Regardless of how careful you are, there are unfortunate cases where a driver hits your vehicle and leaves the scene without taking responsibility for the damages. This incident is considered a hit-and-run misdemeanor. When this happens, you may pursue a claim against the driver if the authorities identify them.
However, there are instances where you may need to determine the at-fault party. This article will define the steps after a hit-and-run parked car situation.
What Do In A Hit-and-Run Parked Car Situation
If you are involved in an accident, and the driver flees the scene after causing damage to your parked car, you can resolve the situation by following the steps below:
- Do not leave the location of the accident or move your car
Law enforcement must examine the scene as it is, especially in hit-and-run parked car cases.
- If possible, search for the driver at fault and exchange personal information.
If it is possible to search for the driver within the scene, you may exchange information such as name, contact number, driver’s license number, and insurance details.
- Seek evidence such as witness testimony and photos of the damages.
You must have pieces of evidence to support your claim. This may include the details and testimony of a witness or photos of the property damage.
- Search for surveillance or CCTV footage within the scene.
You may look for surveillance or CCTV footage within the location of the accident to get information about the driver. You may see the plate number of the car used by the party liable for the incident from the videos.
- File an initial report
You must submit an initial report, especially if the damages exceed the state’s threshold.
- Cooperate with the police investigation.
You have the legal obligation to share your side of the story. During the investigation, you may also identify the driver at fault and claim compensation for the damages.
- Contact your insurance company to know your coverage.
It is essential to notify your insurance company regarding the damages from the incident. You may also ask for the coverage provided by your insurance. However, claim adjusters usually reduce the value of your compensation, especially if you have limited knowledge of insurance coverage.
- Reach out to an expert to determine the total value of your claim
It is suggested that you contact a legal expert to determine your claim and maximize the value of your insurance.
Does Insurance Cover Hit-and-Run Parked Cars?
In most cases, drivers flee the scene and avoid paying for the damages because they are uninsured. Fortunately, your insurance can help cover the damages. In addition, several types of insurance would cover hit-and-run parked car situations and help reduce your expenses, such as:
Collision insurance covers vehicle repair or parts replacement costs when you are involved in a hit-and-run misdemeanor case. With this type of insurance, you may claim your coverage regardless of who is at fault in the incident. Typically, collision insurance can provide damage compensation when you are involved in the following situations:
- Car collision
- Hitting a property or stationary objects like a tree or pole
- Crashing into a building
An uninsured motorist coverage covers medical bills, damage repairs, and other expenses when you and your passenger are involved in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Meanwhile, underinsured motorist coverage also provides the same inclusions if the at-fault party’s insurance is insufficient to pay for the expenses.
What Is the Penalty for a Hit-and-Run Parked Car Case?
When a driver causes damage to your property and leaves the scene abruptly, this is labeled as a hit-and-run misdemeanor. The situation should include the following elements to be proven as a misdemeanor:
- The driver was involved in a car collision while driving,
- The accident caused damage to someone else’s property or vehicle;
- The at-fault party was aware of the accident that caused property damages;
- The driver intentionally refused to perform one or more of the following duties: (a) stop immediately at the scene of the accident; or (b) provide the other driver or the owner of the damaged property with their name and current residence address.
If the case is proven, the driver liable for the accident may face the following penalties for a hit-and-run parked car claim:
- up to six (6) months in the county jail
- fine up to one thousand ($1,000) dollars
- Three (3) years of probation
- compensation for the damage to the property
- two points on the DMV record
What are the Complexities of a Hit-and-Run Parked Car Claim?
In most cases, a hit-and-run claim involving a parked car is challenging to prove due to particular circumstances. This will hinder you from getting the total compensation value for the damages from the accident. Such complexities may include the following:
- Lack substantial evidence
You may need more evidence to prove your case. In addition, you may only be able to identify the driver at fault if you have essential personal details such as a name, license plate number, or insurance information.
- Limited knowledge of insurance coverage
Most often than not, claim adjusters pressure you to accept reduced restitution when you are unaware of your insurance coverage.
- Insurance companies haggling for reduced compensation
Big insurance companies can use their power and authority to bluster and pressure you into accepting reduced compensation, especially if you do not have substantial evidence to support your claim.
You may contact a legal expert to help you sort out your case when encountering these challenges. A personal injury lawyer can aid in recovering necessary evidence, determine the total value of your claim, and negotiate for the maximum settlement.
We, at Jacoby & Meyers, aim to protect your rights to restitution for the damages from the accident. Give us a call today at 888-960-0480 for a free consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to help you.