Imagine that you are parallel parking your car when you tap the gas a little to strongly and hit the bumper of the car behind you. This car was parked on the street, and the vehicle’s owner is nowhere in sight. You can see that the collision caused a scratch and a small dent in their bumper, but that other than that, the cars are both basically fine.
The devil on your shoulder may tell you to drive away, but under the law, that would be considered a hit and run. Instead, you do what is right and leave a note explaining what happened, pointing out the damage, and offering your insurance and contact information. For your own protection, you take a few photos of the damage, and then you go your way. Under the law, you have done your duty and have assumed liability for the collision.
So what happens if you never hear back from the owner of the other vehicle?
The good news is that once you leave a note, the ball is in the other driver’s court. They may choose to seek compensation for the damage you inflicted on their vehicle, or they may decide that the hassle of going through repairs and insurance isn’t worth it.
The bad news is that they have years to decide. The statute of limitations on an accident like this is two years, which means you may have to wait a full 24 months before the case is officially closed.
In the meantime, it is in your best interest to contact your insurance provider to let them know that a claim may be coming through. If you fail to report an accident in a timely manner, and then the driver you hit decides to make a claim months later, you risk your insurance company refusing coverage.
Remember, it is always advantageous to be upfront and honest with anyone involved in a collision, including the other driver and your insurance carrier. If you feel like you need legal help sorting out the details of a parked car accident, contact Herrera Law for help and assistance. We are here for you and can help make things right for everyone.