Car accidents can be scary, and the aftermath can be drawn out and frustrating. Dealing with any injuries you received in the accident, filing and receiving insurance payments, and repairing or replacing your car all become priorities following an accident. The frustration and worry that are caused by any car accident are multiplied significantly if you are involved in a hit and run.
Ideally, if you are involved in a car accident with another person, you can exchange information. This helps to move the recovery and repair process along more quickly. If you are involved in a hit and run, especially if your car gets hit while it is parked, that is not always possible. Unless the person who hit your car stays at the site or leaves information, you may be left to resolve the entire situation yourself.
The Most Common Causes of Accidents
In California alone, there are likely up to 500,000 car accidents each year. If you drive a car consistently, you will likely be involved in an accident at some point in your life.
Many things can lead to car accidents, some of them more dangerous than others. Some of the most common causes of accidents are:
- – Distracted driving
- – Turning in an unsafe way
- – Not obeying stop signs and stop lights
- – Using your cellphone while driving
- – Driving at unsafe speeds
- – Veering into, or driving in, the opposite lane
Regardless of the cause, understanding how to react to various accidents can help ease the process slightly. Having the right attorney by your side can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
How to Know If You Were Involved in a Hit and Run
It may seem like a simple process to identify a hit-and-run accident. Most people think that when one driver hits another car and leaves without stopping, it is considered a hit and run. That is a correct interpretation but is not the only factor that classifies a hit-and-runaccident.
In California,three criteria must be met for an accident to be considered a hit and run. First, the driver must leave the scene of an accident. Second, the driver at fault refuses to provide information to the other parties involved. Third, property damage or injuries happened as a result of the crash. If you were involved in an accident, or your parked vehicle was hit, and these three criteria were met, then you were involved in a hit and run.
Hit and run accidents are also classified according to their severity. The state of California can classify a hit and run as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Accidents that are considered misdemeanors only cause property damage. For a hit and run to be considered a felony, the accident must cause an injury.
What to Do If Your Parked Car Is Hit
The best course of action if someone hits your parked car is to remain as calm as possible. If the person who hit your car is still in the area, take a moment to speak with them and exchange the necessary information. If they are not around, there are a few things you can do.
- – Do not move your car. This will ensure that you do not accidentally cause any more damage. It also keeps the scene of the accident as clear as possible for the authorities.
- – Call 9-1-1, so they can respond to the accident. They will begin the process of filing a police report and providing all the necessary documentation.
- – Take photos and videos of your car and the damage it sustained. This will make filing an insurance claim much easier and may also help with repairs.
Once these steps are complete, you may want to consider contacting an attorney to help with your case. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the legal system and work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Q: Can You Sue Someone for Hitting Your Parked Car in California?
A: If your vehicle was parked in an area that was designated for parking and it was hit, then you can sue the person responsible for damages. Some people choose to pursue this route if their insurance provider does not cover the property damage from the accident. With a hit-and-run accident, however, this can be more difficult if you do not know who the responsible party is.
Q: What Happens If Someone Dings Your Car and Leaves?
A: In the unfortunate event that your car is dented and the responsible party leaves, there are a few things you should do. First, check to see if the person who hit you left a note or any other identifying information. If not, see if you can find any surveillance of the incident to try and identify them. If you are unable to identify them, you should move forward by filing an accident report and contacting your insurance.
Q: Do Police Investigate Minor Hit and Runs in California?
A: Hit and run accidents require police investigation, so long as the accident is reported. If a minor accident happens with no injuries and no major property damage, the involved parties may choose not to report the accident. In those instances, the police will not be required to investigate. Also, in many cases, more resources will be given to felony hit and run accidents.
Q: Do You Need a Police Report fora Fender Bender in California?
A: If it is a minor fender bender with no injury or death, then the individuals involved will not need to make a report. In most cases, if an officer attends the scene, then they will create the report. In many cases, you do not need a police report to file for insurance.It is best, however, to check with your insurance provider to be certain.
If you have been involved in a hit and run, Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates may be able to help. Contact our team today to discuss your case.