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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    173

    Default Hit and Run Accident With a Parked Car

    My question involves a car accident that occurred in the state of: CA

    Someone hit my car in a parking lot last month and left a name and number, but never responded to my calls, texts, or any inquiries from my insurance agent. Iím not even sure itís his number, although it is an active iPhone and I can see my messages are being delivered to someone. They continue to ignore my calls and texts.

    I did have dashcam video of him hitting me and I managed to get his license plate number which I provided to my insurance company once they determined he wasnít going to return their calls.

    Yesterday I got a call from his insurance company! I just called my claims department and they said the plate number I provided gave them a VIN matching the car in the video so they were able to find him.

    Does that count as a hit-and-run? Should I call the cops and fill out a report?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,207

    Default Re: Is It a Hit and Run

    Well, first off, if there's more than $1000 damage you need to file a report with the DMV.

    Well, if they had left their name and address, that's all they are legally required to leave with you, but they're supposed to notify the local police as well (or the CHP if outside any local jurisdiction). Sure you can report him if you like.

    There's nothing in the hit and run law that says that they have to communicate with you other than providing their identity. Since their insurer is answering, that's all you're likely going to get. Your insurer can take it further with them if necessary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,377

    Default Re: Is It a Hit and Run

    VC 20002(a)(2) requires the following when a person strikes property of another and the responsible party cannot be immediately located:

    (2) Leave in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or other property damaged a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle involved and a statement of the circumstances thereof and shall without unnecessary delay notify the police department of the city wherein the collision occurred or, if the collision occurred in unincorporated territory, the local headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

    If they did not leave an address and circumstances, and failed to notify local law enforcement or the CHP as provided, then it is technically a misdemeanor. However, since the responsible party has been identified and insurance companies are involved, the police will punt if you call them. They MIGHT take a "property damage only" report, but they are not at all likely to take a report for hit-and-run, much less forward it to the DA requesting criminal charges.

    At this point, this is a civil matter to handle through your insurer and/or in Small Claims Court.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Is It a Hit and Run

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    The police will punt if you call them. They MIGHT take a "property damage only" report, but they are not at all likely to take a report for hit-and-run, much less forward it to the DA requesting criminal charges.
    You might consider less deliberate language when you're speculating; this was not good advice.

    I had to leave work early, and it took 3 hours, but the LA police were very happy to take a misdemeanor hit-and-run report. When I told them I had video, had the driver's plate number, and my insurance company had his VIN, they were visibly excited and assured me they would do what they could to make him pay with criminal charges, although they said people rarely go to jail for this. As local residents and drivers, they were as offended as I was that he would leave a fake number and name. When taking the report they referred to me as the "good guy" or "great citizen" and him as the "bad guy" or "offender".

    It was a very informative and entertaining experience, particularly watching them deal with all the front desk traffic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,377

    Default Re: Is It a Hit and Run

    That's fine and dandy that they took a 20002 report, but I seriously doubt that the DA is going to pursue it even if the other driver is identified. Not all the elements were met to prevent a report for VC 20002, but under the circumstances, most agencies would likely have punted given the time delay and the fact that it has already gone to the insurance company. LAPD has rookie officers assigned to dedicated report cars, and dedicated traffic cars, so that's all they do is take reports. Not every agency has officers dedicated to that role. You were fortunate that they did so. What will surprise me will be if they (the DA) actually pursue criminal charges for VC 20002 against the other party. Does your video include the face of the driver? If not, then it's good for liability purposes, but not very good for criminal purposes absent a confession.

    But, if it helps you collect on your damages, great!
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    173

    Default Re: Is It a Hit and Run

    It clearly shows his face. The cops told me to check back in March to see if its been assigned to a detective by then. They also told me they enjoy putting criminal charges on people who do this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,377

    Default Re: Is It a Hit and Run

    If it happens, great ... experience tells me it won't be prosecuted, but, if it is, good.

    Keep in mind that what the officers might want to do is different than what the state (i.,e. the DA) will do. Typically, once these matters are well into the civil sphere, the DA will step aside. But, there are exceptions to the common practice.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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