California has laws surrounding hit-and-runs. Make sure you follow them to avoid fines, imprisonment, or both.
Stop at the Scene of the Accident
Even if your accident involved property damage only, you must stop as close to the accident as possible without impeding traffic or risking your safety. Then, you must locate and notify the person in charge of the property you hit, exchanging your contact information (name and address), license number, and registration information. If you can’t locate the owner or driver, you must leave a written note in a conspicuous place, explaining what happened and including your name and address. Additionally, provide “reasonable assistance” to any injured parties.
Report the Accident
You’re required to report an accident “without unnecessary delay” that results in any of the following:
If the accident occurred in an incorporated area, contact the local police. However, if the accident occurred in unincorporated territory, contact the nearest local headquarters of the Department of the California Highway Patrol.
Violating these requirements will be a misdemeanor, more serious than an infraction.
Now that you’ve fulfilled your legal responsibilities, gather as much evidence as you can for when you’re filing a claim, including the police report. If you didn’t see the license plate, speak to witnesses and get their information so they can add to your claim. Take pictures of the damages, if any, and write down the time and location of the accident, along with the weather conditions. The more information you have for your claim, the likelier compensation is.