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  1. #1
    vietkazie is offline Junior Member vietkazie is on a distinguished road
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    "Hit and Run" What should I do?

    Hello, I live in California and I was involved in an accident but I did not know I collided until I came home. The story is that I was driving down a lane and I thought it was a merge where I had to yield but it wasn't (my fault) and this car came speeding down honking at me like a maniac and yelling at me like crazy and that's when I found out it wasn't a yield so I sped up (speed limit was around 50 and there were a lot of fast moving cars) where the car that was honking at me cut me off and brake checked me. I thought I stopped in time (at the moment) with no collision because I felt no bump or heard anything and I'm guessing that's because of the screeching and the honking I did when he brake checked me because after that I turned and left/avoided him asap because I felt that he was trying to put my life in danger. He did chase me some more after that incident and I was able to eventually get away.

    When I got home, I found a small dent in my front bumper and realized that I basically committed a "hit and run." I'm not sure what to do, I have insurance, registration and everything and if I knew I hit, I would've stopped for sure. It's just that I thought I avoided the hit and I honestly felt like he was trying to harass/assault me in which made me run. What should I do? I don't want to be charged with a hit and run if he got my license plate and I want to be able to contact the driver in order to see the damages and exchange information... just as long as an officer is there or something to avoid anything physical. Thank you in advance.

    Summary:
    -Mistake in driving
    -Another driver road raged and brake checked me
    -I thought I avoided the collision, didn't hear/feel anything (I'm assuming from tires screeching and honking)
    -Left scene of accident to avoid road raged driver
    -Saw a small dent in my front bumper when I came home

    Also: I was wondering if I am contacted for the citation, will it be in mail, phone, or will they come knocking on my door? Thank you.
    Last edited by vietkazie; 03-21-10 at 05:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Joeyd6's Avatar
    Joeyd6 is offline Moderator Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute Joeyd6 has a reputation beyond repute
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    Call the police and tell them what you posted here and tell them you want to make a report if one has not been filed yet. If they say none was filed, ask if you can go to the station and file a report. This is not a big deal if you address it to avoid the hit-n-run part. I know it is stressful for you now, but from this end, it happens every day. That way you can end the worrying!
    -In God we trust. All others, put your hands on the car and don't move.

  3. #3
    PapaBear's Avatar
    PapaBear is offline Retired SgtCHP PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute PapaBear has a reputation beyond repute
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    You should immediately contact the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction. If it was on the freeway, contact the Highway Patrol; on a surface street, contact the police or sheriff's department that patrols that particular area. I may not, as you state, be a hit and run accident. A proper investigation of the agency will make that determination. However, as I read your post I see a lack of viable information - license numbers, vehicle descriptions, witnesses, etc. So, all we can do is rely on one side of the equation. Here as some applicable sections on CA law.

    Permissible Action: Duty Where Property Damaged

    20002. (a) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to any property, including vehicles, shall immediately stop the vehicle at the nearest location that will not impede traffic or otherwise jeopardize the safety of other motorists. Moving the vehicle in accordance with this subdivision does not affect the question of fault. The driver shall also immediately do either of the following:

    (1) Locate and notify the owner or person in charge of that property of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle involved and, upon locating the driver of any other vehicle involved or the owner or person in charge of any damaged property, upon being requested, present his or her driver's license, and vehicle registration, to the other driver, property owner, or person in charge of that property. The information presented shall include the current residence address of the driver and of the registered owner. If the registered owner of an involved vehicle is present at the scene, he or she shall also, upon request, present his or her driver's license information, if available, or other valid identification to the other involved parties.

    (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.

    (b) Any person who parks a vehicle which, prior to the vehicle again being driven, becomes a runaway vehicle and is involved in an accident resulting in damage to any property, attended or unattended, shall comply with the requirements of this section relating to notification and reporting and shall, upon conviction thereof, be liable to the penalties of this section for failure to comply with the requirements.

    (c) Any person failing to comply with all the requirements of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.

    Amended Ch. 621, Stats. 1992. Effective January 1, 1993.
    Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 421, Stats. 1999. Effective January 1, 2000.
    Amended Sec. 16, Ch. 825, Stats. 2001. Effective January 1, 2002.

    Counter Reports: No Determination of Fault

    20015. (a) No traffic or police officer shall include in any counter report of a property-damage accident, as defined in this section, any determination by the peace officer of fault of the reporting person, including, but not limited to, inattentiveness. This section does not apply to a determination which is the result of an examination of the physical evidence of the accident at the site of the accident by the traffic or police officer or the result of an express, knowing admission of the reporting person if the basis for the determination is also included in the report.

    (b) As used in this section, "counter report of a property-damage accident" means any report of an accident involving one or more vehicles which meets the following criteria:

    (1) The accident reported caused damage to property, but did not cause personal injury to or the death of any person.

    (2) The report is prepared at an office of the California Highway Patrol or local law enforcement agency.

    (3) The report is written or recorded by, or with the assistance of, a peace officer.

    Added Ch. 861, Stats. 1984. Effective January 1, 1985.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


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