I hit a piece of property while driving – what am I obligated to do? Can I be charged with a hit and run?
Minnesota Statute Section 169.09 explains when drivers must stop after a collision. Many are aware that when a driver hits another vehicle, they are required to stop to avoid a “hit and run.” However, many people do not realize that “hit and runs” extend to property such as trees, mailboxes, or other property a driver may hit. If the driver involved in a collision knows or has reason to know the collision resulted in damage to property, specifically “damage to fixtures legally upon or adjacent to a highway,” the driver has a duty to take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property. See 169.09 Subd. 5. The driver must leave their name, address, and registration plate number of the vehicle being driven. Upon request of the property owner, the driver may be required to show their driver’s license and make an accident report. If the total property damage is $1,000 or more, the written report must be forwarded to the commissioner of public safety within ten days of the accident.