What can happen regarding a possible hit and run?

I had no idea in the moment that I had hit someone’s car in the parking lot at the bank. The car was huge but parked in a compact space. After trying to pull in, I realized that I wasn’t going to fit, so I pulled out and went a few parking spots down. I never let the parking lot. After parking, I started to gather my stuff to go in. The owner of the car (who parked like a jerk) that I may or may have not hit came out and wiped their car where I could have swiped it. They got into the car and left the bank before I could at that point gather information that was needed and approach them. When I got home, I looked at my car and I didn’t have any new damage to it where I could have hit the other car. I’m a very good person and I feel terrible if I caused damage. It just doesn’t make sense.

Asked on June 8, 2018 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It's not clear that you need to do anything: no one (not police, not the owner, not the owner's insurer) has approached you about the matter (e.g. the other car's owner just left), and you do not appear to have any damage that you would sue or submit a claim for. You may well have not done any damage (or at least any damage that anyone cares about.) There is an old saying: "no harm, no foul," and it applies to a very large degree to the law--if no damage was done and no one has filed a police report, there is nothing you need to do.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It's not clear that you need to do anything: no one (not police, not the owner, not the owner's insurer) has approached you about the matter (e.g. the other car's owner just left), and you do not appear to have any damage that you would sue or submit a claim for. You may well have not done any damage (or at least any damage that anyone cares about.) There is an old saying: "no harm, no foul," and it applies to a very large degree to the law--if no damage was done and no one has filed a police report, there is nothing you need to do.


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