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What Should You Do If You Hit An Object Or Parked Car

When you’re a busy mom, no matter what you’re doing your mind is probably all over the place. You’re trying to shuffle kids to school and other activities while also thinking about what you need to get done in your career or your own life. That can make for a distracted driving experience, leaving open the very real possibility you hit a parked car or an object at one point or another.

What Should You Do If You Hit An Object Or Parked Car

You want to avoid a potential hit and run, so how should you handle these situations? We cover the specifics of what to do if you find yourself in one of these situations.

What is a Hit and Run?

You never want to be part of a hit and run. That is a serious situation. A hit and run doesn’t just refer to hitting a person. It also means hitting a vehicle or object and then leaving the scene without giving your information. Many states will consider an accident a hit and run even if it involves another parked car, and it’s not an accident that happens on a highway or road. There is an exception with hit and runs, however. If no one is around you and leave your contact information and then file a police report, that’s not a hit and run even if you leave the scene.

Otherwise, leaving the scene of an accident, whether it’s your fault or not, is a crime. It can mean fines, points on your license, and even a suspended license or jail time.

Hitting an Animal

Hitting an animal is dangerous, scary, and potentially very expensive. If your car is damaged, you obviously can’t file a claim against an animal. You’ll probably have to file a claim under your comprehensive insurance. If you don’t have comprehensive or maybe collision, you’ll likely have to pay for the damages out-of-pocket.

Before you start thinking about how the damages will be covered, you should stop your car if you realize you’ve hit an animal. Move your car to a safe spot and turn on your hazards. If it’s a very big animal, it’s best to call the police. Don’t try to approach the animal.

Take pictures of the accident scene for your insurance later on. If you hit an animal, you usually won’t be found at-fault. There are legal considerations if you hit an animal too.
For example, if you leave without filing a police report, depending on where you live, you could be charged with failure to report an accident. This would usually only happen if you hit livestock or a domestic pet. In California, for example, pets are considered properly legally so you could be civilly responsible if you hit an animal that belongs to someone and you don’t stop.

What If you Hit Another Vehicle or There’s Property Damage?

All of us have likely accidentally scraped another car in the parking lot. Even if it seems minor and no one is hurt, there are still some things you need to do. If the property owner is there, you need to stay until a police report is filed to avoid the hit and run situation.

If you cause damage, you should stop and take a look at exactly what the extent of the damage is. Of course, if there’s an injury, call 9-1-1 right away. You should take photos of the scene and any damage and get the license plate and the make and model of the other vehicle. Try to locate the owner nearby. Before you start to look for them, leave a note on their vehicle in case they get back before you do.

If you can’t find them, you should leave a note with your phone, email address, license plate number, and email address. Again, it’s a good idea also to file a police report. You could consider filing a report with your insurance too.

What If You Hit a Mailbox?

Finally, what about hitting a mailbox or something similar?

You should stop if you hit a mailbox and pull off the road. Try to find the owner of the mailbox to let them know what happened. If you can’t find anyone or no one is home, you should report the accident to the police. The police might just tell you to leave a note if the situation is minor. In some instances, they might create a police report, and you can then use that to file a claim with your car insurance company.

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