurately reflects a typical hit-and-run settlement because the calculation is less subject to being skewed by extremely high or low settlement amounts.
  • Average settlement = $87,233: The average settlement amount is the sum of all hit-and-run settlements divided by the total number of settlements (58). It provides a single figure that summarizes the overall level of compensation awarded in hit-and-run cases within the study.
  • Highest settlement = $900,000: In an unfortunate accident, an individual, described as having the functionality similar to a young child, sustained a dislocated shoulder and a significant lower leg injury that required surgical intervention. This injury did not heal as expected, necessitating future surgeries. The accident occurred when the individual was struck by a hit-and-run driver shortly after exiting a transportation vehicle. It was reported that there was no supervision provided to the individual at the time they exited the vehicle. The transportation company involved was covered by multiple insurance policies which contributed to a settlement. A portion of the settlement was designated to be placed into a special needs trust to support the ongoing care of the individual.
  • Lowest settlement = $5,000: In an accident, an individual and a minor were in a vehicle that was stopped at a stop sign when their car was rear-ended by an unidentified driver who then fled the scene. Both individuals sustained neck and back injuries from the collision. The individual, acting on their own behalf and as guardian for the minor, pursued a claim against their uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance provider, arguing that due to the timely filing of the claim related to the accident, compensation was warranted under the insurance policy terms. They sought compensation for personal injuries, medical expenses described as significant, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, in addition to interest, legal fees, and court costs. A settlement was reached that provided $5,000 to the minor, approved by the court through an order that ratified the settlement agreement.

Hit-and-Run Settlement Examples

Settlement examples under $100K

  • $15K settlement: In an accident, a minor was crossing a street near an intersection when a vehicle, reversing out of a parking space, struck the individual and then moved forward, hitting them again before fleeing the scene. The vehicle was reportedly being operated by an individual who was not the owner. The minor sustained injuries from the accident, which involved being hit twice by the vehicle. The details of the injuries and any subsequent claims related to medical expenses or other damages were handled privately.
  • $42.5K settlement: In an accident, an individual was driving with a minor as a passenger when their vehicle was sideswiped near an intersection. The driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident fled the scene, and neither the driver nor the owner of the vehicle could be identified. The minor sustained injuries to the neck, back, head, and jaw as a result of the collision. The vehicle’s insurance policy included uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. A legal claim was filed seeking compensation for the minor’s injuries and related medical expenses. A settlement was reached where the insurance provider agreed to pay to address the claims for the injuries and expenses incurred by the minor. The settlement was formally approved, ensuring that the funds were allocated as agreed for the minor’s benefit.
  • $70K settlement: In an accident involving a head-on collision on a curve, an individual suffered from spine and shoulder injuries. These injuries included general spine strain, a displaced spinal disc, and shoulder tears. The individual claimed that the opposing driver operated their vehicle recklessly, swerving across lanes and ultimately crashing into their vehicle. Furthermore, it was alleged that after the accident, the opposing driver left the scene without providing aid. Medical expenses related to the accident were nearly $110K. The case was taken to court where a motion to dismiss the punitive damages claim was denied. Ultimately, the jury awarded compensation for pain and suffering, but did not grant punitive damages.

Settlement examples between $100K and $500K

  • $126K settlement: In an accident on a highway, two minors were passengers in a vehicle involved in a multi-car collision. The accident was initiated when one driver made an unsafe lane change, hitting another vehicle, which then lost control and collided with the vehicle carrying the minors. The initiating driver left the scene before police arrived. The minors sustained head injuries as a result. A legal claim was filed on behalf of the minors against the drivers involved and the insurance provider, citing negligence and unsafe driving behaviors that led to the accident. The claim also addressed issues with the insurance provider, including breach of contract and failure to handle the claim according to the terms of the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The lawsuit sought compensation for the minors’ injuries, described medical expenses as significant, and included claims for physical and mental suffering, lost potential earnings, and other damages. The insurance provider and drivers contested the allegations. Eventually, a settlement was reached, and a court-approved agreement provided $126,000 in damages for the injuries and losses sustained by the minors.
  • $300K settlement: In an accident, a minor was crossing a street when they were struck by a vehicle that subsequently left the scene. The individual sustained a significant lower leg injury. Legal actions were taken on behalf of the minor, resulting in settlements totaling $300,000 from the responsible parties and the underinsurance carrier. A petition was filed to approve these settlements, and the court authorized the approval and distribution of the settlement proceeds. This resolution provided compensation for the injuries sustained by the minor.
  • $400K settlement: In an accident, a minor who was a passenger in a vehicle was struck by an unidentified driver, resulting in personal injuries. The minor sought compensation through the uninsured motorist provision of their guardian’s automobile insurance policy. A settlement was successfully reached with the insurance provider, resolving the matter and providing compensation for the injuries sustained in the accident. Medical expenses as a result of the accident totaled over $60,000.

Settlement examples over $500K

  • $763.7K settlement: In an accident, an individual was reported to have been driving under the influence and struck a vehicle carrying three minors before fleeing the scene. The minors sustained injuries from the collision. A legal claim was initiated against the driver, alleging negligence and reckless disregard due to operating the vehicle while intoxicated. The case focused on the serious nature of the allegations, highlighting the risks posed by driving under the influence and the impact on the injured minors.
  • $900K settlement: In an unfortunate accident, an individual, described as having the functionality similar to a young child, sustained a dislocated shoulder and a significant lower leg injury that required surgical intervention. This injury did not heal as expected, necessitating future surgeries. The accident occurred when the individual was struck by a hit-and-run driver shortly after exiting a transportation vehicle. It was reported that there was no supervision provided to the individual at the time they exited the vehicle. The transportation company involved was covered by multiple insurance policies which contributed to a settlement. A portion of the settlement was designated to be placed into a special needs trust to support the ongoing care of the individual.

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Case Factors That Affect Hit-and-Run Settlement Amounts

Settlements in hit-and-run accident cases can be influenced by several distinct factors that can significantly impact the value of a claim. Here are some key factors:

Extent and Nature of Injuries: As with most personal injury cases, the severity of the injuries sustained by the victim is a primary factor. More severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, or permanent disabilities, typically result in higher settlements.

🛈 Example: As a result of a hit-and-run accident, an individual a compound fracture in their leg requiring surgery and long-term physical therapy. Due to the severe nature of the injury, which leads to temporary disability, the settlement demand includes $75,000 for medical treatments and $25,000 for projected future medical needs.

Medical Costs: This includes all medical expenses related to the accident—immediate treatment, surgery, ongoing care, and any future medical needs. The total cost of medical care is a direct factor in determining the settlement value.

🛈 Example: Immediate emergency room care costs $20,000, followed by additional medical procedures totaling $30,000. The comprehensive medical costs of $50,000 are directly claimed in the settlement to cover all health-related expenses incurred due to the accident.

Lost Wages and Future Earning Capacity: If the victim is unable to work during recovery, or if the injuries affect their ability to earn a living in the future, these lost wages and the potential reduction in future earning capacity are calculated into the settlement.

🛈 Example: The hit-and-run accident victim is an accountant earning $70,000 annually, misses 3 months of work, resulting in $17,500 in lost wages. Due to a sustained back injury, the victim’s ability to work full-time is compromised, potentially reducing their annual income by 20% ($14,000 annually) over the next ten years, amounting to a future earnings loss claim of $140,000.

Pain and Suffering: Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life are also considered. These are more subjective but can significantly increase the amount of a settlement depending on the individual impact of the accident.

🛈 Example: Beyond physical injuries, the hit-and-run accident victim suffers from severe anxiety and PTSD, greatly diminishing their quality of life. Compensation for pain and suffering is estimated at three times the medical expenses, suggesting an additional $150,000 in the settlement.

Availability of Evidence: In hit-and-run cases, there may be challenges in proving who was at fault due to the absence of the other party. The availability and quality of evidence, such as eyewitness testimony, video footage, or forensic evidence, play a crucial role in establishing liability and securing a fair settlement.

🛈 Example: A nearby surveillance camera captured the accident, clearly showing the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle and license plate. This crucial evidence strengthens the case against the unidentified driver, potentially increasing the settlement value due to the strong proof of liability.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If the victim has uninsured motorist coverage, this can provide a source of compensation. The limits of this coverage will play a significant role in determining the potential settlement amount.

🛈 Example: If the hit-and-run driver is later identified and found to have been intoxicated, punitive damages could be sought to penalize the driver’s reckless behavior. This could add an arbitrary punitive sum, say $50,000, to the settlement to deter similar future conduct.

Punitive Damages: Depending on the jurisdiction, if the hit-and-run driver is later identified, punitive damages may be pursued to punish the driver for fleeing the scene, especially if the act was particularly reckless or malicious.

🛈 Example: If the hit-and-run driver is later identified and found to have been intoxicated, punitive damages could be sought to penalize the driver’s reckless behavior. This could add an arbitrary punitive sum, say $50,000, to the settlement to deter similar future conduct.

Legal Representation: The skill and experience of the legal representation can greatly influence the outcome of a hit-and-run claim. Experienced attorneys may be better able to negotiate with insurers, navigate the complexities of the case, and secure a favorable settlement.

🛈 Example: The victim hires a reputable personal injury attorney who specializes in hit-and-run cases. The attorney’s aggressive negotiation tactics and thorough preparation lead to a pre-trial settlement offer that is 30% higher than what the insurance initially proposed.

Statutory Limitations: Different states have different laws regarding hit-and-run accidents, including specific statutes that may affect compensation, such as time limits for reporting the accident and pursuing claims, which can impact the settlement process.

🛈 Example: In this jurisdiction, the statute of limitations for filing a hit-and-run claim is two years. The victim files the claim 18 months after the incident, ensuring all legal rights are preserved and enhancing the settlement prospects by demonstrating timely legal action.

Impact on Quality of Life: If the accident results in a long-term impact on the victim’s quality of life, such as chronic pain, inability to engage in previously enjoyed activities, or significant lifestyle changes, this can increase the settlement amount.

🛈 Example: Due to the accident, the victim can no longer participate in recreational sports, a previously cherished activity, and has to modify their home for accessibility. These lifestyle changes justify an increase in the general damages portion of the claim, adding an estimated $30,000 for diminished quality of life.

These examples underscore how specific circumstances of a hit-and-run accident directly affect the calculation of the potential settlement amount. However, it’s important to note that these are just hypothetical scenarios, and the factors that apply to your case will likely vary.

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Additional Legal Considerations For Hit-and-Run Claims

Uninsured Motorist Claims: Occur when the at-fault driver in an accident does not have any insurance coverage. In such cases, the injured party’s own uninsured motorist (UM) coverage can provide compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

🛈 Example: For example, if an individual is hit by a driver who lacks insurance and sustains injuries resulting in $100,000 in total damages, the injured party’s UM coverage can step in to cover these costs, assuming their policy limit is adequate. If their UM coverage limit is $150,000, they would be fully compensated for the $100,000 in damages.

Underinsured Motorist Claims: Involve situations where the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the damages they have caused. If the injured party has underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage, it can make up the difference.

🛈 Example: For instance, if the total damages from an accident are $200,000, but the at-fault driver’s insurance only covers $100,000, the injured party’s UIM coverage can cover the remaining $100,000, given that their UIM policy limit is at least $100,000.

In both cases, the settlement amount can be significantly affected by the limits of the UM or UIM coverage. Without sufficient UM or UIM coverage, the injured party might not be fully compensated for their damages, especially if they face high medical bills and other substantial losses. Thus, these types of insurance are crucial for protecting against financial shortfalls when the at-fault party’s insurance is nonexistent or inadequate.

Each car accident case is unique, and settlement amounts for individuals who have been injured in a hit-and-run accident will vary based on many factors. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that the driver is held accountable and you receive a fair settlement.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How are hit-and-run settlements calculated?

Hit-and-run settlements are calculated based on the damages sustained by the victim, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes punitive damages, especially if the driver remains unidentified. The victim’s uninsured motorist coverage often plays a crucial role, as it compensates for losses when the at-fault party is not available to cover the expenses. The total settlement amount depends on the specific terms of the insurance policy and the extent of the victim’s injuries and financial losses. If you’ve been injured as a result of a car accident, you can use an online settlement calculator to estimate the potential value of your claim.

How long will my hit-and-run case take to finalize?

The duration to finalize a hit-and-run case can vary widely, typically ranging from several months to a few years with most car accident cases settling within 6 to 12 months. Factors that influence the timeline include the complexity of the case, the availability of evidence, the efficiency of the legal process, and negotiations with insurance companies. If the case involves extensive injuries and disputes over liability or insurance claims, it may take longer to resolve.

What should I do after a hit-and-run accident?

Call 911 if you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of the accident. Do NOT follow the fleeing driver. Leaving the scene of the accident could put you at-risk, and potentially have a negative impact on the evidence that supports your claim.

How do I report a hit-and-run accident?

Call the local police and provide them with the information you have about the hit-and-run driver and their vehicle (make, model, color, license plate, distinguishing features, physical description of the driver, etc.). It’s also recommended to take photographs of the accident scene and any associated injuries and damages that resulted from the accident. Collect witness contact information, and get a written or recorded statement of events of what happened from them.

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Accident type Avg. Settlement
Drunk driver $262,479
Uninsured driver $128,129
Hit-and-run $87,233
Rear-end $181,309
Injury type Avg. Settlement
Back & neck $263,030
Herniated disc $220,066
Concussion $347,046
Whiplash $121,542
PTSD $762,436

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