Okay. You backed into a parked car in the parking lot. What do you do now? Look around to see if there were any witnesses? Look for the owner of the car? Drive away and hope no one noticed? Leave a note on the car with your name and telephone number?
The Golden Rule advises that you treat the owner of the struck car as you would want to be treated. You know how you feel when you come out of a store and find a dent, scratches or a broken taillight. You know how you feel about the person who did it and fled the scene. But the consequences of shirking your duty could result in a fine, up to 30 days in jail, and definitely higher insurance rates. Of course, the consequences of leaving the scene of an injury accident are much more serious. According to A.R.S. § 28-664, your duties upon striking an unattended vehicle are:
A. The driver of a vehicle that collides with a vehicle that is unattended shall immediately:
(a) Locate and notify the operator or owner of the vehicle of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle.
(b) In a conspicuous place in the vehicle struck, leave a written notice giving the name and address of the driver and of the owner of the vehicle doing the striking.
B. A person who violates this section is guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.
You, and only you, can decide in that split second after you hear the crunch how you are going to handle the situation; however, witnesses are plenty and you might regret not getting out of your car and leaving a note for a long time.
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