The road is not the only place that is dangerous for cars: parking lots, car parks, and roadside parking can all be potentially dangerous. It can be frustrating to go to your parked car to find that there’s been a hit-and-run. Having to deal with the aftermath of damage to your car is only made worse when the person who caused it is nowhere to be found and left with no contact information. You want to know what steps to take if your car is ever damaged when you’re not around.
If you witness the accident, it’s important to get contact and insurance information from the other driver. Hopefully, the person who caused the damage left a note if they’re no longer there. Unfortunately, there are many times when someone hits your car and leaves. There are still things you can do to receive compensation.
If you hit a parked car, it’s important that you try to stay where you are. Find the owner of the vehicle if possible. If you have to, leave a note. Texas requires that this note includes your name, address, phone number, insurance provider information, and a description of the situation. The owner of the car will use this to file a claim with your insurance provider to cover the damage. Though you may worry about insurance premium changes, this is preferable to criminal charges for committing a hit-and-run.
If you hit a parked car, cause significant damage, and leave the scene willfully without providing that information, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. If no one was injured, but damage totaling less than $200 was caused, you could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. This may lead to a $500 fine. If the damage was more than $200, you would face a Class B misdemeanor, which could lead to six months in county jail and/or a fine of $2,000.
Hitting a car, causing damage, and failing to leave contact information is considered a hit-and-run. Depending on the situation, a hit-and-run may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Felonies include situations where someone was seriously injured or killed. If you hit an unoccupied parked car and the damage was more than $200, you could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 if convicted.
It’s important to document the situation and take pictures of the damage to your car. See if anyone witnessed the accident, and call the police. An accident report is essential to insurance claims, no matter how minor the damage is. If the driver who hit your car is still on the scene, be sure to get contact information and insurance information and take pictures of their car and license plate. If the driver isn’t present, check your car for a note with their contact information.
If you know who the at-fault driver is, you can file a claim against them. Hitting a parked car is negligent behavior, and you can receive compensation for any damages to your property. If your parked car was hit by another driver, talk with a car accident attorney to see if your specific circumstances allow you to file for damages.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, try to take note or document their car or license plate number, if possible. Your priority is to get medical attention and file a police report when you’re able. If the at-fault driver is unable to be found, an attorney can help you determine your next steps for receiving compensation for injuries and property damage.
If your parked car was damaged, you want to hire an attorney to protect your interests. It can feel overwhelming if you were a victim of a hit-and-run, but know that there may be steps that an attorney can take to get you the compensation you need. Contact Stevenson & Murray, Attorneys at Law, today to see how we can help find the driver responsible and defend your rights.
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