Have You Ever Scratched a Car and Left? See 10 Consequences

Have you ever scratched a car and left? This is a too-common problem and can originate while you are finding your way out of or into a tight parking lot. However, it is surely a heart-stopping moment, as well as one that can generate panic and uncertainty in your mind, making you run away. So, what is the problem? There are lots of problems associated with this action. Let’s explore the consequences and resolutions.

7 Reasons People Leave the Scene

  1. Fearing the hot response from the car owner.
  2. Afraid of legal and ethical consequences.
  3. Feeling of embarrassment and shame.
  4. Lack of empathy.
  5. Not having a clear idea about rules and regulations.
  6. Not knowing the addressing approaches.
  7. Perception of harmlessness.
Have You Ever Scratched a Car and Left

10 Important Consequences of Leaving the Car

In this case, there are two kinds of consequences: Legal and Ethical.

4 Legal Consequences

In general, scratching others’ cars happens unintentionally. Though you haven’t done it intentionally, you are responsible for this. And leaving the place can make the situation worse. Also, you must note that in most states in America, scratching a car is considered an accident and requires police reporting. However, check out the listed aftermath below if you leave the scene after denting a car.

1. Civil Liability

After all, repairing the scratches is going to cost the owner money. It is your civil liability as a citizen of America to bear the cost. On this basis, your runaway proves that you are guilty of breaking the law.

2. Criminal Charges

If the scratch is severe and requires a significant amount of money, the owner of the other car can file a lawsuit if you leave the spot without leaving your contact details. 

Following this, the judge will find you in violation of the state’s traffic law (under the hit-and-run act) and sentence you to imprisonment along with a substantial fine.

3. Issue with Driving License

You might think you are safe after leaving the spot, but please note the CC camera footage will reveal your identity, resulting in a legal charge against you. In this case, you may receive “disqualification points” on your license. In general, the final outcome is an increased insurance rate and sometimes revocation of your license.

4. Fines

This is the most common legal consequence of such an action of yours. Here, you have to pay the recovery cost in the form of fines.

6 Ethical Consequences

Have you ever scratched a car and left? You may face these 6 Ethical consequences. Below is the list.

  1. Showing a lack of personal responsibility.
  2. Proving that you are not a good citizen.
  3. This runaway act of yours will demonstrate that you are a dishonest person.
  4. Showing a lack of respect for others’ property.
  5. You will suffer from a higher degree of guilt-feel.
  6. Your social reputation may be damaged.

How to Deal with Car Scratching Responsibly? 12 Way

Please follow the below guidelines.

  1. Park your car in a safe place.
  2. Come to the damaged vehicle.
  3. Conduct an assessment of the damage.
  4. Take videos and photos of the scratches from different angles.
  5. If it is a paid parking lot, go to the control room and inform them about the details and request that they contact the vehicle owner if possible. If they cannot, leave your details with them.
  6. Depending on your state’s law, you may have to call the police to report the happening. After the officials’ arrival, elaborate on what happened and pass your contact details to them.
  7. If both of the above-mentioned two points are not applicable, write down your identification details on a piece of paper and stick it under the wiper.
  8. After the owner contacts you, first mention your apology.
  9. know the repair cost.
  10. If the cost is very little, just pay upfront to avoid wasting time and effort dealing with the insurance company.
  11. If the cost is huge, share your insurance company’s name and required details.
  12. The owner’s (of the damaged cars) and your insurance companies will solve it by themselves.

Bottom Line

If you answer our question of have you ever scratched a car and left with a “Yes.” We urge you to contact the owner or police immediately and inform them that you were responsible. If it is too late, we still suggest informing the authorities. Otherwise, the case won’t be closed, and one day your name will come out, resulting in the worst possible situation.

People Also Ask

What is the financial penalty for scratching a car and leaving?

It depends on the severity of the damage and how the court sees your runaway.

Can you go to jail for scratching a car?

Well, going to jail for scratching a car is not the usual situation. Still, depending on the case-formation strategy of the opposition’s lawyer, you may receive imprisonment (if your lawyer cannot defend properly).

Will my insurance go up if I scratch a car?

Even though it was an unintentional act, your insurance will go up.