If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your parked car hit and run by another driver, it can be a stressful and confusing experience.

Life can be unpredictable and accidents can happen, so knowing what steps to take afterwards is important.

California’s Hit and Run Law

hit and run parked car california

If someone hits another person’s parked car, it is the responsibility of the driver who hit the car to contact the owner of the car. If the owner of the car cannot be found, under California law, the driver must leave a note in a visible place on or near the car with their contact information and a description of the incident.

Injured? Speak with An Attorney

What to Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car in California

There aren’t a lot of worse feelings than coming back to your parked car and seeing that someone has hit it with their vehicle. Except maybe coming back to see that the driver didn’t even leave a note.

Dealing with an accident involving your parked car isn’t anyone’s idea of a fun day, but by following these steps, you can make it a little bit more stressful.

Step 1. Check for a note, witnesses, or security camera footage.

If you witnessed the accident, of course try to remain calm and obtain the information you need from the driver of the car. If you didn’t witness the accident, first check your car for a note with contact information.

If there’s no note, look around to see if anyone may have seen what happened, or look for a camera or store nearby that might have security footage of someone hitting your car and driving off.

Step 2. Take photos of the damage.

Get your phone out and start snapping photos of the damage to your car from different angles. If the other car is still present, take photos of the damage to their car (if any) and their license plate.

This can help later if your insurance company asks for photos or if you contact an auto accident attorney to help you with your case. Always be sure to document any damage and any correspondence you have with the driver at fault.

Step 3. Call the police department.

The next step is to contact the police department to have an officer write up an accident report. Regardless of if the other driver drove off or not, you should still call the police to report the accident.

The police department can also help to obtain potential security footage around the scene as well as search for the car who hit yours. If there were any witnesses who got a license plate number, the police can use that information to find the at fault driver.

Step 4. Contact your insurance company.

You probably want to get the damage to your car fixed, so the next step is to call your insurance company to get an estimate for the repairs. Your insurance company might have a mechanic they prefer to work with and have you go through to get the repairs done. Take your car there to get an estimate of the damages so your insurance company can cut you a check.

Step 5. Hire a car accident attorney.

Hiring a California car accident lawyer like one from The May Firm can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve in a case where your parked car was hit. An attorney can also ensure that your insurance doesn’t go up if you have to make a claim with your own insurance company.

If someone hits your parked car, it’s certainly an inconvenience, but it isn’t the end of the world. Follow the above steps to deal with the situation in a quick and stress-free manner, and contact The May Firm today.