If you damage someone’s car, leave a note. Not only is this a civilized and righteous thing to do, it can save you from legal trouble too.
I currently am driving around with a big dent in my rear quarter panel and no door handle because someone damaged my car while it was parked. I don’t know who did it, but let me tell you, just the door handle assembly is a $150 bill sitting at my feet for something someone else did.
However, what prompted me to write is after tonight when someone did a number on this poor fellow’s Jaguar. Perhaps he’s not poor, but he sure was ticked.
Nobody took responsibility.
Common consensus says that if you damage a parked car, you always leave a note. However, personal integrity aside, not leaving identification can put you in hot water legally.
What you just did by dinging and leaving is a hit-and-run in most jurisdictions. That’s what multiple responses at Metafilter say.
If a witness reports it with your license plate taken down — a high probability as a parked car incident usually is at low speeds — the police can easily track you down as the car owner. Not the one driving? Too bad — you own the car and are liable.
In today’s surveillance society, all the dinged car’s owner needs to do is find a parking lot camera and see the tape.
No matter if the damage is small or large, the penalties are higher than you might expect.
In Arizona, for example, a hit-and-run like this will cause a suspension of your license. More state laws can be found here.
Dinging a car means losing your ability to drive on the roads? If you don’t leave a note, believe it.
Leaving a note is, by common consensus, the appropriate and moral thing to do. It might hurt to take responsibility, but it is a necessity. If you have safeguards in your insurance policy, you’ll only have to pay up to your deductible for damage to other vehicles.
In short, don’t be a jerk.
What to do if someone hits your parked car
– Try to locate the driver.
– Call the cops and file a report.
– See if the parking lot has surveillance and watch the video.
– Inform your insurance company.