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My car was hit while parked on the street- should I hire a hit and run car accident attorney?

My car was hit while parked on the street- should I hire a car accident attorney?

I recently saw the news that claimed that at least 60% of Americans claim to have had their cars damaged by another person/vehicle while parked but I did not trust the accuracy of this information. 

The claim actually went on to state that 66% of the damaged cars were parked in the garage and that 44% of cars parked in the lot were damaged. Do you believe in such news? 

But after doing some research, I kind of started trusting the news. Have you ever parked your car and headed to the grocery store or supermarket only to come back and find the side mirror is broken or someone side-swept your car?

Well, according to Chicago car accident lawyers, their study came to conclude that at least 69% of hit-and-run accidents involve a parked car. If you believe in this study, you should also believe in the previous news I talked about, right?

In this article, I will go through what you should do if your parked car is involved in a hit-and-run, how to bring the perpetrators to book, and what to do if the other driver left or did not leave a note. And when should you hire a lawyer? alright, let’s go.

Page Contents

Someone Hit Your Parked Car – Now What?

Hit and run can be defined as a crime committed by one of the drivers that fled the car accident scene without sharing their contact information or rendering any help to the injured. 

personal injury

Across the USA and other countries, the law requires you to stop at the accident scene or at the nearest safe point and:

  • Share your contact information with the other driver
  • Share your insurance coverage policies and 
  • Offer help if any person is injured. 

Leaving the accident scene without observing the above legal obligations is punishable by law, and depending on the state you live in, you could face similar charges as if you injured a person and fled.

Simply, If someone hit your parked car, Stay calm, take photos, exchange info with the other driver, report the incident to insurance, consider getting a repair estimate, and file a claim if necessary.

You will need to gather as much information/evidence as possible because you may later face hurdles in securing compensation for your losses. Hit and run involving parked cars usually end up in courts, thus the evidence you gathered could help your car accident attorney to win you a good amount in settlement.

Someone hit my parked car and left

That very person who hit your car and left, committed a crime that is seriously punishable by authorities. Is a hit and run a felony? Yes, you could be charged with a felony if you left a car accident scene in which a person is injured or died. 

Is a hit and run a misdemeanor? leaving a car accident scene where there were minor injuries and or damaged property implies committing a misdemeanor. Charges of a minor hit and run (misdemeanor) are not so severe as compared to a felony.

Though the penalties for hit and run differ from state to state and also depend on the circumstances of the car accident, you could soon be battling a significant amount of jail time, hefty fines, and revocation or suspension of your driver’s license.

What to do if someone hits your parked car and leaves a note?

Someone commits no hit and run offense if he/she hit your parked car and left a note. what I need to put clearly is that such a note should clearly have enough information as required by law. 

The note should bear information like:

  • Name of the driver
  • Address/location
  • Insurance company
  • Policy number
  • A brief account of how the accident occurred
  • License plate information etc.

Leaving a note behind that bears little or confusing information is the same as leaving none and you risk facing hit-and-run charges. You do not want to be convicted on top of paying damages to the hit-and-run victim

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In short, If the other driver that committed a hit-and-run left a note, stay calm, take photos, and contact your insurance company. Provide them with the information from the note left by the other driver and any other evidence you have. An insurance adjuster will handle the rest of the process.

What to do if someone hits your parked car and doesn’t leave a note?

A driver who gets involved in a car accident with a parked car and does not leave a note commits a hit-and-run offense. Such a person risks heavy penalties if he/she is caught by authorities. 

Here is an example. Moses hit a parked car and damaged the front bumper and headlights. “I looked around and was sure no one saw me, so I left the scene”, said Moses.

“I was home relaxed only for police to contact me after 5 days about the hit and run I committed and asked me to report to the station immediately”, continued Moses. 

“I was charged with a misdemeanor and was asked to pay $500 and my driving license was suspended by 90 days”, concluded Moses.

In my own opinion, If someone hits your parked car and doesn’t leave a note, gather any witnesses and take photos of the damage. Report the incident to your insurance company and the police if necessary. Your insurance adjuster and police will handle the investigation and determine your next steps.

personal injuries

What to do if you were injured?

if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident, your first option is to seek medical help right away. Others tasks are just secondary. Follow these steps if you are injured in a hit-and-run:

1. Seek medical treatment. This is self-explanatory. The compensation you will receive is a factor of your medical bills. Failure to seek medical attention implies fewer injuries and therefore less amount as compensation.

2. Call the Police. You want authorities to arrive as soon as possible to complete the car accident police report. Such a report helps in solving liability issues and also helps later if you intend to file a compensation claim through an insurance company.

3. Gather as much information as possible. To pursue your claim or hit-and-run lawsuit, you need a concrete piece of evidence. Try as much as possible to get information about the other car like color, model, make, license plate information, etc.

4. Notify the insurance company. Most insurance companies require that you report the accident in less than 24 hours or within 30 days. You want to avail enough time for the insurance company to investigate the accident and process your compensation as fast as possible. 

5. Seek legal advice. Because getting evidence in a hit-and-run accident is hard, you will most likely face difficulties while seeking compensation from the insurance company. 

A car accident attorney helps in negotiating for a fair settlement, and files hit-and-run lawsuits on your behalf whenever necessary.

Handling a Hit-and-Run Accident- file claim?

The aftermath of any car accident is so confusing. You will find yourself juggling the compensation process and at the same time trying to recover from personal injuries. 

According to studies, at least 14% of Americans drive uninsured. And from other studies, it is estimated that the largest proportion of uninsured drivers has no money to compensate those that got injured out of negligence. 

So most hit-and-run victims find themselves negotiating with their own insurance company, the at-fault driver (and his insurance company), and other firms/companies for a fair settlement.

Handling such a process is not easy a reason you need to hire a car accident attorney to help you navigate your legal options and squeeze the at-fault parties for your maximum compensation payout.

You need to provide the insurance company with all the pieces of evidence you gathered at the car accident scene to kick-start your claim settlement process. Sometimes, the insurance company wants to deny you a settlement if there is no way they might get back their money paid to you as a settlement.

Someone Hit Your Parked Car and Left? Consult with a Lawyer?

Cases of hit and runs usually end up in court. This is because insurance companies tend to deny the claim because the victim has no concrete evidence since the other driver fled the hit-and-run accident scene. 

Here is a scenario. Susan was a victim of a hit and run but had trouble getting compensated by her insurance company. 

The other driver fled the scene leaving Susan with absolutely no evidence. “My only way of getting compensated was to file my claim through my personal insurance company”, said Susan. 

car accident, hit and run, personal injuries

“To my dismay, my insurance company denied my claim and even went ahead to hire an attorney against me”, continued Susan. According to Susan, the company did not want to pay her because they had no way to get back their money since there was no information about the hit-and-run perpetrators.

Luckily, her car accident attorney was able to negotiate a fair settlement with her insurance company. “Had not been my hired personal injury attorney, I had no any hopes of getting any compensation”, Susan concluded. 

In short, If someone hit your parked car and fled the scene, it’s important to call the police and file a report. Contact your insurance company, gather evidence, and consider consulting with a personal injury lawyer for further guidance.

Things To Do Immediately At the Scene

I have already taken you through the things you should do after any car accident including hit-and-runs. 

Because of the adrenalin rush and fear of what to do next, many people usually blunder after a car accident and this usually affects the next steps.

For instance, do not accept liability even if it is quite clear you caused the accident. Leave liability issues to be solved by the authorities. Do not make statements like “I’m sorry” right at the accident scene. Remember, what you say might be used against you!

At the accident scene, assess the situation and ensure everyone’s safety. Call 911, provide first aid if needed, gather eyewitnesses, and preserve evidence. Stay calm and follow any instructions from emergency responders.

Hit and run parked car no witness-what to do?

If you had a hit-and-run with your parked car but you have witnesses, there is a likelihood of filing a compensation claim through your insurance company. Take photos of your car damages and send them to your insurance company. 

You may also search for any security camera in the vicinity of the accident and contact them for any hit-and-run footage. You will also need to give a detailed account of the accident to the police. 

The bad news is that only 5-10% of hit-and-run accident cases are solved by police, so there is a higher chance your case may never be solved by police.

Someone hit my parked car whose insurance do I call?

If you had a car accident, you may find yourself seeking compensation from:

  • the at-fault party of their insurance company
  • Your insurance company
  • Employer of the at-fault party
  • etc.

The above implies that you will need to inform your insurance company as well as the insurance company of the at-fault driver after someone hits your parked car. 

Penalty for hit and run no injuries

A person that commits a hit-and-run usually faces several penalties. These penalties include criminal penalties, administrative penalties, and civil penalties. 

Criminal penalties for hit and run include jail time or a couple of years in prison and paying fines. Administrative penalties for a hit and run include suspension or revocation of your driver’s license by your state’s DMV. 

Finally, civil penalties for hit and run include paying the victim a couple of damages depending on his losses. These penalties are different depending on your state and the circumstances of the hit-and-run accident you committed. 

How to prove innocence in hit and run?

Just like any other civil case, you will need clear and convincing evidence to prove your innocence in a hit-and-run case. 

To prove your innocence in a hit-and-run, simply gather evidence such as photos, records, and witness statements. Report the incident to authorities, cooperate with the investigation, and consider hiring a traffic law attorney for legal support. 

What happens if someone reports your plates after a hit-and-run?

The most important pieces of evidence you need to pursue a hit and run are license plate information, the physical identification of the driver, and being able to tell the color, model, and make of the vehicle.

After someone has reported your plates after a hit and run, police with start investigating you right away. They will run your license plate number in your state’s DMV database to know the owner of the car.

Police will contact you either by phone or by mail and question you about the hit-and-run case. If need be, police might come to your home to look at your vehicle and match the evidence they have with your car.

I committed a hit and run how long will it take for the police to find me?

There is no specific time it takes police to find you after a hit-and-run offense. How long it takes depends on the evidence and information police have about you. 

Generally speaking, it could take police hours, days, weeks, or months to find you after committing a hit-and-run offense. It also depends on the gravity of the crime. Police usually are hesitant to investigate minor hit-and-run cases, but will aggressively hunt for you if you committed a major hit-and-run.

What evidence is needed to convict a hit-and-run?

There are several pieces of evidence police or the victim needs to convict a hit-and-run offender. 

Evidence needed to convict a hit and run includes photos of the injuries/damages, eyewitness statements, license plate information, color, model and make of the car. You may also need the hit-and-run footage.


In conclusion, hiring a car accident attorney after your parked car was hit can be beneficial for navigating the legal process and ensuring you receive fair compensation. 

An attorney can help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your rights. Consider seeking legal representation to protect your interests after any car accident including hit and runs.

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