Hit and run parked car no witness AND what to do when someone hits your parked car?
Did you know? The USA yearly experiences more than 7 million car accidents and from reliable sources, more than 700,000 are hit-and-run accidents.
According to police, only 5-10% of hit-and-run accidents are investigated and solved due to a lack of evidence and proper leads. One of the pieces of evidence you will need to hold the hit-and-run perpetrator is producing among others, eyewitnesses.
Now the question remains, what do you do if you had a hit and run with the parked car but there are no eyewitnesses? How about if there is no piece of evidence you could produce? How will the hit-and-run accident affect your insurance rates?
The short answer is: If you had a hit and run with a parked car and there are no eyewitnesses, you should report the incident to the police, exchange information with the parked car owner (if possible), take photos of the damage, and contact your insurance company.
But, it’s not as simple as it appears, read on to discover why!
Parked car hit and run
A hit-and-run is an accident whereby one of the drivers flees the accident scene without sharing contact information or rendering the required assistance to the injured.
Hit-and-run accidents occur anywhere. Although I explain different types of it and run later, according to my own findings, at least 25% of hit-and-runs involve parked cars.
Is It a ‘Hit and Run Accident’ If It’s a Parked Car?
Any auto accident in which you leave the scene without sharing your contact information qualifies to be a hit and run and is punishable by law.
Learn more: Car accident attorney: What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
If you hit a parked car in a parking lot or on the streets, you are required by law to stop by and look out for the owner of the car that you damaged. You must share your contact information, insurance coverage information, car license plate number, etc.
Failure to observe the above-mentioned implies you committed a hit-and-run offense and soon police or any other authorities will come after you. So, the answer is a yes, an accident with a parked car becomes a hit-and-run only if you do not leave behind a note and share information with the car owner.
What should I do if I hit a parked car?
Traffic laws are simple. Just stop by and do the following.
1. Share contact information like your name, contact, address, and any other required personal information.
2. Share with the other driver car registration information, insurance coverage, and car license plate numbers.
3. If there are people injured, offer your assistance by calling the police and arranging transportation of the injured to the hospital.
You are supposed to observe the above-mentioned 3 points even if you are clearly not at fault for the accident. This implies that a driver might be charged with a hit-and-run offense even though he/she did not cause the accident.
Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents
There are many types of hit-and-run accidents. Some of these include:
1. Vehicular hit-and-run. Car hit-and-run involves a driver hitting another driver and failing to stop and share contact information.
2. Pedestrian hit and run. This involves a driver hitting a pedestrian and fleeing the accident scene without helping the accident victim.
3. Bicycle hit and run. This a situation where a driver knocks down a bicyclist and flees the accident scene.
4. Property damage hit and run. This is an auto accident where the driver damages someone’s property but flees the scene without sharing his contact information.
5. Fatal hit and run. This an event where you knocks down and kill a person yet you did not stop by to offer any assistance.
Irrespective of the type of hit and run you committed, your hit and run could be classified as a minor or major accident.
Learn more: Compensatory Vs. Punitive Damages: What’s The Difference?
Your hit-and-run is a major accident if it involved severe injuries or if a person died in the accident. You will be charged with a felony if you committed a severe hit-and-run accident.
On the other hand, a minor hit and run involve minor injuries or property damages only. A person that commits a minor hit and runs will be charged with a misdemeanor, depending on where you come from.
Legal Duties After Hitting a Parked Car
Someone parked his car and headed to the nearby hotel for lunch and you accidentally hit the parked car. What should you do?
“If you hit a parked car, you are required by law to look for the car owner and share contact details and insurance coverage information. If you are unable to locate the driver, leave behind a note in the damaged car”, says Adam Johnson a traffic officer.
“You will be charged with a hit and run if hit the parked car and didn’t leave behind a written note”, concluded Johnson.
Things to Do Before Leaving the Accident Scene
If you are involved in any auto accident or any crash, below are things you should do before leaving the accident scene.
1. Check if any person is injured. Call 911 if there are injuries involved in the accident. Do this even if you are not responsible for the car crash.
2. Call the police. It is required by law to report any roadway crashes to the police. Car accident police report helps in determining accident liabilities and will also help you later if you need to be compensated for the damages you incurred.
3. Gather information. Get the other driver’s name, address, contact number, car license plate number, car color, model, make, etc. Also, get the other driver’s insurance coverage and registration information, and eyewitness statements.
4. Take photos of the accident. These include car damage photos, injuries, car accident vicinity, and others.
5. Report the accident. You want to report the accident to your car insurance company to kick-start your claim compensation settlement.
What to do when someone hits your parked car?
If a person hit your parked car, there are always 2 options. Either the person fled the scene thus committing a hit and run, or that person most likely left a note in your car.
Irrespective of the 2 options above, do the following if someone hit your parked car.
1. Do not leave the accident scene and maybe leave the car in the same position.
2. If possible look for the perpetrator and exchange information explained earlier in this article.
3. Take photos of your car damage and invite the police to complete a car accident police report.
4. Call and inform your insurance company and kick-start a compensation claim if you have collision or uninsured/underinsured coverage policies.
Someone hit my car and I left the scene
It is an offense to leave a crash scene. In such a scenario, you need to act smart. For instance, you would need to follow all the steps explained above in the last bullet.
You may also need to seek the services of a qualified and experienced car accident attorney if the damages are significant.
Someone hit my parked car and drove off
Just as I have already explained, follow the guidelines explained earlier if someone hit your parked car and drove off.
Such a driver could claim he/she did not realize he hit something so you will need to gather all the required evidence. You will need to find any eyewitnesses and ask them to tell you what they saw, and more importantly the license plate of the at-fault driver’s car.
To look for more pieces of evidence, you could look around to see if any security camera captured the accident footage, or visit the homes around the vicinity and see if any of their cameras captured anything.
Someone hit my parked car and left a note
A person who hits your parked car but leaves behind a note commits no a hit-and-run.
The note left behind by the person who hit your car should include his/her contact information and his/her insurance coverage policies.
Look for eyewitnesses, take photos of the damages incurred, and invite the police to complete a car accident report. Then thereafter, call the other party’s insurance company immediately to begin the compensation claim process.
You also need to inform your own insurance company because, if the other driver has insufficient coverage, you may need to file your compensation against your own insurance policies.
You’re injured in your car while it’s parked
Yes, you may be involved in a hit and run and on a sad note get injured in the same accident. In normal circumstances, the other driver should have stopped and offered assistance.
The other driver will have committed a hit and run, and depending on the severity of your injuries, the other driver could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
You will be entitled to compensation for damages like medical bills, property damages, lost wages, pain and suffering, and many others.
To maximize your compensation, I recommend you hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help negotiate on your behalf. You may find it harder to negotiate with the insurance company at the same time concentrating on your healing process.
someone hit my parked car whose insurance do I call?
There are many insurance coverage policies people buy to safeguard themselves in the event of a car accident. These include liability car insurance, collision coverage, comprehensive policy, uninsured/underinsured motorists coverages, and many others.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, you will most likely be compensated by your own insurance company as explained above, therefore you should have called and informed your insurance company soon after the accident.
On the other, if the other driver left a note behind, you need to call his/her insurance company immediately after the accident.
To sum it up, a car accident victim needs to call both insurance companies after a car accident. Though it is a requirement that all drivers call and report the accident to their respective insurance companies, do not take this for granted. Reach out to both companies as soon as possible.
My car was hit while parked will my insurance go up
Whether your insurance rates go higher or not depends on many factors, and the best answer is that it depends on the circumstances of the accident and insurance policies.
For some companies, rates will automatically be raised if you submitted a claim irrespective of being at fault for the accident or not.
In some states, and for other insurance companies, your insurance rates will raise only if you caused the accident. You could also lose your no-claim discounts if you file just a single claim through your company.
I recommend you ask your insurance agent or revisit your policy to find out exactly what will happen to your rates. To some companies, your rates may not be raised if it’s your first time causing an accident or filing a claim.
How auto insurance covers a crash into your parked car?
Hit-and-run accidents are largely covered by uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if the at-fault driver has no or insufficient policy limits.
If the other driver can be traced, he/she will likely compensate for your damages either from own pocket or through his/her liability coverage.
Hiring an experienced car accident attorney increases your chances of getting maximum compensation because these lawyers know exactly which pieces of evidence are paramount.
An experienced personal injury lawyer also knows all the parties to go after to maximize your compensation payout.
In conclusion, it might be irritating and stressful when a hit-and-run driver hits your parked car without any witnesses. There are, nevertheless, procedures you may take to guarantee your protection and ability to recover damages.
First things first: call the police, report the collision, and document any evidence you may find there, such as pictures of the damage. Second, inquire about your insurance policy’s coverage for hit-and-run incidents.
They might be able to assist you in getting the repair costs reimbursed.
Finally, be careful to let the police know if you have any information, such as a license plate number, that can help them find the hit-and-run motorist. After a hit-and-run accident, you can defend your rights by following those mentioned procedures.