Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left – What Do I Do?
The first thing you should do is find out if a video surveillance camera recorded the incident. This is a common practice in most public parking lots.
You should also look around for witnesses, note the time and location, take your own images of the damage, and contact law enforcement to file an accident report. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer may be able to help you find the guilty party.
Discovering the source of hit and runs
A driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. The ability to legally operate a motor vehicle brings with it a number of responsibilities. This includes the duty to own up to any damage you may cause while driving.
Whenever a motorist fails to honor this obligation, the law considers the action a hit and run. As the victim of the crime, you have the right to pursue legal action against the guilty party.
Achieving justice can be difficult when you didn’t actually witness the collision. Nonetheless, there are several steps you can take to find the at-fault driver. These include:
- Contacting the manager of the parking lot where the accident occurred: Most public areas are under 24/7 video surveillance these days. Reach out to law enforcement if you have trouble obtaining the footage.
- Talking to anyone who may have seen the incident: The selfishness and irresponsibility of a hit and run driver is a threat to all of us. Many people are happy to help bring these lawbreakers to justice. Be sure to get the witness’s contact information, in case you need to touch base with him or her or her again.
- Doing your own on-the-spot investigation: Write down the time, date, location, and any other pertinent facts about the accident. You can also use your smartphone or another mobile device to take pictures of the scene. It’s possible that one of the witnesses may have recorded the wreck.
- Contacting law enforcement right away: An accident report is essential for documenting the incident and filing an insurance claim. Stay on the scene until the police arrive.
- Calling your insurance company: Tell them everything you know about the situation. Ask the representative if he or she has any suggestions.
- Calling a wrecker service if needed: It’s always better to have a damaged vehicle checked out, even if you believe that it’s in safe and drivable condition.
- Getting in touch with Los Angeles car accident attorneys as soon as possible: A legal professional may be able to track down the hit and run driver. If nothing else, a qualified law firm can help you receive maximum compensation for the damage to your vehicle.
Why talking to an attorney is always a good idea after an accident
“Why do I need a lawyer,” you may ask. “Won’t my insurance company take care of things for me?”
Well, maybe and maybe not. Here’s why we say this:
- insurance companies are in business for their own sake, not yours: Like any private company, their primary motivation is to earn a profit. Sometimes this can leave accident victims without the full compensation they deserve unless an attorney intervenes in the situation.
- Your insurer might not make a serious effort to find the hit and run driver: Insurance examiners are busy people. They don’t always have the time to pursue hit and run cases. On the other hand, most personal injury law firms have strong working relationships with skilled private investigators.
- Working with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is a positive, proactive way to take back control of your life: Why be a passive player in the process when you can take an active role instead?
The staff here at Ellis Injury Law have many years of experience in accident investigation and client representation. Get in touch with us today to schedule your no-cost consultation. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience. When things go wrong, we want to help you to make them right.