What to do if someone claims you hit their car? – Do you need a car accident attorney?
Did you know that more than 7 million car accidents occur in the USA yearly? And according to CDC, it is estimated that globally, more than 1.35 million die in car accidents. From the same data source, CDC estimates that worldwide, more than 3,700 people are killed every day in crashes involving cars buses, motorcyclists, and pedestrians.
In connection to the above, a lot is involved in car accidents especially if the authorities decide you are to blame for the accident. A person who is negligently injured or who incurred property damages is entitled to damages that are paid by the driver that caused the car crash.
If you caused an accident, be ready to compensate the accident victim by paying his medical bills, lost wages, compensation for his emotional distress, loss of consortium and pain and suffering.
According to Levin injury firm, the average payout settlement for a car accident injury is around $30,000. If you caused an accident in which a person sustained 1 or 2 fractures, expect to pay a settlement in the range of $20,000 to $100,000. I myself have a friend whose insurance paid a $1 million settlement to certain car accident victims.
Now you have seen how expensive it is to pay damages to the person who suffered losses and injuries due to your negligence. what if someone falsely accuses you of causing an auto accident? What about if someone claims you hit his car?
Do you need the services of an experienced car accident attorney if someone claims you hit his car? How about if someone hit your car? Well, this article explores everything you need to do if you hit someone’s car, or the other driver hit your vehicle.
What to do if someone hits your car and drives off?
A person commits a hit and run if he/she hits your car and drives off without sharing his contact information and or rendering help to you if you are injured in the crash.
Depending on where the accident took place, that person will face the law. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the gravity of injuries caused, and the extent of property damages hit and run charges might be a felony or misdemeanor.
Committing a hit-and-run misdemeanor implies you committed a minor hit and run like a car accident with only car damages, or minor injuries. Additionally, charges of a felony signify you committed a major hit and run involving severe injuries and or deaths.
Though it varies from state to state, penalties for a minor hit and run involve jail time of up to 6 months, fines of up to $1,000, and revocation or suspension of your driver’s license for up to 90 days.
Penalties for a hit-and-run felony also depend on where you live but expect penalties in the region of $20,000 fines, jail time of up to 15 years, and your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked for many years or forever.
Someone claims I hit their parked car-what to do?
There are 2 versions of answers I can give regarding this situation. For example, this could either be true or false.
For instance, you may not have caused the accident nor you have not been involved in any car accident lately, but I recommend you ask any of your family members or friends who have access to your vehicle.
Here is an example. Sam was home relaxing in front of his TV watching CNN news when police contacted him about a hit and run that occurred 3 days ago. “I absolutely was sure I did not hit any person’s car”, Sam recalls.
Sam rushed to the garage and was really angry after discovering a minor fender bender. “I late discovered from my wife that my elder son secretly drove my car 3 days ago”, said Sam.
“The hit and run footage at the police station confirmed my car was involved in a hit and run, which I settled with the other driver. I actually paid $7,000 as a settlement for the hit and run including fines”, concluded Sam.
Having that said, you don’t need to panic if you are sure you hit no parked car, but be sure someone else has no evidence to pin you. If you caused any car accident, do not flee away from the accident scene otherwise you risk hit and run charges.
Whether you caused the accident or not, please follow the following steps after getting involved in a car crash.
1. Ensure your safety and the safety of all. If any person is injured, render your help right away. Call 911 or arrange the transportation of the injured to the hospital.
2. Gather evidence You will stand a chance only if you have evidence of what happened during or after the accident. Take photos showing injuries, car damages, car accident scene, license plate number, etc. You do not want the other driver to accuse you of the damages he/she sustained from another accident.
3. Gather information. Talk to eyewitnesses or any bystanders to tell you what they saw as far as the accident is concerned. With their permission, think about recording their statements.
4. Invite police to the accident scene. You definitely need a police car accident report. With this crash report, no person has a chance to stage false claims later because the report bears all the facts and opinions about the car crash.
5. Inform your insurance company. Soon or later, you may need to be compensated or pay damages to the person who suffered losses due to your negligence. Some insurance companies require you to inform them within 24 hours of the crash or in less than 30 days post-accident.
6. Think about seeking the services of a car accident attorney. Although more than 90-95% of car accidents are settled out of court, the 5-10% of the crashes that goes all the way to trial require the services of an experienced car accident attorney.
You definitely need legal services from an experienced car accident attorney if someone falsely claims you hit his car. But, if you think the other party absolutely has no piece of evidence because you were not involved in an accident, speak to an attorney but consider not hiring one.
Role of a car accident attorney if someone claims you hit their car?
Car accident lawyers know the type of proof required in any conflict and know better how to trash irrelevant claims and exhibits.
Does the case require a preponderance of the evidence or clear and convincing evidence? Does the case require proof beyond doubt? Do you know how to trick the forged eyewitnesses into airing out incoherent or contrasting statements?
Well, personal injury attorneys and more specifically car accident lawyers know better the laws in your area of jurisdiction. They know all the rules you broke and know how to go around the legal options for a fair settlement in case you are guilty.
Role of a car accident attorney if someone hit your car?
Car accident victims are entitled to compensatory and punitive damages. If the other driver fled the accident scene, the jury could award your treble damages.
Examples of compensatory damages include lost wages, lost potential to earn, loss of consortium, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. For instance, the jury could decide to award you $65,000 as your compensation.
Punitive damages are awarded to you by the jury or judge as punishment to the at-fault driver who exhibited a high degree of negligence. For example, if a driver under DUI caused an accident.
For example, the jury could award you a certain fraction of the compensatory damages as punitive damages. For instance, the jury could decide to award you $30,000 hence walking home with $95,000 instead of $65,000.
Trebble damages are damages awarded to you if the driver fled the accident scene without rendering help if you are injured, or did not stop to share his/her contact information. Hit-and-run offenders usually pay these damages.
An example. The jury may decide to treble the compensatory damages awarded to you. In this case, you will walk home with $65,000 x 3 =$195,000.
But the question is, what is the role of a car accident attorney if someone hit your car? The answer is simple, to help gather the necessary evidence to make sure you receive maximum compensation.
For instance, lawyers know better how to build your car accident lawsuit to make sure you receive all the damages you are entitled to.
Someone hit my car whose insurance do I call?
One of the few things people think of is how will they counteract the effects of the accident. Some of us crash leased cars while others damage their financed vehicles.
Even if you own the car you crashed, you may need to repair it or replace it should it be totaled after the car accident. The at-fault driver usually foots all the expenses either directly from their own pockets or through his/her insurance company.
I already said that one of the things you should do after any car accident is inform the insurance company. But the question is, whose insurance company should you call after someone hit your car?
Well, you should call your own insurance company as well as the insurance company that covers the other driver. This is because there is a likelihood of getting compensated by both companies if one policy fails to pay all the damages you are entitled to.
For example. A driver that is a victim of the accident has a right to claim through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance coverage, and at the same time get additional damages from his/her own collision insurance coverage.
Someone hit my car and I left the scene
It is an offense to leave any accident scene even though it is absolutely clear you did not cause an accident. You will have committed a hit-and-run if someone hit your car but you left the scene unless the other driver suffered no injuries.
If someone hit your car and you left the scene, he/she may sue you for committing a hit and run although he’s the one who hit you. Though different states have different laws regarding car accidents, you are required by law to stop and do the following;
- Share your contact information
- Render help if required
- Report the accident to the police.
Irrespective of causing an accident or not, you are required to observe the above 3 mentioned points, or else you could soon be battling hit-and-run charges.
My car was hit while parked at work-what to do?
Car accidents occur everywhere. You parked your car and headed to your office. An hour later, someone informs you that someone hit your parked car. What should you do? Do you hire a car accident lawyer?
Well, follow all the steps I mentioned earlier. Look around and see if any security camera captured the hit and run footage and also, ask friends and the security team if they saw anything.
Do not move your car. Take pictures of the damages, and call the police to complete a car accident report. You may want compensation from your insurance company, so it’s high time you informed your insurance company of the hit-and-run involving your car.
What to do when someone hits your parked car?
You parked your car on the street or lot, and headed for lunch. A few minutes later someone hits your car and flees the accident scene. what do you do?
Well, do not panic, and do not move your car. Take pictures clearly showing the car’s damage. Ask bystanders or look for any eyewitnesses and record their statements after seeking their permission.
Hunt for any nearby security camera to see if the hit-and-run footage was captured. Let the police come and compile a crash report and inform your insurance company to kick-start your claim settlement process.
What to do if someone falsely claims you hit their car?
You do not want to fork out damages for an accident you did not cause, right? Did you know that such false accusations could also cause your insurance rates to rise?
Ask the person to produce evidence to prove you or your car was involved in a hit and run. If you are quite sure it’s false accusations, seek the services of a car accident attorney.
Someone hit my parked car and I did t call the police?
It’s not a must that you must call and report any car accident to the police. In some states, it’s mandatory to report any crash irrespective of being minor or serious.
In some states, the law requires reporting certain accidents whose damages exceed specific $s or where there are injuries.
For example, the law in the majority of states requires drivers to report any car accident that causes injuries or deaths, or property damages exceeding $1,000 to the state’s DMV.
What to do if someone claims you hit their parked car?
If it’s true you hit someone’s car, go through the steps I explained earlier. You also have an option of negotiating locally with the driver but be sure he/she does not intend to twist things later.
There are many consequences of such claims and therefore you need to speak to your lawyer for a specialized piece of advice.
What to do when someone hits your parked car and leaves a note?
A person that hits your parked car and leaves a note commits no a hit and run as long as the note has all the required information to contact the driver and his insurance company.
What you should do is simple. Follow the steps I already mentioned earlier. Hand over the information in the note and any pieces of evidence to the police to help it complete the crash report and kick-start an investigation process.
Furthermore, use the information in the note to contact his/her insurance company and kick-start your claim settlement processes.
How do I file a claim against someone who hit my car?
Go through the steps I already explained earlier and provide the insurance company with all the evidence you gathered right at the car accident scene.
You are highly advised to cooperate with the insurance company claims adjuster, otherwise, the company will delay paying you or deny your claim altogether.
In many instances, you do not require the services of a car accident attorney unless the claims adjuster ‘lowballs’ you. However, I recommend hiring a car accident attorney only if there is a huge amount of money being demanded from the insurance company.
What to do if someone claims you hit their car? It remains a personal choice whether to hire a car accident attorney or not after someone claims you hit his car.
In such a scenario, just gather enough evidence, speak to a car accident lawyer, and cooperate with the police if someone accused you of hitting his car.