My 22-year old daughter hit a parked car at a strip mall in Worcester, MA. She doesn’t know if she caused damage to the parked car she hit. She left the parking lot without leaving her contact information and now she’s wondering what she should do. Can you please explain the law in this situation and her legal responsibilities?
The Worcester police may not know the identity of the owner of the vehicle if the owner did not report it. In this case, charges may not be brought. The right thing to do would be to go the Worcester Police Department and report the incident. If your daughter is identified by a witness or a surveillance camera as the person who caused the damage, she could be charged with leaving the scene of property damage, a misdemeanor. However, in the scheme of things, she most likely would be treated quite favorably based on her cooperation and voluntarily coming forward to report the incident. Alternatively, the police may not charge her at all and simply give her an Operator’s Report to fill out and request her to describe what happened. This would at least give the alleged victim an opportunity to file a claim with the insurer of the automobile your daughter was operating at the time of the accident. The victim may not have reported it at all but at least your daughter would be protecting herself against any potential criminal liability that could arise if witnesses were able to identify her or the license plate of the vehicle she was operating at the time of the incident. A good lawyer could probably negotiate a dismissal of any criminal charges that may arise in the worst case scenario if she voluntarily reported the incident. Honesty is always the best policy
Worcester Hit and Run Criminal lawyer, Michael Franklin, represents individuals involved in car accidents throughout the Worcester County region including the cities and towns of Auburn, Boylston, and Shrewsbury.
Attorney Michael Franklin
Worcester Hit and Run Criminal Lawyer
5 State Street, Suite 1F
Worcester, MA 01609