Hitting a parked vehicle happens more often than one may think and could result in civil or criminal citations being issued. Whether you’re in a rush to get to soccer practice and overestimate your parking radius, or if parallel parking isn’t your strong suit, you’ll need to know what to do if you bump into a parked car.
First Things First
First thing to do after the incident is to assess the damage. If there is any damage whatsoever, you should call law enforcement, preferably the non-emergency number. You can also talk to any witnesses nearby to let them know you’ve taken appropriate actions and are not fleeing the scene. At some point shortly after these initial steps, you’ll want to inform your insurance company and follow their advice. If needed, you may want to consider contacting an attorney to help resolve the situation escalates.
Things to NOT Do
Unfortunately, sometimes these types of situations can result in a fight or flight response. If you are involved in an accident and leave you will likely be charged with a hit-and-run. Read more below on hit-and-run penalties you’ll want to avoid being charged with.
In Florida specifically, state law requires motorists to report this kind of accident if there is property damage greater than $50. Do not forget to take pictures and/or video of the damage for legality and insurance. Document the situation in any way you can!
While assessing and documenting damage, don’t forget to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t put yourself at risk of injury (or further injury) by standing or waiting where traffic is heavy. It seems like a no-brainer, but when adrenaline and nerves are high it’s easy to blur out surroundings.
Possible Hit-and-Run Penalties
As mentioned above, the biggest mistake individuals make when hitting a parked car is leaving the scene. Leaving can result in a hit-and-run charge. Some penalties of a hit-and-run include:
- $500+ fine
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Drivers license issues
- Criminal conviction
If you find yourself, or someone you know, being faced with these charges, contact an attorney right away. Our team has expertise in cases like these in the Florida area with over 67 years of combined experience among our attorneys.
Contact Our Team
Follow the recommendations/steps mentioned in this article if you ever hit a parked car. If you find yourself needing legal advice or defense for a traffic violation, please contact our team today. Whether you’ve been charged with a hit-and-run, caused an immense amount of damage and you’re at risk for a messy insurance situation, or whatever the case may be – we’re here to help.