If you’ve ever been in a crowded parking lot, you know how easy it can be to hit a parked car that’s just a bit closer than it looked. It can also be easy to be tempted to simply leave — nobody saw, right?
In fact, there can be serious consequences for leaving the scene of an accident, even if the damage is very minor. Here are four tips for what to do if you hit a parked car and can’t find the vehicle owner:
1. Don’t leave
It’s tempting, but you should never leave the scene of an accident. Even if damage is minor, this can be considered a hit and run with severe consequences. Hefty fines, license suspension, or even jail time could be punishment. The specific consequences will vary depending on your state.
2. Write a note
If no one comes out to the vehicle, by law you must leave a note for the owner. In your note, you must include your name, contact information, address, and a description of what happened. You must leave your note in a location that’s easily spotted, like under the windshield wiper.
3. Gather information
Once you’ve written a note, don’t drive away just yet. Take photos of your vehicle and the vehicle you hit. Be sure to include any damages caused and the surrounding area. If you notice any witnesses to the accident, ask for their contact information and a description of what happened from their eyes. The owner of the damaged vehicle may file a police report, so having this information handy is key.
4. Call your insurance company
Making your insurance company aware of the situation as soon as possible is very important. Depending on your plan and the amount of damage caused, your insurance rates may rise as a result of the accident.
The team at Lorenzo & Lorenzo is fully prepared to help you navigate any sort of hit and run accident case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and know your rights.