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Hit and Run Parked Car
(5 Essential Steps to Take After Accident)

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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A hit-and-run occurs when you hit parked cars and leave, or someone hits your parked car and goes without providing any information.

This accident can lead to legal penalties like fines, license suspension, or criminal charges. 

As a car accident attorney with almost a decade of experience, I have dealt with many cases involving hit-and-run parked car accidents.

In this article, I will provide you with everything you need to know about what to do in case of a hit-and-run parked car accident.

Quick Summary

  • If the hit-and-run driver who caused the accident cannot be identified, you should file a claim with your insurance company, and your insurance coverage may include collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, or personal injury protection coverage.
  • In a hit-and-run parked car accident, it is important to make a reasonable effort to identify the owner, inform them about the accident, and leave a written notice with your information.
  • If another driver hits your parked car in a parking lot and leaves a written note, you should contact the driver, inform the police, document the scene, and contact your insurance provider to start the claims process.

What Should You Do After Hitting a Parked Car?

A man calling the authorities after hitting a parked car

After hitting a parked car, you should first check if there are any injuries, including your own. If there are injuries, call for medical assistance right away.

Next, you must identify the vehicle owner and inform them about the accident. 

In case you cannot locate the owner of the vehicle to exchange information, please make sure to leave a written notice containing the following information [1]:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Model and make of your car
  • Your license plate number

Other things you can do include:

  • Filing a Police Report at The Police Department
  • Documenting The Accident & The Vehicle Involved
  • Speaking To Eye Witnesses
  • Contacting Your Insurance Carrier

Related Article: Car Accident Lawsuit Update

What To Do If Someone Hits Your Parked Car?

A worried woman calling the cops due to hit and run incident

If someone hits your parked car, you should call the police to file a police report.

The law enforcement officer can help you document the scene, take pictures of the damage, and talk to any witnesses present. It will also differ if they left a note or not.

If someone has hit your parked vehicle and left a note, there are a few steps you could take, which include:

1. Contact The Driver

Please ensure that the note includes the contact details of the other driver. If their insurance information is unavailable, kindly contact the other car’s driver and request their insurance company name and policy number.

2. Contact The Police

Even if the accident appears minor, it’s advisable to inform the police for multiple reasons.

3. Document The Scene Of The Accident

To gather information about the accident, please walk around the accident scene and make a note of any details you observe.

4. Contact The Insurance Company

After the car accident, it is advised to contact your insurance company immediately to initiate the claims process. This is because recalling details will be easier when done right away.

Scenario Two: They Did Not Leave A Note

Two damaged cars because of an accident

Failing to leave a note after hitting a parked car could be considered a hit-and-run. Hit and run is a grave offense; the offender could face fines or imprisonment if caught. 

If you cannot identify the driver who caused the accident, you should file a claim with your insurance company.

Your insurance policy may provide three types of insurance coverage that could potentially cover the damages incurred:

  • Collision coverage
  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage

“Fortunately, if you have collision coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage, you’ll be covered by your car insurance policy.”
Brandy Law, Licensed Insurance Agent at Diversified Insurance Industries, Inc.

Types Of Hit-And-Run Accidents

A worried man sitting down the road because of a hit and run accident

Leaving the scene of an accident before meeting your legal obligations, such as providing aid or identification, is considered a hit-and-run.

Familiarize yourself with your state’s traffic laws, as you may face fines, penalties, or even imprisonment if you do not fulfill your duties after an accident.

There are two types of hit-and-run accidents:

  1. When you cause an auto accident, quickly drive away without stopping or leaving contact information.
  2. When you hit an unattended parked car and leave without sharing your info.

How Does Auto Insurance Cover A Crash Into Your Parked Car?

Auto insurance covers a crash into your parked car, depending on the type of coverage you have.

If you have liability-only coverage, the minimum required by law in most states, your insurance won’t cover the damages to your parked car if you are at fault.

However, their insurance may cover the damages if someone else crashes into your parked car [2].

You must review your insurance policy to understand your coverage and deductible. if your parked car is damaged, file an insurance claim with your insurance company promptly.

Penalty For A Hit-and-Run On A Parked Car

A concept image of law and justiceIf you follow the steps above after hitting a parked car and try to do the right thing, you will not get in trouble with the law. You won’t have to worry about penalties like “hit and run” or leaving an accident.

If nobody, such as the other driver, was hurt in the accident, the charges will probably be for a misdemeanor, which is less severe than a felony but still important [3].

The consequences for misdemeanors vary depending on the state but can result in jail time and fines. 

States usually categorize misdemeanors according to their degree of severity and assign punishment accordingly.

Related Article: Do Police Investigate Minor Hit & Run?

FAQs

What Happens If I Don’t Tell My Insurance Company About The Damage To My Car?

If you don’t tell your insurance company about the damage to your car, you risk your claim being denied or your policy being canceled. It’s important to report any damages to your insurance company immediately to avoid any potential issues.

Will My Insurance Go Up If I Hit A Parked Car?

If you hit a parked car, your insurance will go up. Your insurance premiums are based on your driving history and risk factors, and an at-fault accident can be seen as a higher risk. However, the rate increase may depend on the severity of the accident and your insurance company’s policies.

Will I Lose My No-Claims Bonus If Someone Hit My Parked Car?

If someone hit your parked car, you will not lose your no-claims bonus. However, your insurance premiums may still increase if you claim the damages. It’s essential to check with your insurance provider to understand their policies regarding no-claims bonuses.

Contact A Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you were in a hit-and-run accident or someone hit your parked car, it’s crucial to understand and know your legal rights and options. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney to help you with the complicated legal process and ensure fair compensation for your damages.

Contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP today for a free consultation regarding your hit-and-run accident or another personal injury case. With almost a decade of experience, our skilled attorneys are equipped to assist you.


References:

  1. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=20002.&lawCode=VEH
  2. https://www.tdi.texas.gov/pubs/consumer/cb020.html
  3. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=20002.&lawCode=VEH

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