2023 What to Do When Someone Hits Your Parked Car and Leaves in North Carolina

Mar 30, 2023 | Car Accidents

Being involved in a car accident is never a pleasant experience. However, it is even more frustrating when someone hits your parked car and drives off without leaving a note or any contact information. As a car owner in North Carolina, knowing what steps to take in this unfortunate situation is essential if someone hits your parked car and leaves in 2023.

Document the Scene

The first thing you should do when you discover that someone has hit your parked car is to document the scene. This includes taking pictures of the damage from multiple angles, making sure to also capture the surrounding area. Also, note the time and date of the incident. If possible, gather contact information from witnesses who may have seen the collision occur. This documentation will be crucial when filing a police report and an insurance claim.

File a Police Report

In North Carolina, it is important to report hit-and-run incidents to the police as soon as possible. Contact your local police department and provide them with the necessary information, such as:

  • The location of the accident
  • The time it occurred
  • Any witness statements

Be sure to mention any available surveillance footage in the area. This could help the police identify the person responsible for the hit-and-run. Obtain a copy of the police report for your records, as it will be needed when filing an insurance claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

After filing a police report, immediately contact your insurance company to report the incident. Provide them with the necessary documentation, including the police report, photos of the damage, and any witness statements. Depending on your coverage, your insurance company may be able to help cover some of the cost of repairs. In North Carolina, uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) coverage is not mandatory. Therefore, it is essential to check your policy to see if you have this coverage.

Repair Your Vehicle

Once you have reported the incident to both the police and your insurance company, you will need to get your car repaired. If you have collision coverage or UMPD coverage, your insurance company may cover some of the cost of the repairs, minus your deductible. Be sure to choose a reputable repair shop to ensure quality workmanship and avoid any further issues with your vehicle.

Pursue Legal Action (If Necessary)

In some cases, the police force may be able to identify the person responsible for the hit-and-run accident. If this happens, you have the option to pursue legal action against the at-fault driver. Consult with a North Carolina personal injury car accident attorney to discuss your options and determine if pursuing a claim is right for your situation.

Prevention Tips

While you cannot always prevent a hit-and-run accident from happening, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Park in well-lit areas or near security cameras whenever possible. Additionally, consider investing in a dashcam with parking mode capabilities. This can help capture footage of any incidents that occur while your car is parked.


Q: What happens if you hit a car in a parking lot and leave in North Carolina?

A: If you hit a car in a parking lot, and leave without providing your contact information or reporting the incident, you may face legal consequences for a hit-and-run offense. In North Carolina, hit-and-run offenses can result in criminal charges. These can range from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the severity of the accident and any injuries involved. Penalties may include fines, license suspension, increased insurance premiums, and even imprisonment.

Q: What should you do if someone hits your car in a parking lot and drives off?

A: If someone hits your car in a parking lot and drives off, start by documenting the scene. Take photos of the damage, including the surrounding area. Also, obtain any available surveillance footage. Gather contact information from any witnesses and report the incident to the police as soon as possible. Next, contact your insurance company to report the accident and provide the necessary documentation. Consider seeking legal advice if the at-fault driver is identified.

Q: What are the laws for a hit and run in North Carolina?

A: In North Carolina, the laws for hit-and-run offenses are covered under North Carolina General Statutes § 20-166. The severity of the penalties depends on the circumstances of the accident, such as whether there were injuries, property damage, or fatalities. The charge may be as low as a Class 1 misdemeanor for property damage. However, it could escalate to a Class H or Class F felony if serious injury or death is involved. Consequences may include fines, license suspension, and imprisonment.

Q: Is North Carolina a no-fault accident state?

A: No, North Carolina is not a no-fault accident state. It operates under a fault-based, or tort-based, system for car accidents. This means that the at-fault driver or their insurance company is responsible for paying for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident. In North Carolina, drivers are required to carry liability insurance. This is intended to cover potential damages to others in the event of an accident.

Q: How long do I have to report a hit-and-run accident in North Carolina?

A: In North Carolina, it is advisable to report a hit-and-run accident as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the incident. Prompt reporting increases the chances of identifying the at-fault driver. It also helps ensure that you can file a claim with your insurance company in a timely manner. There is no specific legal deadline to report a hit-and-run accident. However, waiting too long may reduce the likelihood of a successful investigation. It can also impact your ability to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.

Contact Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, Today

If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to know your legal rights. Seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Helton, Cody & Associates, PLLC, our experienced attorneys have a strong record of representing victims of hit-and-run accidents and other motor vehicle accidents where the other driver is at fault. We provide aggressive and effective representation to ensure that you recover the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact us today for a consultation.