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Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left in South Carolina 2024 – What to Do?

Someone Hit My Parked Car and Left in South Carolina 2024 – What to Do?
Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

Imagine that you walk out to your parked car and find it damaged, with no note or information about the responsible party. In South Carolina, hit and run incidents can be frustrating. However, knowing the right steps to take can make a huge difference.

  1. Assess the Damage and Gather Evidence
    First, make sure you are safe. If your vehicle is in a hazardous position, move it to a safer location. Once you are secure, examine the damage to your car. Take detailed photographs of the affected areas, capturing the entire scene from multiple angles. If there is any debris or evidence from the other vehicle, photograph it as well. Make a note of the time and date, the location of the incident, and any potential witnesses or surveillance cameras that may have captured the event.
  2. Contact the Police
    In South Carolina, leaving the scene of an accident is illegal, and the offending driver can face severe penalties. Therefore, it is crucial to report the incident to the police as soon as possible. When you call, provide them with your collected information, including photos, location, and any witness information. Depending on the severity of the damage, the police may dispatch an officer to the scene. They may also ask you to file a report at a local police station.
  3. Reach Out to Witnesses and Review Security Footage
    If you have identified any witnesses, now is the time to contact them for their account of the incident. Their statements could be valuable in establishing the responsible party. They can also provide evidence for an insurance claim or legal action. If there are nearby security cameras, ask the property owners for access to the footage. This may help identify the other vehicle and its driver.
  4. Notify Your Insurance Company
    Even if you do not have the other driver’s information, it is essential to report the incident to your insurance company. They will guide you through their specific claims process. They will also inform you of any coverage you have for hit and run incidents. Typically, uninsured motorist coverage can help cover the costs of repairing your vehicle. However, this is subject to your policy’s terms and deductibles.
  5. Consider Legal Action
    In South Carolina, a hit and run is a criminal offense. If the responsible party is identified, they may face charges and be held accountable for the damages to your vehicle. If the police or your own investigation identifies the other driver, you can pursue legal action against them. This can allow you to recover the costs of repairs and any related expenses.When considering legal action, seek professional advice from a car accident attorney in Myrtle Beach, SC. They can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. A lawyer can also advise you on what to do in your specific situation.
  6. Repair Your Vehicle
    After completing the necessary steps to report the incident and file a claim with your insurance company, you can begin repairing your vehicle. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may have to pay a deductible before the repairs are covered. Be sure to choose a reputable repair shop to ensure quality work and avoid any further complications.
  7. Prevent Future Hit and Run IncidentsWhile you cannot control the actions of others, you can take steps to protect your vehicle from future hit and run incidents. Consider parking in well-lit, high-traffic areas or investing in a dash camera that records while your car is parked. Taking precautions can help deter potential offenders and provide valuable evidence in the event of another incident.

FAQs About South Carolina, Parked Car Hit and Run

How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, it is crucial to report an accident as soon as possible. While there is no specific deadline to file a report, it is generally recommended to do so within 24 hours of the incident. Prompt reporting allows the police to investigate the matter more effectively. It also helps ensure that your insurance claim is not jeopardized. Delays in reporting an accident may raise questions about the incident’s legitimacy. Waiting could also impact your ability to recover damages.

What Is the Fine for a Hit and Run in South Carolina?

The fine for a hit and run in South Carolina varies depending on the incident’s severity and the accident’s consequences. In South Carolina, penalties can range from misdemeanor to felony charges. A misdemeanor hit and run can result in fines starting at $100 and a jail sentence of up to 30 days. On the other hand, more severe cases involving personal injury or death can lead to felony charges. These can lead to fines reaching up to $25,000 and prison sentences extending to 25 years. The specific penalty depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the extent of the damage or injuries involved.

Do You Have to Report an Accident in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, you are required to report an accident if it results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. In such cases, you must immediately notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and remain at the accident scene. Additionally, if you are involved in a hit and run incident, you should report the event regardless of the extent of the damage. This can ensure that the police can investigate and potentially identify the responsible party.

Is It Possible to Hit a Car and Not Know It?

While it may seem unlikely, it is possible to hit a car and not be aware of it, especially in cases where the impact is minimal. Distractions, noise, or other factors can contribute to a driver not realizing they have caused damage to another vehicle. However, all drivers must remain vigilant and attentive while operating a vehicle. If you suspect that you may have been involved in a collision, it is important to stop and assess the situation. You should then take appropriate action, such as exchanging information with the other party or reporting the incident to the police.

Contact Axelrod & Associates Today

If you need legal advice after being involved in a hit and run incident, the attorneys at Axelrod & Associates can provide the professional guidance you need. Our experienced team can answer any questions you may have about the legal process. We can inform you of your rights and options. Our firm can provide strategic assistance in pursuing justice and compensation. Contact Axelrod & Associates today to get started.

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