If you hit someone’s car, here’s how to handle a hit-and-run accident.
Call the Police
You’re required to report to the police any accident involving:
Damage to Unattended Vehicles and Property
If you hit a parked car with no one in it, or you damage property, and no one is around, you must stop and try to locate the owner or driver, notify them of the accident, and exchange information.
If you can’t find them, you must leave a securely attached note in a conspicuous place on their vehicle or property. The note should include your:
- Vehicle registration number
Make sure to move your car so it’s not obstructing traffic, as that’s a nonmoving violation on its own (more on penalties below).
Property Damage Only
If your at-fault accident caused property damage only, you are required to give information after you stop at the scene of the crime, or as close as you can, and move your car from obstructing traffic: Exchange your name, address, registration number, and, if any vehicle occupant or police officer requests it, your driver’s license or learner’s permit information
Personal Injuries and Death
In addition to the above requirements, you’ll have to render aid to any injured parties, meaning carry or arrange to carry them to a hospital, physician, or surgeon for surgical or medical treatment if it seems necessary or if the injured person requests it. This duty to “render aid” applies only to “serious bodily injuries,” which the Florida Statutes define as physical conditions that cause a substantial risk of:
- Serious personal disfigurement
- Protected loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ or member
If you caused death, the police will hold you in custody until you’re released on bail, if you can pay it.1
That’s it for your legal duties, but we recommend doing the following after an accident to gather evidence for your auto insurance claim:
- Talk to witnesses and gather their contact information. See if anyone saw their license plate number.
- Ask for a copy of the police report to use in your claim.
- Write down the time of the accident, weather conditions, and date.
- Take photos of a hit-and-run accident.